Monday, March 30, 2009

Tunisia Beat Kenya

Kenyan perspective Harambee Stars started the final race for South Africa 2010 on a wrong footing, going down 2-1 to Tunisia at a sold-out Coca-Cola National Stadium on Saturday.

Stars coach Antoine Hey employed a 5-3-2 formation and looked to have contained the Tunisians but for the two blunders that were decisively punished.

Yes, we can lose!

As the heavens opened making the pitch slippery, Amar benefited from a slip by Pascal Ochieng in the box to turn neatly and beat Noah Ayuko from close range.

A swift counter by Kenya involving Musa Otieno and Patrick Oboya created an opportunity for Oliech, closely watched all evening by Birmingham City defender Raidhi Jaidi, to score the equaliser and his fifth of the campaign.

The ecstatic crowd had hardly calmed down when Jemaa dispossessed Robert Mambo to race clear before calmly beating the advancing Ayuko.

The scoreline showed the difference between the two sides. Tunisian got two chances from nothing and took them while Kenya dominated possession and territorial play but could not put in the important items.

Tunisian perspective Sure it wasn’t pretty and damn was it stressful but the Carthage Eagles are leaving Nairobi tonight with three precious points to start off their World Cup qualification campaign on the right foot.

If you want a brief synopsis of how the game went you can check here.

Both our goals were pleasing on the eye but this match was not easy as some had expected it to be (not me, I predicted 2-1 and here I am smiling!).

Ayuko... a goalie who was never there!

The pitch did not favor our style of play and the rain only made it worse. You have to hand it to the Kenyans though, they really gave us problems and full credit to them for fighting their hardest.

Excellent photos here
More pics
More youtube

If only Origi as up there!

Player right? How come you aren't playing!

Time wasting... oh what joy when you are leading.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Agro Chemicals Wins

Papa Shirandula sings his heart out as Leopards go down

Francis Ocholla scored twice as Agrochemicals came from a goal down to beat AFC Leopards 2-1 at the Coca Cola National Stadium. Leopards had taken an early lead after Sebastian Muchera scored within the first minute. An out of sorts Leopards finished with ten men after Alfred Chege was sent off in the dying minutes.

Watch video here

Leopards crumble under Supersport cameras for second televised game

KPL website report

Bottom Kenyan Premier League club AFC Leopards were dealt another blow when they went down to a 1-2 home loss against Agro Chemicals at the Coca Cola Stadium, Nairobi on Saturday.

The once-great Leopards continued their uphill struggle to make an impression in the competition they have returned to after two years in the relegated second division.

Leopards had a good second half in which they pinned Agro Chemicals to their half. Many chances were missed by Leopards forwards.

At the start Leopards seemed the luckier team of the day when Kenya national squad member Sebastian Muchera gave them a celebrated opener, finding the net only in the 43rd second after kick-off.

But Agro Chemicals, a team which finished very strongly last season and earned third place, hit back almost immediately. Francis Ocholla got the first of his afternoon's brace in the third minute. He was on the mark again in the 19th minute.

The match was the early [1pm] kick-off of the day's double-header televised live by SuperSport from the Coke Stadium.


AFC Leopards - 16. Charles Onyango, 23. Alfred Chege, 3. Collins Kisuya, 2. Robert Indimuli, 11. Allan Huma, 15. Geoffey Shikanda (5. Mike Njihia), 10. Tafadzwa Dondo (20. Jesse Were), 8. Roy Waiswa, 6. Francis Xavier (22. Ben Baraza), 9. Ben Mukaisi, 14. Sebastian Muchera

Reserves not used - 30. Maxwel Malaba, 17. Authur Weyula, 4. David Ochieng, 24. Humphrey Oyando

Scorer - 14. Sebastian Muchera (1')

Coach - Edward Manoah

Agro Chemicals - 1. Frederick Onyango, 15. Wellington Murwayi, 5. Michael Kitika, 3. Peter Okore, 6. Robert Syongo, 24. Yusuf Siruma, 10. Francis Ocholla, 17. Nichola Ochieng, 30. Hussein Puzzo, 7. Gordon Okoth (18. Ben Oyoyo), 16. Humphrey Alemba (11. Wray Odhiambo)

Reserves not used - 28. Eric Wasike, 8. Oduor, 20. Ibrahim Ateng, 12. Edwin Odhiambo

Scorers - 10. Francis Ocholla (3', 19')

Coach - Henry Omino

Referee - Joseph Okiru

Sunday Nation report

In Nairobi, AFC Leopards just cannot get their first Kenyan Premier League win, on Saturday going down 2-1 to Agrochemicals at the CocaCola National Stadium.

