Thursday, August 30, 2012


It has been happy times for the local football with a host of corporate ventures being announced in the recent past that are intended to bridge the gap that had grown wide between local corporates and local football.

East African Breweries Limited in conjunction with the Kenyan Premier League announced the open secret that they had reached an agreement on being the title sponsors of the Kenyan Premier League that was to also be referred to as the Tusker Premier League. It is hoped and believed that this sponsorship will have a trickle down effect on the local football teams especially our beloved AFC Leopards SC.

A few days later, it was announced that the Nation Media Group had teamed up with Leopards and its eternal rivals Gor Mahia in a promotion that is dubbed 'Toklezea Na Jalee'.

It is unusual for the two clubs who don't share much in corporate sponsorships to be on board the same campaign and football fans will be looking at this development with a keen eye.

From the launch news report whose link is given above, it was noted by Tom Mshindi, the NMG big honcho that:

“Resource capacity has been a major challenge for sports management in the country and this has not made it easy to secure facilities. This is the reason for this true call. This venture will present an opportunity to grant some resources to the teams.”

Whilst this may be a first in this parts of the world, other countries have been a step ahead with major rivals sharing even sponsorship deals with the cases of South Africa (Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates) and Scotland (Rangers and Celtic) being points of reference.

With the two biggest teams in the country joining up to this campaign, it is the hope of many that they can move this to other greater levels in their endeavour to be financially self sustaining though commercial deals rather than donations that have been sought in the past and come in in dribs and drabs.

So Toklezea na Jalee, what is it all about. For starters, these are sheng words, a lingo that is popular with the youth in the country and it basically translates to: come out in your jacket. Clearly, that would have sounded bland even to those who aren't hip with it.

The Daily Nation newspaper, Kenya's leading print media, ran some teasers after the launch in which they kept sending out positive slogans in the context of the campaign.

The first simply stated that 'true fans show up in team colors'. The ad gave the V salute with the corporate colors (er, or colours) of both Leopards and Gor. Most Leopards and Gor matches usually see their fans turning out in replica jerseys of their teams, though Gor fans have stuck mainly to the pre-sponsorship jerseys that give prominence to the team rather than the sponsor. Leopards fans on the other hand have embraced the sponsored jerseys and save for seemingly contraband jerseys, have turned out in Mumias Sugar emblazoned kit.

The next teaser was all blue and white with no shade of green (take that you Goreans!)

However, one may say that since Gor has at times used the blue and white kit, this was wholly appropriate.

Next up was a definitive date for the promotion commencement.

Whilst this was going on, the fans of both teams were busy discussing the pros and cons of the deal. Details had been given that the clubs stood to make 12% of the sales and some fans felt that this was on the lower side.

At both clubs, some thought it was a good thing whilst others criticized the deal. On the Gor Mahia Group, Speaker Akinyi wrote:-


That elicited over 100 comments. On the Leopards side, Prof Kadima wrote:-

He got two likes and no comments. Perhaps the debate had dissipated by then. Leopards has been known some times as 'AFC = Always Filing Cases' and it was not a surprise that the story being featured on the Gor Mahia website elicited this comment from Henry Njalale, one of the officials in the rival Leopards faction who raised accountability issues in respect to the deal. 

Other fans simply raised concerns about the cost with the story on the Nation website eliciting this comment.

It is always great to sieve though the comments of fellow Ingwe Fans and their understanding of any dealings that the club undertakes.

Nation went ahead to give the promotion the full treatment with the promised date of August 30th coming true. On the front page, there was mention of the promotion.

The newspaper also carried a full page advert for the promotion.

And on the sports pages was the coupon.

It was all straight forward. Collect seven of these and with your Kshs. 3,500 you will toklezea with the jalee.

The Leopards Facebook Branch Group Wall publicized the promotion.

At the same time, the Daily Nation sports page on Facebook carried photos of the jalee.

Actually, we wouldnt be doing this any justice if we didnt show it on an Ingwe Fan.

Gor fans also caught on the trend.

The campaign continues.

One of the positives that comes out of this is that the reach of the Nation will be greater than the fans that attend the football matches and whom the clubs cannot access. The passive fans may wish to be identified with the clubs though the medium of this merchandise and thus funds that were not within the reach of the clubs due to their limited marketing, will be opened to the clubs.

Further, building as corporate résumé is very important for the clubs. The fact that the clubs have some sponsorship deals at the moment needs to be built on as they have not 'arrived' yet.

Benefits are not always financial as Ingwe Fan has always argued. There are those who see the branding as an additional marketing benefit to the club. It is this same argument that we use when we bring you the print version of this blog though the currently selling fanzine.

But one needs to also listen to those who think that criticism leveled at the Nation Media Group is warranted. For one, like other daily newspapers in the country, the Nation continues to carry more news about the English Premier League leaving some diehard fans of the local game disgusted at the promotion of something that is not one of our own. It is perhaps based on this that the current promotion also calls on the fans to go to the matches with the slogan 'twende ball' (lets go attend football).

This needs to be matched with consistency. The Nation has been associated with football in her past and one need go further than the Road To Senegal campaign in 1991 that enabled the national football team qualify fore the Africa Cup of Nations of 1992.

But that is far!

With the renewed interest in local sports, Ingwe Fan hopes that this promotion will come to fruition as in the end, the two biggest clubs in the country will benefit not just financially but from the immense exposure and promotion that comes with this campaign.

So, go out there and toklezea na jalee.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Post Match: KCB (H)

Leopards lost 0-2 to KCB at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The Daily Nation writes:-

AFC Leopards’ title ambitions suffered a major blow on Sunday when they crashed 2-0 to Kenya Commercial Bank at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Leopards had come into the game confident, with no loss in the second leg of the season but they were shocked by the bankers who are fighting relegation.

