Saturday, July 14, 2012

Post Match: City Stars (H)

How do we love it? We love it on top!

Leopards went back to the top of the Kenyan Premier League with a hard fought 1-0 victory over City Stars at the Nyayo National Stadium last night.

It was the eleventh victory of the season for the Leopards as they scored their eleventh goal at the Nyayo National Stadium this season and though a player wearing jersey number eleven to improve their goal difference to eleven.

Here is a round up of how the victory was reported by various media outlets.

Gregory Mulemi of Kenyanstar reported:-

AFC Leopards on Friday night reclaimed top spot in the KPL after earning a hard fought 1-0 win over Nairobi City Stars. Mike Barasa scored the all important goal after 22 minutes after George Mwangi handled the ball in the box. Paul Were was once again the architect of Leopards goal through his marauding run down the right flank.

AFC Leopards took control of the game right from the first whistle and should have gone ahead in the 4th minute through Jimmy Bageya. The Ugandan import cut inside the City Stars defence but his tame shot was well saved by keeper Ronny Kagunzi.

City Stars had a chance of their own minutes later but Jonas Nahimana and Eric Masika stood firm to prevent former Gor Mahia hitman Duncan Owiti from breaching the water tight defence.


Allan Wanga and Mike Barasa were guilty of missed opportunity in the first half but this did not prevent Leopards from protecting the lead throughout the entire first period. Earlier in the half, Paul Were missed a glaring opportunity with the goal at his mercy. The former Tusker man shot wide after a nice exchange between him, Idrissa Rajab and Allan Wanga.

The second half began on a high tempo with both sides seeking to find the net.  In the 50th minute, City Stars almost found the net through David Kingatua. His combination with former Gor Mahia forward Ibrahim Kitawi almost resulted to a goal but Masika was there in time to prevent the latter from shooting. The entertaining match was however not short of controversy as City Stars had their Team Manager and Coach sent off for dissent.

Stand in coach Francis Thairu threw in former AFC Leopards forward Justus Basweti  for Kingatua but he did little to even salvage a point for the Kawangware based side.

Both coaches blamed poor officiating for the bad display which led to tempers flying and players hulling foul words at each other.

The win makes AFC Leopards comfortable at the top with 37 points whike City Stars are 10th on the log with 21 points.

MichezoAfrika reported:-

AFC leopards took control of the Kenyan Premier League again after a 1-0 win over City Stars in a match played at Nyayo Stadium on Friday evening. The three points served as a sweet revenge for coach Jan Koops boys against the same opponents who humiliated them 3-0 at the same pitch during the first leg.

The first chance of the game fell to Jimmy Bageya in the fourth minute .The Ugandan managed a good shot but keeper Roy Kagunzi was also up to the task.

City Stars first intent was when Duncan Owiti tried to release George Mwangi but Jonas Nahimana stood between to cut the cross and give City a non-resultant corner.

AFC then won several corners but the City Stars keeper was on top of his game. Good dribbling and passing ended up in two wide shots by Allan Wanga and Bernard Mangoli’ respectively.

In the 22nd minute , Paul Were made his trademark run on the right flank and his cross was judged to have been handled by George Mwangi for a penalty. Mike Baraza calmly slotted from the spot to give AFC leopards a lead would last to the end.

Later on, a timely intervention by Arthur Museve saved City Stars while Paul Were missed a clear chance when he did well to dribble the ball into City box but his final shot was off target.

Five minutes after the half time break, David Kingatua combined well with Ibrahim Kitawi but the AFC defense stood firm to keep both at bay.

Martin Imbalambala then tried a long range shot in the 54th minute but it was too strong and went off target.

City Stars coach Gideon Ochieng who seemed agitated at some of the calls by the center referee was sent off to the stands with twenty minutes to be played remaining. Veteran Francis Thairu who was on the subs bench took over his role.

Justus Basweti was later introduced for David Kingatua to bolster the City attacking line. This was seconds after Kitawi had forced AFC keeper Tiema to a fine save.

Ten minutes to the end, George Mwangi then received a long pass from Ibrahim Kitawi but never managed to beat AFC keeper as City Stars pressured for an equalizer.

Eight minutes to the end, Koops effected a double substitution with Laurent Tumba replacing Paul Were while Victor Ochieng came in for Mike Baraza.

City Stars won a free kick in the 90th minute that was executed by Justus Basweti but went off for a goal kick.

A fingertip save by Roy Kagunzi denied Allan Wanga a late goal after a great pass from substitute Laurent Tumba.