Two strikes from Francis Ocholla cancelled out Sebastain Muchera’s 47th second goal with interest to condemn the former glory club to their fourth loss of the season.

A sea of blue and white – the tradition colours of AFC Leopards – on the packed main stand and throbbing beats of Isukuti seemed to have set the mood right for the home boys who scored one of the fastest goal in the KPL.

Pressed hard

Leopards broke on the right moments after kick off and Harambee Stars trialist Muchera showed just why he has attracted the attention of national selectors with an accurate finish.

Agro hit back almost immediately with the dangerous Ocholla getting the time to beat Leopards goalkeeper Charles Onyango three minutes later.

Agro ensured three points when Ocholla played the ball over Leopards central defender Allan Huma – conspicuous in his raised long hair - for an encumbered effort into the net in the 19th minute.

Half time stats

Leopards pressed hard to rescue the tie with Muchera and Dennis Mukaisa coming close in the second but they just did not have the quality to beat the determined Agrochemicals.

Alfred Chege was shown the red card three minutes into time added on to cap a disappointing day in the office for Leopards.

League Standings

1Thika United6414
3Western Stima6311
4City Stars6310
5Mathare United628
7Sher Karuturi628
9Ulinzi Stars628
10Gor Mahia627
14Red Berets616
15Chemelil Sugar615
16AFC Leopards602

Full Standings

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Team Manager

Sources indicate that Wellingtone Lidonde popularly known as Tony Lidonde
and also popularly known as 'Mkombozi' has been appointed the new Leopards team manager.

It appears that he is taking over from Edward Manoah who has been promoted to the Head Coach position vacated by Gilbert Selebwa.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Harambee Stars

There were no Kenya Premier league matches this weekend as the national football team Harambee Stars were playing Iran, in Tehran.
AFC Leopards provided one player, Sebastian Muchera, in the tourists party.

To watch video of goal...

To watch match highlights click here

Here is the full match report.

به گزارش خبرگزاري ورزشي ايسنا، تيم ملي فوتبال ايران عصر روز شنبه در يك بازي تداركاتي مقابل تيم ملي كنيا قرار گرفت و با نتيجه يك بر صفر پيروز شد. تنها گل ايران در دقيقه 55 از روي نقطه پنالتي توسط حسين كاظمي به ثمر رسيد.

اين بازي در حضور حدود 10 هزار تماشاگر در ورزشگاه آزادي با قضاوت جهانبازي انجام شد. در اين ديدار تيم ملي ايران بازي نه چندان جالبي را مقابل تيم كنيا كه 10 بازيكن لژيونر خود را با خود به ايران نياورده بود ارائه داد.

خستگي در ساق‌هاي برخي بازيكنان تيم ايران كه در چهار تيم باشگاهي نماينده‌ي ايران در ليگ قهرمانان آسيا حضور داشتند كاملا مشهود بود و البته ديگر بازيكنان ملي‌پوش تيم ايران نيز انگيزه چنداني براي ارائه يك بازي جدي و روبه جلو نداشتند.

فوتبال عرضي و دادن پاس‌هاي مكرر در عرض زمين و رساندن توپ به كناره‌ها و سانتر از جناحين از برنامه‌هاي عمده تيم ايران در اين مسابقه بود.

در مقابل تيم كنيا هم انگيزه چنداني براي پيروزي از خود در اين مسابقه نشان نداد و بعضا موقعيت‌هايي را بر روي دروازه تيم ايران ايجاد كرد كه ثمري براي اين تيم نداشت و بازي با همان يك گل به پايان رسيد.

OK... sorry!!!

The Iranians started showing their attack
straight from the photo op...