At 44 points, a win would have elevated Ingwe to higher levels, but while the fans were expecting a win, the players were not up to the task.

A defeat for Ingwe was well-deserved, they neither showed urgency, thirst nor interest in the game and when they lost, they had no answers.
The defeat seriously dented Leopards’ title ambitions and even despite the fact they remain at the top of the table, it will give the other contenders some hope.
Thika United won 1-0 against Karuturi Sports, Sofapaka got a point in their draw with Chemelil on Saturday and Gor Mahia also earned a point against Mathare United on Friday.
Other title contenders Tusker and Ulinzi Stars play on Monday evening and the two teams need just a draw to help either close the gap on Leopards.

Peter Wainaina put the bankers ahead in the third minute after Clifford Alwanga set him up with a header, off a Patrick Matasi rebound following an initial Wainaina strike.

In the 42nd minute, Mungai Kiongera, KCB’s current top-scorer outran AFC defenders, at the same time avoiding an offside call, before releasing a powerful shot which landed in the net behind Matasi.
Leopards tried their best but in was not good enough and coach Jan Koops conceded defeat.
“KCB played very well and they deserved to win,” said Koops. “We were not in our best concentration in the first half, and KCB took advantage of this to score the goals.
“Seeing that we are still in the race for the title, we shall correct where we went wrong before we play our next match.”
Supersport reported:-

Goals by Peter Wainaina and Paul Kiongera handed KCB a 2-0 win over AFC Leopards in a match played on Sunday at Nyayo National Stadium.

Wainaina, a former AFC player, gave KCB an early advantage in the fifth minute, after connecting with an pass flying in from deep. His first attempt at goal was punched back into play by keeper Patrick Matasi.

Clifford Alwanga ran for the ball, heading it back to Wainaina who wasted no time converting.

Leopards’ best chance at goal in the first-half came in the 21st minute, with Paul Were getting the ball on the left of the area but his shot was tapped back by keeper Adola.

On 23 minutes, Mike Barasa had another chance but Adola kept his shot out at the near post.

In the 42nd minute, Kiongera spun past Jonas Nahimana to collect a Brian Osumba pass and beat Matasi to make it 2-0 and stun the home crowd.

Leopards started the second half well, camping in the KCB box for the first ten minutes. However, their numerous attempts were neutralised by keeper Adola and his defenders.

KCB almost scored in the 66th minute, after Kiongera and Elvis Ayany – who had come in as a substitute for Geoffrey Maina – broke down the AFC defence but the final shot by Kiongera failed to trouble the goalkeeper.

Barasa went close in added time but Adola again kept him out.

With three points in the bank, KCB have moved from 12th to ninth on the Kenyan Premier League table, while AFC are still perched at the top.
Futaa writes:-

The Kenyan Premier League match between AFC Leopards and KCB ended on a 2-0 scoreline in favour of the bankers. 

Peter Wainaina set KCB on the way to a win with his fifth minute goal, after Clifford Alwanga set him up with a header, off a Patrick Matasi rebound following an initial Wainaina strike. 

In the 42nd minute, Mungai Kiongera, KCB’s current top-scorer outran AFC defenders, at the same time avoiding an offside call, before releasing a powerful shot which landed in the net behind Matasi. 

The teams went into the half-time break with KCB bearing a two-goal advantage.

Two minutes into the second half, AFC’s Paul Were made a run on the left with ball and shot into the box but keeper Adola punched it back into play, just in the nick of time. 

AFC continued mounting pressure on the KCB but the latter settled into the match, eventually taking control of the match, with the ball-possession by the 56th minute reading 56%-44% in favour of the bankers. 

MichezoAfrika writes:- 

Kenya Commercial Bank registered a 2-0 victory over table toppers AFC Leopards at the Nyayo National Stadiu on Sunday afternoon. Peter Wainaina and Mungai Kiongera scored in the first half as KCb registered a relief win over the Leopards.

Ingwe would have gone eight points clear at the top after Sofapaka fumbled against Chemelil, but they threw away their golden advantage and will now have to increase their work rate in the remaining matches.

The bankers showed early intent for a win and in the fifth minute, Wainaina opened their account with a volley inside the box. His initial shot was saved by Patrick Matasi. Clifford Alwanga headed back the rebound and Wainaina did justice by slamming the ball home.

Leopards had their first chance in the 21st minute but Were was shielded away infront of goal after he beautifully chested down a cross from Edwin Baraza. Three minutes later, Mike Barasa slammed a shot from the left from Edwin Wafula’s cross but Kaleb Adol;a was equal to the task saving away the ball.

The Bankers would then double their advantage two minutes to the break through Mungai. The Under 23 striker finished off Brian Osumba’s pass after he lobbed the ball over the Ingwe defense.

Leopards would come back in the second half determined to stage a comeback. Jimmy Bagaye came in for Victor Ochieng’ and Floribert Ndayisaba paved way for Laurent Tumba. The changes however did not make any difference as KCB defended well to ensure they cushioned their advantage.

Leopards were forced to make a sub after Bernard Mang’oli was stretchered off injured and in came Amon Muchiri. They upped their pressure. Leopards though they had grabbed one back when Jonas Nahimana headed in but Mike Barasa had headed the initial ball back to play from out.

Edwin Wafula had a shot saved by Adola in the 93rd minute as Ingwe sought hard for a goal. KCB now jump to 9th after the win while Leopards are still keeping a five point gap.

The Standard writes:-

AFC Leopard’s title hopes were jolted after they fell 2-0 to KCB at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.

Peter Wainaina and Paul Kiongora scored a goal each for the bankers to guarantee them three vital points, which saw them jump to the ninth position on the log.

Wainaina scored in the fifth minute after Patrick Matasi had failed to hold onto a Clifford Alwanga header.

Then Kiogora who was named man of the match was on the mark three minutes to the break.