The win allowed AFC Leopards overtake defending champions Tusker at the top.AFC now has 37 points while Tusker has 36 after 18 matches. City Stars are 10th on 21 points.

Dan Ngulu of Futaa reported:-

AFC Leopards rose to the summit of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) on Friday 13 July courtesy of their 1 – 0 win over a Nairobi City Stars side that headed into the game on a five game unbeaten streak.

The manner in which AFC Leopards took the lead on 21 minutes is what will dominate the post match reactions as the 12 time champions were awarded a penalty for a handball by Nicholas Ochieng which replays showed wasn’t.

Mike Barasa stepped forth anyway and successfully steered the ball past a flatfooted Ronny Kagunzi in the City Stars goal for the opener.

City Stars, thereafter had to live dangerously as AFC Leopards kept squandering great chances with Paul Were the biggest culprit in the 32nd minute when put through by Martin Imbalambala but failed to beat the keeper.

The City Stars situation got even worse when in the 69th minute their coach Gideon Ochieng was sent off by referee James Kagera for repeatedly protesting his calls.

City Stars, despite the second half pressure on AFC Leopards and most attempts on target overall could not beat Barnabas Tiema in the AFC Leopards goal and even Allan Wanga could afford a late miss after connecting well with a Laurent Tumba cross from the left.

The win which brings AFC Leopards to 37 points means Tusker, who were inactive on the night drop to the second place as they have 36 points.

KPL website wrote a report titled Win ugly, but it will do for Leopards to go top :-

AFC Leopards romped to the top of the Kenyan Premier League table after a 1-0 victory over Nairobi City Stars in a tempestuous match at the National Stadium on Friday night.

Mike Baraza converted a 21st minute penalty, awarded amid protests by City Stars, setting the stage for the rest of the period when a grudge was hanging in the air.

A furious City Stars coach Gideon Ochieng’ later said it was a suspect penalty. He alleged there should not have been a hand ball call because a player had in fact taken the hit on the thigh. His protestation during the match had prompted his being ejected from the bench in the 69th minute.

But before the penalty it had been one-way traffic with Leopards doing the pressing. Jimmy Bageya had slithered through on the dribble in just the third minute and his shot saved by City Stars’ goalie Ronny Kagunzi. Allan Wanga had also threatened and by the 18th minute, City Stars were under pressure resulting in George Mwangi being shown the first yellow card for fouling in a desperate attempt to contain Leopards.

Patrick Korir of Futaa wrote about the sending off of the coach:-

Nairobi City Stars Coach Gideon Ochieng did not see the end of a Kenyan Premier League tie between his side and AFC Leopards, played on Friday 13 July 2012 from 1900hrs at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Ochieng, was constantly on complain mode on refereeing calls being issued by center referee James Kagera.

On 20 minutes, when on the right wing, Leopards winger Paul Were cut in when approaching the box and the ball hit the mid-section of a City Stars defender. A penalty was awarded with Mike Baraza converting it the next minute. From this point on Ochieng was incensed.

Moments later, Ochieng was seen on the touchline exchanging words with the Centre referee.

Four minutes past the hour mark, Duncan Owiti was caught with a swinging hand on the neck and he went tumbling down and out of the field. He rolled back into the field to be handed a yellow card. 

Four minutes on, Ochieng directed his frustrations to the match officials where he got slapped with a red card and an order to the stands. 

At the time of his send off, Leopards led the match 18 tie 1-0 from the awarded penalty in the first half.

Amos Mbuga of MichezoAfrika also wrote about the protesting coach:-

City stars head coach Gideon Ochieng was a furious man after his team lost 1-0 to AFC Leopards in a KPL match played at the Nyayo stadium on Friday night.

Ochieng while speaking after the match said Ingwe were handed a suspect penalty which resulted in the sole goal of the match.

His rants on the touchline contesting the match officials’ decisions invited a red card as he was ejected from the bench to watch proceedings from the terraces.
“I am pleased with the superb performance from my players.” He said.

“Clearly the best team was denied the win. How can such poor officiating be allowed to continue? In several occasions the referee was penalizing only my players .It is frustrating,” He said.

The head coach referred to a number of incidents that did not deserve the biased calls from the officials including the case in which a spot kick was given to AFC despite the ball hitting his player on the thigh. Mike Baraza converted to gift Ingwe the 1-0 advantage that lasted the entire match.

“Prior to that goal, the ball had gone out. The referee made the first mistake allowing it to proceed. Then again he followed up his mistake by awarding an undeserved penalty. That was a win handed on a silver plate and they did not work for it,” said a furious and frustrated Ochieng.