Kenyans wore yellow in tribute to recently fired coach Kimanzi.

Iran managed to defeat Kenya 1-0 in a friendly match in Tehran's Azadi stadium Saturday afternoon. Hossein Kazemi scored the goal of the day from the penalty spot.

Both teams had to do without their foreign contingent, Belgium based Victor Mugabe being the only exception. Ali Daei also avoided to use any player who's club is involed in AFC Champions League action next week for more than 45 minutes.

The Team Melli boss went for a 4-1-3-2 formation with Rahmati in goal, the meanwhile usual fourback, Maziar Zare as lone defensive midfieder and Sattar Zare, debutant Ahmad Jamshidian and Mohammad Reza Khalatbari behind the strikers Gholamreza Rezaei and Jalal Rafkhaei in first half.

In an open first half Iran were the dominant side, but the first chance fell for the technically gifted and physically strong Kenyans, but Germinal Beerschot's Mugabe, after getting past Iran's skipper, Hossein Kaebi, hammered the ball over the bar (12').

Iran then had three opportunities to break the deadlock, the first when Kenya's goalkeeper Ayuko misjudged a Hassan Ashajari cross and Rezaei got to the ball, but was hindered from scoring the open net by the last defender (17').

Five minutes later, Khalatbari's excellent long pass put Rezaei one on one with Ayuko, but the Saba Battery striker's lob was slightly too high and landed on top of the net.

Another two minutes later Iran wasted an excellent scoring chance when Rezaei's throughball found Jamshidian very close to the goal, but the Sepahan offensive man's finishing touch was, like his overall display, unconvincing, as his effort scraped past the long post where also Rafkhaei narrowly slided past the ball.

In minute 29, Owino easily got rid of Ashjari on Iran's left defensive side and unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the area, but Rahmati was equal to the effort.

Second half began with four changes to Ali Daei's side, one of them almost immediately paying off when Hossein Kazemi got the ball right at the penalty spot after a corner kick, but his shot got blocked and went wide (46').

Just a minute later a counter attack could have brought Kenya in front, but Muchera didn't get his shot on target.

Finally Iran broke the deadlock when a penalty was awarded for Iran after Rafkhaei had found himself one on one with the keeper following a great throughball from substitute striker Siavash Akbarpour. Rafkhaei had dribbled past Ayuko but was clearly fouled. Kazemi converted the absolutely justified spot kick perfectly after 55 minutes.

Iran controlled the proceedings in the minutes after the goal and Kenya, despite the deficit, barely took any risks to go for an equalizer. Apart from a few shots from far outside the area, Rahmati in Iran's goal had a calm afternoon.

Rafkhaei should have added his name to the scoresheet in the 78th minute, but the Malavan Anzali striker headed the ball inches wide from close range after an excellent Sattar Zare cross from the right wing.

Iran again came close to doubling the lead when Ayuko failed to hold on to a well struck shot from Sattar Zare, but Akbarpour came moments too late to convert the rebound (84').

Akbarpour got another chance shortly later when Majid Gholamnejad, in an unusual central offensive midfield role in second half, sent a good pass to the Esteghlal Tehran striker, but the latter had to see his shot fly past the near post.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Leopards Draw Sofapaka

AFC Leopards drew 1-1 with Sofapaka FC in a battle of newly promoted teams played at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. It was a match that had 'Daylight Robbery' written across it as referee James Otieno disallowed a legitimate Leopards goal that would perhaps secured Leopards first win of the season.

The Standard reports

Sofapaka came from a goal down to share the spoils with AFC Leopards in this Kenya Premier League match at Kasarani.

Leopards went up early in the first half, thanks to a12th minute goal by Godfrey Shikanda.

The former champions should have been two goals up in the 30th minute, but were denied what looked a genuine goal when Sofapaka goalkeeper George Opiyo punched into his own net.

Instead of allowing the goal, assistant referee Nathaniel Ndwigwa raised the flag for an off-side.

After dominating the first half, Leopards were on the receiving end in the second as their opponents held them in their half.

It took less than 20 minutes before the newcomers equalised and Leopards goalkeeper Charles Onyango should blame himself for allowing such an easy goal.