It was a result that gave KCB coach James Omondi the confidence to announce that they have finally put behind them a bad stretch of results. “I am extremely delighted by this result. Considering that I am just beginning my coaching career, I cannot afford to post poor results because it may mean only one thing — a sack

“But with this result I can confidently say that we are back and the poor results are finally behind us,” he said.

Omondi paid glowing tribute to Kiongora who was coming back to the team after a six-week absence.

“He is the soul of the team and without him it has been difficult to win matches,” he said.

On the other side, Leopards’ fans will be extremely disappointed by the manner in which their team lost.

Coming into this match on the back of a 5-0 win over Thika United, the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) leaders lacked the fighting spirit of potential champions and did not make any attempt worth writing home about.

Coach Jaan Koop aptly captured the feelings of many fans after the match: “I told my players before the match that if they do not create chances and fight for a win they would lose today and it happened.”

Koops, however, said the loss does not kill their title ambitions and will seek to bounce back against champions Tusker on Friday.

Tusker who play Ulinzi on Monday would narrow the gap to just two points if they beat the soldiers and they still have played one match less. It is a situation that puts Leopards under renewed pressure to maintain their grip at the top.

KPL website sums it up:-

THEY never respect lessons learnt in the Kenyan Premier League, do they; that there is only so much the whipping boys are prepared to take? This time, leaders AFC Leopards apparently took no heed and were embarrassed in a 2-0 defeat by lowly KCB at the National Stadium on Sunday.

Can any of the so-called “big teams” make a real impression and consistently dominate in the Premiership? If Leopards, amid the pride of being unbeaten stretching back to May 16, could not shrug off KCB, surely no one can.

It’s, therefore, back to the normalcy in the Premiership that you can neither pay too much respect to those in the lead, nor show contempt for those in the lower rung.

Former Leopards skipper Peter Mwangi Wainaina and Mungai Kiongera had KCB up 2-0 at half time, and for many of Leopards fans, in utter disbelieve and dismay, there was a sickly feeling the rest of the match that their team would not come back. It did not.

In the opening skirmishes it was Leopards who made the forays, a returning Paul Were being full of flight up front and took a bit of muscle to stop in the second minute.

Defender Jonas Nahimana was to use the long ball to find Mike Baraza but the veteran just came short of reaching the excellent opportunity.

Then with a burst of confidence, KCB fired the first salvo in the fourth minute, Wainaina’s first booming attempt at the Leopards goal finding Patrick Matasi with a block. Clifford Alwanga knocked it back to Wainaina whose second chance the ‘keeper could do nothing about.

In another long spell, the bankers were making confident moves, passing around well, the tone set by a fearless midfield of Wainaina, Alwanga, Brian Osumba and Kiongera. They dared Leopards to come out and fight.

Kiongera was to score the second after running in space, evading Nahimana to receive from Osumba and beat Matasi in the 42nd minute for 2-0.

Caleb Adola had done well to save the bankers several times, particularly from Were (21st minute), Baraza (24th) and again from the boots of Baraza in the second minute of the added time in the first period.

Having dominated possession in the opening half, the bankers again got off stronger, looking dangerous in all the 15 minutes of the re-start.

Alwanga unleashed a long one from 30 metres in the 52nd minute, flying just over the bar.

Things were not working for Leopards and Jan Koops wrung changes, bringing in Jimmy Bagaye for Victor Ochieng’ and Laurent Tumba for Floribert Ndayisaba. He was desperate for something different. Amon Muchiri also stepped in for another unproductive midfield man Bernard Mang’oli.

But KCB demonstrated too much hunger, not only for a win but to give a bloody nose to the more illustrious Leopards.

The bankers were literally savouring the opportunity to exhale. Their erratic play, producing only two wins in the previous 10 matches had left them flirting with the relegation zone.

Coach James Otieno’s job was threatened.

He continually told his employers that things do happen in football and getting the Leopards scalp at a most unexpected time may prove that the coach was actually right.

AFC LEOPARDS - 1. Patrick Matasi: 5. Edwin Wafula, 46. Idrissa Rajab, 17. Jonas Nahimana, 4. Martin Imbalambala (captain), 22. Bernard Mang’oli (14. Amon Muchiri, 67’), 10. Charles Okwemba, 18. Floribert Ndayisaba (8. Laurent Tumba, 58’), 34. Victor Ochieng’ (50. Jimmy Bagaye, 57’), 44. Paul Were, 11. Mike Baraza
Reserves not used - 19. Barnabas Tiema (GK), 3. Abbasi Kiwalabye, 7. Oscar Kadenge, 2. Edward Seda,
Coach - Jan Koops [The Netherlands]
KCB - 22. Caleb Adola: 13. Bethuel Warambo, 25. Benedict Owuor, Dennis Omondi, 4. Joseph Kangata (captain), 14. Michael Oyando, 8. Brian Osumba, 15. Peter Wainaina Mwangi (3. Milton Milimo, 79’), 20. Geoffrey Maina, 20. Geoffrey Maina (6. Elvis Ayany, 57’), 5. Mungai Kiongera (9. Jacob Keli, 89’), 18. Clifford Alwanga
Reserves - 1. Sammy Okinda [GK], 23. Pius Adriano, 17. Duncan Makori, 7. Edwin Mwaura
Scorers - 15. Peter Mwangi Wainaina (5’), 5. Mungai Kiongera (42’)
Coach - James Otieno
* * * *
Referee - Nasur Doka
Assistant ref - Mary Njoroge
Asst ref - David Sagero
Reserve ref - Damaris Kimani
Match commissioner Evans Omosa

Meanwhile ...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pre Match: KCB (H)

Leopards host KCB at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday 26th August 2012.

MichezoAfrika reports:-

AFC leopards will miss the services of Allan Wanga and Erick Masika whe they face bankers KCB at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Wanga who is on loan from Vietnamese side HAGL is nursing a knee injury while Masika is down with Malaria.