He said coaches should not be faulted since even the best coach in the world cannot help when biased officiating  is witnessed in broad daylight.

Mbuga also gave the Leopards coach's retort:-

Jan Koops AFC Leopards’ coach has hit out at his City Stars’ counterpart saying premier league coaches need to embrace professionalism however bad the officiating might be.

Koops who was speaking after their 1-0 win over city stars on Friday evening said he witnessed incidents which are disturbing and would not wish for the same to happen again in future.

“How can a coach instruct his players to step and injure opponents intentionally? It is quite saddening to see a coach do that repeatedly. In football it can’t go your way all the time. We should learn to accept outcomes of matches,” Koops said.

The coach who refused to comment on the legality of the penalty said his players played well in the first half and did dominate the match quite well.

“In the first half we played well. Then in the second half, it was a hard tackling match. Maybe my players feared picking injuries resulting in them playing casually,” he said.

The tactician praised his backline who did handle pressure very well a fact he said is due to stiff competition within the team as no one wants to lose a position.

“Right now there are many players who can play in defense at any time. Pascal for instance is good. However we can’t bench an equally good player who has been consistent and it is encouraging to witness consistency in the team,” he said.

“We are happy to have won the match and we will now start focusing on preparing for our next assignment.” He concluded.

Claudia Ekai writing for Supersport filed this report:-

AFC Leopards beat City Stars 1-0 at Nyayo Stadium on Friday to return to the top of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) standings.

Mike Barasa’s solitary goal from the spot to give Ingwe all three points that helped the former champions leapfrog champions Tusker to the top of the log with 37 points while City Stars remain tenth with 21. 

Jimmy Bageya almost gave the hosts the lead in the third minute but Ronny Kagunzi denied him early on. 

In the eighth minute Jonas Nahimana came to the rescue after the defence was caught flat footed.

Barasa opens the scoring after 23 minutes from the spot after referee James Kagera ruled that a Paul Were cross had been handled by George Mwangi though TV replays showed otherwise. 

Ten minutes into the second half, Bageya squared the ball to Martin Imbalambala but his shot went over the bar as the chance opportunity went begging. 

In the 69th minute, Dennis Okumu fouled Bageya and City Stars coach Gideon Ochieng was sent to the stands for remonstrating with the referee. 

AFC Leopards face Karuturi Sports next while City Stars face Gor Mahia.

The Daily Nation live blogged the action.

7:00: line-ups:
AFC Leopards
Barnabas Tiema, Edwin Wagula, Idrissa Rajab, Jonas Nahimana, Eric Masika, Martin Imbalambala (capt), Paul Were, Bernard Mangoli, Allan Wanga, Jimmy Bageya, Mike Barasa. Subs; Patrick Matasi, Abbas Kiwalabye, Amon Muchiri, Victor Ochieng, Augustine Etemesi, Laurent Tumba, Pascal Ochieng

AFC LEOPARDS - 19. Barnabas Tiema: 5. Edwin Wafula, 46. Idrissa Rajab, 17. Jonas Nahimana, 40. Eric Masika, 4. Martin Imbalambala (captain), 44. Paul Were (8. Laurent Tumba, 81’), 22. Bernard Mang’oli, 9. Allan Wanga, 50. Jimmy Bageya, 11. Mike Baraza (34. Victor Ochieng’, 82’)
Reserves - 1. Patrick Matasi, Gk; 3. Abbassi Kiwalabye, 14. Amon Muchiri, , 12. Augustine Etemesi, 6. Pascal Ochieng’
Coach - Jan Koops [The Netherlands]
NAIROBI CITY STARS - 1. Ronny Kagunzi: 29. Mark Ongwae, 5. John Amboko (captain), 3. Nicholas Ochieng’, 18. Arthur Museve, 17. Boniface Onyango, 8. Dennis Okumu, 20. David King’atua, 14. Duncan Owiti (2. Alex Nyamweno Achoki, 90’), 4. Ibrahim Kitawi, 27. George Mwangi
Reserves - 23. Frederick Majani, Gk; 24. Simon Juma Ogutu, 25. Peter Ashango, 16. Joel Sebuliba, 9. Justus Basweti, 7. Francis Thairu
Coach - Gideon Ochieng’
* * * *
Referee - James Kagera
Assistant ref - Peter Kiereini
Asst ref - Oliver Ouma
Reserve ref - Richard Obare
Match commissioner - Aloyce Odhiambo

Log after Week 18 matches.


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