Onyango failed to hold onto a harmless ball by Herman Wandera which fell on the legs of Bob Mugalia and he tapped home Sofapaka’s equaliser.

Leopards had one last chance to go up in the 75th minute, but Opiyo stretched to keep out Tafadzwa Dondo’s strike inside Sofapaka’s danger zone.

Veteran Zablon Amanaka was cautioned late in the second half for a bad tackle on Leopard’s striker Dondo.

The KPL website reports

AFC Leopards, the bottom team, led with a 12th minute goal by Godfrey Shikanda but Sofapaka's Bob Mugalia hit back in the 64th minute for the teams to share the points at Kasarani. New KPL side, Sofapaka, unbeaten so far, found the going tough against a Leopards side that showed promise of become competitive in the future.

Two sweeping attacks produced a goal for each team.

The two sides played determinedly, Leopards desperately trying to stem the tide of a poor start in the competition they have been absent from for two years and rookie side Sofapaka attempting to maintain their incredible performance that has seen them stay up there with the leaders.

In the 12th minute, Godfrey Shikanda possessed from a quick counter-attack by Leopards, evaded two defenders before firing from 30 yards out. George Opiyo in the Sofapaka goal had no chance.

The goal showed Leopards intent of grabbing their first win of the season, which would have raised lifted them at least three slots from their current bottom.

But like their skipper Francis Xavier was to say after the match, slip-ups in their defence cost them two valuable points.

This Leopards' flaw was exploited by Sofapaka in the 64th minute. Attacking with speed on the right flank Sofapaka's Evans Wandera fired at Charles Onyango from a narrow angle at the near post and the Leopards 'keeper could not hold letting the ball become a perfect cross for Bob Mugalia who tapped it into an empty goal.

Sofapaka had worked hard for the equaliser and by the time it came they had already made two very early substitutions; Wandera and Dennis Odhiambo came in simultaneously in the 49th minute. They added a lot of punch to their side resulting in the goal and a spirited hunt for the second.

In the 56th and 72nd minute, Leopards goalie Charles Onyango was forced to make two acrobatic saves from the legs of danger man Patrick Kagongo, scorer of their last week's great in their 2-1 win over Chemelil Sugar at the venue.

Leopards also had chances to knick the winner. After resting the tired Nigerian Umekwe Ekene and bringing in Tafadzwa Dondo the Zimbabwean brought live and inspiration up front. Dennis Mukaisi came close to a goal in the 75th minute when he was set through by Dondo but his shot was parried over the bar for a fruitless corner by Opiyo.

Xavier the Leopards skipper appealed to their supporters to remain patient as the teams works on hitting a winning run.

"Manchester United [English Premier League leaders] started on a poor note and where are they now?

Sofapaka coach Robert Matano said he was happy with the outcome but claimed: "We deserved to win. We created many chances but Leopards introduced delaying tactics when they were leading, this destabilised my team's attacking pace."


AFC Leopards - 1. Charles Onyango, 3. Collins Kisuya, 23. Alfred Chege, 11. Allan Ogal, 2. Robert Indimuli, 15. Godfrey Shikanda, 6. Francis Xavier (10. Tafadzwa Dondo, 88'), 26. Umekwe Ekene (14. Sebastian Muchera, 84'), 8. Roy Waiswa (4. David Ochieng', 88'), 7. Farid Ahmed, 9. Dennis Mukaisi

Reserves not used - 30. Maxwell Malaba, 18. Roy Syamba, 22. Ben Barasa, 24. Jaffery Oyando

Scorer - 15. Godfrey Shikanda (12')

Coach - Eddie Manoah

Sofapaka - 1. George Opiyo, 14. James Situma, 13. Ezekiel Akwana (4. Dimonde Selenge, 81'), 5. Zablon Amanaka, 26. Franklin Osama, 28. Erick Bukaru (22. Evans Wandera, 49'), 2. Anthony Kimani, 17. Salim Khamis Kinje (12. Ben Odhiambo, 49'), 10. Patrick Kagogo, 11.Charles Lepapa, 9. Bon Mugalia

Reserves not used - 29. Wilson Obungu, 16. Michael Khamadi, 13. Levi Lisakha, 33. Robson Dondo

Scorer - 9. Bob Mugalia (64')

Coach - Robert Matano

Referee - James Otieno (Nairobi)

Sofapaka goalie beaten all the way...