“Of course we are not happy that we will miss two key players in our team but sometimes it happens and you are forced to play without key players,” Coach Jan Koops told

“We signed at least two very good players in each position and I am confident that the players who will replace the injured two will do an equally good job. It is their opportunity to cement a starting role and so it might be a blessing in disguise,” Koops adds.

AFC Leopards will be welcoming the KCB  at their Nyayo Stadium fortress in a  match they will be keen win and  cement their lead at the top. They won their first-leg  match against the Bankers 2-1 with Mike Barasa grabbing a spectacular brace while  Ezekiel Odera pulled one back for the bankers.

Supersport reports:-

AFC Leopards welcome KCB in a Kenyan Premier League match on Sunday with the league leaders hoping to continue striving forward.

Leopards have accumulated a total of 44 points from 21 matches while KCB are ranked 12th, having picked up 24 points from 22 matches.

In their past six home matches, Leopards have won four, drawn one and lost one. Out of their past five head-to-head matches, KCB have won two, Leopards two and one ended in a draw.

Going into the match, leopards will be buoyed by the recent success that has seen them pick up 16 points from six matches. KCB, however, have the strength of Paul Kiongera, Jacob Keli, Edwin Mwaura and Elvis Ayany to count on, with the quartet having been instrumental in the team’s recent success.

Leopards head coach Jan Koops is expected to line up Allan Wanga and Mike Baraza at the front, with Jonas Nahimana and Eric Masika taking positions at the back.

Martin Imbalambala, Bernard Mangoli and Jimmy Bageya may also be part of his strategy for the day. The match will be played at the Nyayo National Stadium, starting at 15:00.

The Standard reported:-

AFC Leopards coach Jaan Koops is at cross road to find the necessary inspiration to keep his boys going, especially against bottom placed teams.

With the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) approaching a crescendo, every point is important, but Koops does not believe his boys are on the same page with him in this regard ahead of their clash against 12th placed KCB at Nyayo National Stadium.

“It is a bit frustrating for me because I have to constantly remind my players not to underrate any team because we are not playing against school boys,” said Koops.

“At this juncture we cannot afford to underrate any team because no team is weak.

“However, this is normal with most players because they always tend to underrate struggling opponents. It does not matter how much you talk to them, sometimes it does not help.”

Leaders Leopards are back on the pitch after a two-week break hoping to extend their lead at the helm and with the league now in its 23rd round, every match and every point counts.

Leopards go into the match on the back of a 5-0 rout of Thika United at the same venue and will be under pressure to maintain their winning ways with pressure bearing down on them from their fans.

Koops will be happy to have back from injury, speedy winger Paul Were, who provides more options upfront. Leopards also have strikers Allan Wanga and Mike Barasa.
The bankers have so far performed according to script as the league enters a crucial stage. After starting so well the bankers reserves look depreciated after a recess in goal hunt.

Now there target is to hang on and battle tooth and nail not to close shop should they be relegated.

On Monday, KCB fell 3-2 to Thika United even after leading 2-0 at some point. This is the kind of lapse the bankers cannot afford against hungry Leopards and Paul Kiogora and Peter Wainaina will have to be at their best to help KCB win.

Prior to the Leopards clash against KCB, focus will be on Rangers who welcome Muhoroni in what is billed as a bottom table combat at 2pm on Saturday.

Futaa reported:-

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) table toppers AFC Leopards have named the squad for their Sunday 26 August league match against KCB at the Nyayo National Stadium, leaving out key striker Allan Wanga and defender Eric Masika.

The duo’s absence will, however, be softened by the return of Paul Were from injury and the Kenyan international is named among the starters as well as Victor Ochieng.
Masika’s absence means captain Martin Imbalambala will fit in back to the defence alongside Rwandan international Jonas Nahimana while Floribert Tambwe and Bernard Mangoli will do the defensive work in the midfield.

Starting XI: Patrick Matasi (GK), Edwin Wafula, Idrissa Rajab, Jonas Nahimana, Floribert Ndayisaba, Bernard Mang’oli, Martin Imbalambala (Cpt), Charles Okwemba, Victor Ochieng, Paul Were, Mike Barasa
Subs: Barnabas Tiema (GK), Abbas Kiwalabye, Amon Muchiri, Oscar Kadenge, Laurent Tumba, Edward Seda, Jimmy Bagaye.

Meanwhile you can get your current copy of the Ingwe Fan print magazine that is out.

Send your Kshs 300 to the number 0717 513 043

Fanzine Issue 3

The third issue of your favourite magazine will be out on Friday.

You can pre-pay by sending your Kshs. 300 via M-Pesa to the number 0717 513 043

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Post Match: Thika Utd (H)

Leopards beat Thika United FIVE nil to maintain their leadership of the league table.

Kenyanstar wrote:-

Five Star AFC Leopards ran amok on Sunday afternoon in what was a masterclss as they drilled four goals to nothing against Thika United. Charles Okwemba earning his first call in the second leg justified his selection into the squad with his marauding runs that tantalised  the Thika defence. The first goal in a predator’s fashion, heading home a Bernard Mang’oli’s corner kick.

Thika did dominate procession later on with Moses Arita coming close to scoring for the Thika based side. Okwemba’s runs compounded with Floribert Ndayisaba’s master display in midfield did the harm to John Kamau’s side who had no answer to Okwemba’s second goal in the 41st minute courtesy of another Mang’oli’s dead ball.

Thika  came on a stronger side in the second half dominating the opening periods of the half. John Miruka had the best chance for Thika in the 50th minute when he beat Jonas Nahimana and Patrick Matasi to the ball but failed to find the net soon after. Coach John Kamau had to sacrifice Miruka for Kepher Aswani but this paid alittle to Thika.

In the 58th minute, LiberianDirdik Glay was booked for a foul on impressive Allan Wanga but the real news came in the 80th minute when Simon Mbugua turned an Allan Wanga’s cross into his own net. 

The third goal disjointed Thika United’s defence who later left holes in defence. Floribert Ndayisaba’s pinpoint cross did find Okwemba onside and the experienced midfielder beat Lucas Indeche with a low shot on the near post.

Substitute Laurent Tumba put the icing on the cake in injury time after breaking an offside trap to make it 5-0. Leopards are yet to conceed in the second leg of the KPL.

The takes Leopards 8 points clear, they have 45 points from 22 matches played so far. Thika on the other hand have soaked in nine goals in to matches.

Odindo Ayieko of Daily Nation wrote:-

Thika United became a highway of goals as AFC Leopards displayed a five-star performance, winning 5-0 at the Nyayo Stadium in the Kenyan Premier League.

Hosts Ulinzi Stars also beat City Stars 2-1 at Afraha Stadium to keep their title hopes alive.

Ingwe’s Charles Okwemba scored a hat-trick as Laurent Tumba added another and Thika United’s Simon Mbugua scored an own goal as AFC took their points tally to 44. Okwemba scored the first of his goals in the 15th minute, heading home a Floribert Ndayisaba corner and added another in the 30th minute in a similar fashion.

Thika gave as much as they received but were shy in front of goal, coming close many times after some erratic defending by Eric Masika and Jonas Nahimana but were wasteful as AFC led 2-0 at the break. In the second-half, Allan Wanga beat the offside trap and his shot was deflected by Mbugua into his own net.

Laurent Tumba added the fourth goal before Okwemba sealed Thika’s fate late in the game.

It was a welcome result for Leopards who had in the midweek dropped two points in their barren draw with Rangers. Coach Jan Koops was happy with the win, saying: “We are, of course, happy with the win, but we need to improve.”

MichezoAfrika wrote through Dennis Machio:-

AFC Leopards on Sunday ripped a youthful Thika United apart beating them 5-0 in a lively premier league match at the Nyayo stadium. Charles Okwemba scored a brace while  Eric Masika and Laurent Tumba got a goal each. Thika's Simon Mbugua scored an own goal to complete a powerful Ingwe rout as the former champions edged closer to the title. With the win, AFC Leopards opened an 8 points gap at the summit of the KPL league table with 44 points.

AFC started the match with a powerful attacking mindset attempting a quick one in the first five minutes though Thika custodian Lucas Indeche was equally agile to stop Wanga.

Charles Okwemba who came in place of Oscar Kadenge scored the first goal for AFC Leopards in the 13t minute, rising above the Thika defenders to head in a corner kick taken by Bernard Mang’oli.

Two minutes later Mike Barasa almost secured AFC the second goal with a scorching left foot shot but Indeche was equally superb with a lovely save. Allan Wanga two minutes later also came very close pacing his way ahead of the Thika United defense line on the right but his grass cutter shot went a few inches wide.

Thika United looked vulnerable in set pieces easily allowing AFC Leopards’ free space in the air. In the 41st minute, Eric Masika had the last touch with a header to score the second for AFC Leopards also from a corner.

The introduction of striker Kepha Aswani by Thika United in the second half injected fresh goal urgency for the youthful Thika United as they improved on their attack. In the 72nd minute Cliffton Miheso delivered a lovely lob that Matasi failed to handle but Moses Arita missed the close chance.

In the 75th minute, AFC Leopards found themselves 3-0 up after Mbugua scored in his own net under pressure from Mike Barasa. Mbugua attempted to cut out Allan Wanga’s well weighted cross from reaching an advancing Mike Barasa but instead he tapped the ball into his own net.

In the final ten minutes, Charles Okwemba added his second and substitute Laurent Tumba completed the rich harvest of goals for AFC Leopards from a counter attack chipping over an advancing Indeche for the 5th.

Miscalculation by keeper Patrick Matasi in injury time almost gifted Thika United a consolation goal but Nahimana was in place to clear the danger before it crossed the line as AFC finished the day with a heavy basket of goals and maximum three points.

Futaa wrote:-

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) table toppers AFC Leopards were in impressive as they beat Thika United 5-0 on Sunday 12 August 2012 at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The game started on a high tempo, Ingwe mid-season acquisition Idrissa Rajab making a blunder as his intended back pass to Eric Masika was almost intercepted by John Nairuka at the 4th minute.

Thika United’s Dirkir Glay won a free kick after he was fouled just outside at the eighth minute. He stepped up to take the free kick but shot straight into the AFC Leopards wall.

Charles Okwemba opened the scores at the 15th minute powering in a header past Thika United goalkeeper Lucas Indeche after a cross from Bernard Mangoli from the left wing.

Allan Wanga made a good run into Thika’s box in the 17th minute but shot wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Thika United moved forward in search of an equalizer and almost got it in the 21st minute, Francis Kahata made a good run in the left wing, but his resultant cross was cleared by Eric Masika. 

Eric Masika doubled the lead in the 41st minute heading in a Mike Baraza cross, halftime ending 2-0.

Thika United made several substitutions, Kepha Aswani coming in for John Nairuka and Tonny Kizito for Harambee Stars midfielder Dennis Odhiambo.

 Moses Arita missed a clear chance to score for Thika United as he headed wide after a perfect cross from the impressive Moses Arita at the 68th minute.

Thika United defender Samuel Mbugua scored an own goal in the 75th minute as he tried to clear a Mangoli long cross to make it 3-0 in favour of AFC Leopards. Charles Okwemba scored eight minutes later after a good long pass by Mangoli. Laurent Tumba finished the job by scoring with a low shot the 88th minute.

AFC Leopards top the KPL table with 44 points from 21 games and face 11th placed KCB on Sunday 26 August in their next game.