Leopards celebrate Shikanda's cracker...

Sofapaka fans behaving badly by walking in the pitch whilst the match is going on and a corner is being taken.

Sofapaka celebrate their equaliser

Leopards fans in a pensive

AFC Leopards have a free kick

Captain's post match interview

League Standings

1Thika United5413
2Western Stima5310
4Mathare United527
7Sher Karuturi527
8City Stars527
9Ulinzi Stars527
10Red Berets516
11Gor Mahia526
15Chemelil Sugar514
16AFC Leopards502

Full Standings

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gor Mahia Beat AFC

Before the match, all talk had been on the AFC Leopards winless streak in the Kenya Premier League. What a time it would be to break the duck against Gor Mahia.

Gor fans joked about the Leopards goalkeeper whom the referred to as 'Calamity Charles' in the same vein David James had been once dubbed 'Calamity James'. We were hopeful that no photo of Onyango clad in an AFC Leopards crescent-less Prostar kit would appear in the daily press.

The Leopards had suspended indefinitely (a euphemism for fired, perhaps) the coach Gilbert 'Celeb' Selebwa and in his place, Edward Manoah was acting.

Ingwe Fan sadly wasnt able to make the trip to Kasarani but thanks to Supersport, no action was missed.

To view the goals as televised by Supersport click here

Right from the beginning, it appeared odds were stacked against the leopards. Carol Radull had her usual prediction of a 2-1 scoreline against AFC; the TV channel wasn't able to even get the Leopards name right. Leopaerds? And Leopards turned out in the all blue kit used in they had used Nationwide League. Gor therefore looked surprisingly the well oiled team with their Adidas kit complete with their new logo; whilst Leopards chose to ignore their red away Healy kit in favour of the Prostar kit with the old logo.

Alfred Chege even turned out in a number 23 kit which really was a number 2 with cellotape making out the number 3. Supersport had Benard Otieno and Ghost Mulees its commentators. They did a good job with gems such as: Ekene is a Nigerian person from Nigeria. Priceless.

My South African friend Tshego wasn't very impressed with the Leopards and was quick to sent a text expressing concern. Fortunately, the Kaizer Chiefs she supports also lost and there ended the banter.

In the end, Charles Onyango still made the Sunday Nation.

Granted, he had just made a great save of a penalty kick but then conceded a goal as the napping Leopards defence reacted slowly to his heroics and let Zablon Otieno score as pictured above. The Leopards defence had also accounted for Gor Mahia's equalizing goal.

The KPL Website Report

Gor Mahia 3 AFC Leopards 2

Gor Mahia went home smiling after dramatically turning around their fortunes.

Their deserved win over Leopards, done in fine style because even in the old days these old enemies hardly ever scored more than the odd goal against each other, saw Gor shoot up from the lowest rung to suddenly No. 4 on the table.

These were two eager sets of players, very much unheralded, but looking like dedicated men who can do with some good coaching to get them to the top.

Leopards were better in the opening stages and it was because their forwards, especially Zimbabwean Tafadza Dondo, were threatening, that frantic defending called for Gor Mahia hacking Dondo to the ground in the box just in the fourth minute.

Skipper Francis Xavier stepped up to take the penalty and give Leopards the lead.

It was short-lived because Gor did not just lie down and die; they pressed. And in a move that got the Leopards' defence on the back-foot, their last man, Allan "Thuram" Ogal, who found himself hotly pursued by Gor attackers and he turned Francis Akang'o's lobbed ball into his own net in the seventh minute.

It was then flowing football from end to end when Dondo's stunner of a shot almost knocked off the cross bar that kept the ball out with Gor 'keeper Frederick well beaten in the 19th minute.

Gor played without their coach, James Siang'a, who was serving a two- match Kenyan Premier League ban for bad behaviour in a recent league match. But the Gor boys were not about to let down their stand-in coach, Gideon Ochieng', who must have admired his boys fighting spirit.