Collins Okinyo of Supersport wrote:

A Charles Okwemba brace inspired AFC Leopards to a 5-0 whipping of Thika United in a Kenyan Premier League clash played at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday. 

The win pushed Leopards to 44 points; eight clear off second placed Tusker and edging them closer to a first league title since 1998. 

In form Okwemba drew first blood for Ingwe heading home from close range from a corner to beat Thika's keeper Lucas Indeche in the 16th minute. 

Defender Eric Masika increased the goal tally in the 41st minute as he chested the ball past Indeche from a Charles Okwemba assist to give Leopards a two gaol cushion just before the break. 

The second half was not different despite the introduction of Thika United's top marksman Kepha Aswani as Leopards continued to torment the Thika defence with Allan Wanga and Mike Baraza in the thick of things as Indeche was forced to pull acrobatic saves. 

Thika defender Simon Mbugua conceded an own goal in the 76th minute as he misjudged a cross from Allan Wanga sliding the ball into his own net to give Leopards the third goal as the Ingwe fans became ecstatic singing and dancing. 

Okwemba completed his brace in the 86th minute as he placed the ball calmly past an advancing Lucas Indeche to give Leopards the fourth goal. 

Substitute Laurent Tumba sealed the massive win for Leopards with a fine shot that beat Indeche in Thika's goal on the stroke of full time. 

The loss was the second massive for Thika United having been beaten 4-1 by Sofapaka a week ago. 

KPL website wrote:-

AFC Leopards on Sunday made a crucial break in the race for the Kenyan Premier League title when they thrashed Thika United 5-0 to open an eight point gap between themselves [Leopards] and second-placed Tusker.

Leopards overwhelmed an awestruck Thika who meekly capitulated, even scoring an own goal to add to the deluge from Charles Okwemba (a brace), Eric Masika and Laurent Tumba.

Even though Tusker [36 points] have three matches in hand, from which they could earn points and take a point’s lead over Leopards [44 points], Leopards clearly sit in comfort.

The Brewers who were absent from League action during their recent poor appearance at the Cecafa Kagame Club Cup tournament in Tanzania, must first overcome Sofapaka, Mathare United and Sony Sugar to close the gap.

Leopards showed too much commitment and skill by several players to run off the pitch a Thika United side that may seem, by the score line, not to have tried.

The usual danger men for Leopards upfront, Mike Baraza and Allan Wanga, played their part but that they were not the ones on the sheet in such a high scoring match reminded everyone how strong in resources Leopards are.

Charles Okwemba, usually a contented creator from the middle of the park, this time found himself with the space and aimed accurately for a brace. First, he powered in a header after 15 minutes from a Bernard Mang’oli ball from the left flank.

Then when Leopards were already 3-0 up, Okwemba converted for the fourth and his second of the day.

Eric Masika had sent Leopards 2-0 into the break with a 41st minute goal from a goalmouth scramble, chesting in the final ball from Okwemba.

Thika United tried everything to steady their ship and claw their way back into contention, including bringing in Kepha Aswani, their goal scorer who was impressive in the first half of the season.

But Thika would continue struggling, the front running of Wanga and Baraza always difficult to contain.

In fact, from the pressure, defender Simon Mbugua conceded an own goal in the 76th minute as he misjudged a cross from Wanga, sliding the ball into the Thika net in the 76th minute to give Leopards a 3-0 lead.

After Okwemba made it 4-0, the scoring would not end until almost in the final whistle when substitute Laurent Tumba made it 5-0.

Leopards coach Jan Koops said his defence had continued to perform brilliantly, not letting in a single goal in six fixtures -- the entire second leg -- the last being in the 1-1 draw with Sony Sugar on June 20.

He said players’ competition because of a good “bench” had made everybody work harder.

AFC LEOPARDS - 1. Patrick Matasi: 5. Edwin Wafula, 17. Jonas Nahimana, 40. Eric Masika, 46. Idrissa Rajab, 4. Martin Imbalambala (captain), 10. Charles Okwemba, 22. Bernard Mang’oli, 9. Allan Wanga, 18. Floribert Ndayisaba Tambwe, 11. Mike Baraza
Reserves - 19. Barnabas Tiema, Gk; 26. Robert Syongo, 3. Abbasi Kiwalabye, 30. Samuel “Misse” Mwangi, 12. Augustine Etemesi, 7. Oscar Kadenge, 8. Laurent Tumba
Scorers – 10. Charles Okwemba (16’ 86’), 40. Eric Masika (41’), 8. Laurent Tumba (90’)
Coach - Jan Koops [The Netherlands]
THIKA UNITED - 22. Lucas Indeche: 31. Simon Mbugua, 32. Morris Dukuly, 35. Dirkir Glay, 12. Vincent Nyaberi (captain), 4. Dennis Odhiambo, 26. Michael Alubisi, 40. Francis Kahata, 2. Clifton Miheso, 20. Moses Arita, John Nairuka
Reserves - 23. John Njenga, Gk; 6. Michael Bodo, 7. Kennedy Otieno, 13. Joseph Kuria, 28. Tony Kizito, 19. Kepha Aswani, 15. Geoffrey Muhando
Scorer - 31. Simon Mbugua (76’, own goal)
Coach - James Omondi
* * * *
Referee - Nasur Doka
Assistant ref - Jane Cherono
Asst ref - Peter Sabatia
Reserve ref - David Gikonyo
Mach commissioner - Samuel Omwoyo

Previous 5-0 League wins by Leopards:-

1. 29.05.65 v Eldoret
2. 21.10.67 v Maseno
3. 02.12.67 v Nakuru All Stars
4. 23.11.73 v Prisons
5. 19.02.75 v Kenya Police
6. 04.09.77 v Mwenge
7. 09.09.79 v Western Stars
8. 30.09.79 v Mwenge
9. 03.09.83 v Nakuru Wanderers
10. 06.05.84 v Lake Warriors
11. 16.05.84 v Benham
12. 23.11.85 v Motcom
13. 30.11.85 v Mombasa Wanderers
14. 28.06.87 v Feisal
15. 07.08.88 v Kericho All Stars
16. 28.08.88 v Mombasa Wanderers
17. 23.09.89 v Nyeri Stima
18. 04.11.89 v Lake Warriors
19. 30.08.92 v Scarlet
20. 01.09.96 v Kenya Navy
21. 15.03.03 v Meru Bombers
22. 12.08.12 v Thika United


Pre Match: Thika Utd (H)

MichezoAfrika writes:-

That Thika United play better away than at home is no news to Leopards’ tactician Jan Koops. The two teams are set to lock horns on Sunday evening at the Nyayo National Stadium and the tactician has prepared his players to keep their concentration to their best against an equally lethal side.