Habil Otieno dribbled his way to inside the Leopards box and two players double-teamed to stop his move, bringing him to the ground. Otieno stepped up to take the penalty but he hit it directly to the hands of Charles Onyango. However, the shot had enough power for the Leopards' 'keeper to fail to catch it clean.

The rebound did not find Zablon Otieno in an easy position and he commendably got past two defenders and the goalie before squeezing the ball in past the near post from a narrow angle.

Habil Otieno's personal contribution to the scoreboard came at the end of a sweeping attack by Gor Mahia in the 54th minute. He was the final man to break through and guided the ball into an empty Leopards' goal when Onyango moved out to confront him.

A 3-1 lead by any of the two teams in this battle of "The Old Firm" is always a rarity rather then the norm. Leopards did all they could to reduced the arrears. Dennis Mukaisi's header from a Xavier corner went just inches wide and Leopards smelt that Gor would perhaps crack in the last quarter of an hour.

Gor, under pressure had defender Stephen Otieno handling a high ball and Xavier converted his second penalty of the day in the 75th minute.

Then second half substitute Farid Ahmed had an excellent chance for an equaliser when he was through and with just the goalkeeper, shot to his hands in the 85th minute.

The loss condemned Leopards to a further stay at the foot of the table but the fact that their bitter rivals had vaulted to the upper ends must be incentive enough for Leopards to want to think that they can also do it.


Gor Mahia - 1. Jerry Frederick Onyango, 14. Eric Masika, 4. Julius Owino (captain), 2. Francis Akang'o, 21. Nathan Munai (30. Elisha Ochieno, 78'), 28. Nicholas Otieno Ochieng, 19. Solomon Nasio, 12. Peter Opiyo Odhiambo, 9. Chris Wekesa (7. John Ringo, 60'), 17. Habil Otieno (26. Stephen Otieno, 57'), 10. Zablon Otieno

Reserves not used - 16. Ronny George Kagozi, 25. George Odhiambo, 22. Tony Onyango, 24. Ibrahim Kitawi

Scorers - 11. Allan Huma (7', own goal), 10. Zablon Otieno (25'), 17. Habil Otieno (54')

Coach - Gideon Ochieng'

Leopards - 16. Charles Onyango: 12. Jackton Opanda, 23. Alfred Chege, 17. Arthur Wefula, 11. Allan Huma, 10. Tafadzawa Dondo (30. Maxwell Mulaba), 6. Francis Xavier (captain), 13. Roy Syamba, 18. Tom Wango (8. Roy Waiswa, 60') 9. Dennis Mukhaisi, 14. Sebastian Muchera (7. Farid Ahmed, 56')

Reserves not used - 4. David Ochieng', 26. Umekwe Ekene, 8. Roy Waiswa, 3. Collins Kisuya, 15. Geoffrey Shikanda

Scorers - 6. Francis Xavier (4', 75')

Coach - Edward Manoah

Referee - Chrispine Oduor (Nairobi)

The Nation Report

Chants of “AFC! AFC!” fought for air space with drones of “Gor,Gor Mahia!” as the two sets of fans urged their teams on, reminiscent of the good old days.

And while the quality did not match that of the lost golden era the sheer drama on and off the pitch more than made up for it.

The Standard Report

Two of the five goals scored came via the penalty spot.

Actually Leopards were the ones who scored both goals through the penalty. Francis Xavier is now the leading scorer. And Leopards, is still winless.

The Nairobi Star meanwhile reports that Gor left the duties of gate collection to KPL and that the amount collected was counted in the absence of Gor Mahia. The game was a double header with the Sofapaka-Chemelil Sugar game and the proceeds were to be shared with Sofapaka.

The next Leopards match to be televised will be the game against Agro Chemicals on 21st March. This will also be a double header after the match pitting Sofapaka and KCB.

For those interested, there is a confirmation of the Mickey Weche incident.

League Standings

1Thika United4310
3Mathare United427
5Western Stima427
6Gor Mahia426
7City Stars426
8Red Berets415
11Sher Karuturi314
13Ulinzi Stars414
15Chemelil Sugar413
16AFC Leopards401

Full Standings