“We beat them 2-1 in the first leg but that was history. On Sunday, it will be a different ball game altogether. Thika United play very good football away from home and we expect a difficult game against them.”

“They are very dangerous on counter attacks and to be able to contain them we have to ensure we close them on their spaces to reduce their activity on and off the ball,” says the Dutch trained tactician.

Koops has also said that Paul Were and Victor Ochieng both of whom were injured and missed the last three fixtures have recovered and started training though they are not ready to be fielded just yet.

Leopards will have a chance to go eight points clear at the top of the table though they will have played 21 matches, with second placed Tusker having three less.

Timothy Olubulu writes again:-

As Coach Jan Koops seeks to open up a good gap at the top of the log, he has decided to maintain 99% of the squad that started against Rangers on Thursday. He will only make one change with Charles Okwemba  coming  in place of  Oscar Kadenge who will start on the bench.

Koops will also employ a different strategy to the one he used against Rangers where he played with five midfielders; three in the centre and two on the wing. This time round, he will play more of the conventional 4-4-2 formation with Wanga and Barasa twin striking.

 Full Line up:Patrick Matasi, Edwin Wafula, Erick Masika, Jonas Nahimana, Idrissa Rajab, Bernard Mangoli, Floribert Tambwe, Martin Imbalambala, Charles Okwemba, Allan Wanga, Mike Baraza

Subs; Barnabas Tiema, Robert Syongo, Abbas Kiwalabye , Oscar Kadenge, Misse,Augustine Etemesi,Laurent  Tumba

Futaa writes:

AFC Leopards have made one change to the side that drew with Rangers FC, for the Kenyan Premier League clash with Thika United.

Former captain Charles Okwemba replaces Oscar Kadenge in the starting line-up for the clash with Thika at the Nyayo National Stadium today Sunday 12 August 2012.

Kadenge drops to the bench, while Jimmy Bagaye drops out of the squad all together.

Otherwise, it is the usual line-up for Ingwe, with Patrick Matasi in goal, the back four of Edwin Wafula, Jonas Nahimana, Eric Masika and Idrissa Rajab.

Allan Wanga and Mike Barasa will lead the line upfront for the match that will kick-off starting 1500 hrs local time.

AFC Leopards line-up for Thika United

Starting XI: Patrick Matasi (GK), Edwin Wafula, Idrissa Rajab, Jonas Nahimana, Eric Masika, Floribert Ndayisaba, Bernard Mang’oli, Martin Imbalambala (Cpt), Charles Okwemba, Allan Wanga, Mike Barasa
Subs: Barnabas Tiema (GK), Abbas Kiwalabye, Amon Muchiri, Oscar Kadenge, Laurent Tumba, Samuel Misse Mwangi, Augustine Etemesi
Coach: Jan Koops

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Post Match: Rangers (A)

Leopards dropped two crucial points against Rangers after being held to a barren draw.

MichezoAfrika reported:

After the barren draw at the Nyayo National Stadium on Thursday afternoon, Rangers would go home the happier side though alittle disappointed that they could not use the many chances they had on their sleeves.

For a team struggling at the bottom of the table, James Nandwa’s side showed the resilience they need to earn a point against the table topping Leopards. Jan Koops’ charges needed to extend their lead at the apex to get off the chasing pack of Tusker, Ulinzi Stars and Thika United.

The Leopards had the early chances of the first half, Jonas Nahimana hitting the side netting from a freekick while Floribert Ndayisaba shot wide from a good angle.

The second half was more active as both teams increased their attacks. Rangers were more colourful upfront with Erick Muranda and Edwin Ombasa being most creative.

Leopards were almost 1-0 up with nine minutes played in the second half but thanks to Victor Omondi’s acrobatic turn, Rangers kept afloat. Edgar Waudo almost scored an own goal with a header, trying to defend Oscar Kadenge’s cross from the right. Allan Wanga blasted the rebound on Tom Onyango’s ches.

Rangers had a chance with 59 minutes played. Erick Ochieng struck a fierce freekick from 30 yards out, keeper Patrick Matasi failing to hold on to the ball. Erick Muranda blasted the rebound over the bar. Five minutes later, Ochieng’ was once again haunting the Ingwe backline.

The former Karuturi striker blasted tha ball way over the bar after beating the offside trap from a clever Erick Muranda ball. Sensing that they needed a win, Coach Koops decided to throw in his first sub, pulling out a defender, Idrissa Rajab for Jimmy Bagaye. Jonas Nahimana then pulled off to left back with the central defense being made up of Imbalambala and Masika.

Allan Wanga then hit the ball out with the 68th minute from a Benard Mang’oli cross.
Rangers went on with their attacks seeking to find that goal. Leopards too pushed hard and as the game progressed, frustrations started creeping in. Erick Masika was yellow carded after an outburst with the referee who had given Rangers a freekick he thought they did not deserve.

Just a minute later, Leopards were screaming again at the referee after he failed to award what looked like a penalty after a goal mouth melee from a corner.

Laurent Tumba had a shot go wide in the 85th minute with his second touch of the ball after coming on for Mike Barasa.

Rangers would almost snatch victory at the death but keeper Matasi made a wonderful save from a Tony Onyango header.

Futaa reported:-


58'  Edgar Waudo   0-0

73'  Tonny Onyango for Eric Ochieng   0-0

80' 0-0 Jimmy Bageya for Idrisa Rajab
89' 0-0 Laurent Tumba for Mike Baraza
90'  Tyron Owino for Eric Muranda   0-0

90' 0-0 Augustine Etemesu for Oscar Kadenge
90' 0-0 Eric Masika
90'  Patrick Njuguna   0-0

Match Commentary

90'+2   FT 0-0
90'  +1 Augustine Etemesi IN, Kadenge OUT
90'   Eric Masika yellow carded
90'   Rangers' Patrick Macharia yellow-carded
90'      Tonny Onyango fails to convert an easy chance he gets
89'  Mike Baraza Out, Tumba IN
82'      Wanga receives a clean through-pass from Kadenge but he shoots over the bar
80'      First AFC Sub: Jimmy Bagaye IN, Idrissa Rajab OUT
68'  Julius Owino yellowcarded
67'     Muranda finds Eric Ochieng with a great pass. Ochieng finds himself in a one-on-one  situation with Matasi but shoots wide
64'     Mangoli gets a shot from 25 metres but shoots over the bar. The match is now opening up
62'     Rangers' Tony Onyango shoots a free-kick goalwards and Matasi fails to catch it properly. Muranda finds the rebound but he shoots wide
58' Edward Waudo Yellow-carded
49'    Mang'oli with a nice shot on the edge of the box, but shoots wide
46'    Wanga has a chance within the box but his shot volleys over the bar
45'    Half-Time
43'   Imbalambala heads the ball over the bar after finding a free-kick taken by Mike Baraza
39'   Kadenge also penalized for a foul throw
38'  Imbalambala penalized for a foul throw
37'  Eric Muranda gets a shot outside the box but it is deflected by Nahimana before Matasi pounces on it.
28'  Oscar Kadenge receives a great pass from Wanga but fails to convert it, shooting it to keeper Victor Omondi's hands
27'  Baldwin Ngwa tries to make a cross into AFC's box but Matasi marks it
26'  Imbalambala with a great chance to shot outside the box but hits the ball wide
23'  Rangers getting into the match, pushing AFC's defense back
19'  Rangers' Eric Muranda comes close to scoring but his shot goes over the bar
10' Wanga shoots an awarded free-kick directly into the wall
1'   Match is on
Starting XI: Victor Omondi[GK], Emmanuel Chimaroke, Julius Owino, Edwin Oudo, Tom Onyango, Thomas Biketi, Patrick Macharia, Edward Ombasa, Eric Muranda, Eric Ochieng , Baldwin Ngwa Substitutes: Raphael Omondi [GK], Tony Onyango, Michel Ochieng, Tyron Owino, Alfred Chege, David Kataka, Evans Ogutu 

Are we getting back to the old soccer dark age? AFC Leopards fans held hostage the match officials after their barren draw against Rangers at the Nyayo National Stadium accusing them of bias. Centre referee Richard Obare was the subject of controversy as it was also alleged that he was involved in a verbal ultercation with Leopards defender Erick Masika.

Angry fans bayed for the officials’ blood as they barricaded the exit, while a few of them started throwing objects into the pitch.

Police had to quickly swing into action and they threatened to hurl teargas canisters but a concerted effort from a few AFC Leopards officials and a reknowned journalist prevented them.

After consultations, the officials safely exited through Gate six but a few fans enraged fans followed them to the the other side,leaving the police with no option but to use teargas to disperse the them.

Futaa also reported:-

After their 0-0 draw with Rangers, AFC Leopards’ fans expressed their disappointment with the day’s officiating, and proceeded to block the referee and his assistants from exiting the pitch.

It took the intervention of police, who had to lob tear-gas canisters at the now rowdy fans, to allow the officials sneak out through Gate Six, which is directly below the Russia terraces.

The match was played at the Nyayo Stadium, on Thursday 9 August, starting 1200hrs.

KPL website wrote:

Not surprisingly, Rangers were composed and committed as they held a frustrated AFC
Leopards to a 0-0 draw on Thursday at the National Stadium. 

Typical of struggling teams in the Kenyan Premier League, which never stop sniping at the big guns, lowly Rangers were no different against Leopards who are perched at the top of the table. 

The match was unplayable on Wednesday night due to torrential rains before it could start. After the rescheduled mid-day kick off on Thursday, it was Rangers, just one place off the bottom of the table, who clearly looked more industrious. 

Rangers calmly dealt with Leopards’ early attacks and when they kept off the dangers posed by Jonas Nahimana, [free kick] new man Floribert Ndayisaba [shot just wide] Oscar Kadenge, Martin Imbalambala and Allan Wanga, they were not a team overawed at all by their more illustrious opponents. In fact Eric Muranda and Baldwin Ngwa had close chances in front of the Leopards goal inside the opening 25 minutes. 

Rangers threatened in the 62nd minute, Tony Onyango’s free-kick troubling Patrick Matasi in the Leopards goal and from the re-bound Muranda should have done better than going wide. 

Eric Ochieng’ then broke through five minutes later and with only Matasi to beat placed the ball wide. Scenes at the end of the match depicted a Leopards following that did not expect anything like the stiff competition they got from Rangers. 

Some Leopards’ supporters blamed referee Richard Obare for bias and attempted to manhandle him at the end of the match. Police had to intervene. 

League action continues on Friday, KCB and Chemelil meeting at the City Stadium to usher in the weekend programme. Other highlights include Leopards playing Thika United at the National Stadium on Sunday and Gor Mahia going to the International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Monday evening to face Sofapaka.