Monday, April 27, 2009

Mat U Beat AFC

Sorry, but this below is from the KPL website so may not be very objective

AFC Leopards 0 Mathare United 1

Only absorbing football mattered when AFC Leopards and Mathare United contested the much-hyped Kenyan Premier League match at the Coca Cola Stadium, Nairobi on Saturday.

Mathare won 1-0, firmly returning to the helm occupied by the main contenders for this year's title, but rather than coming off as wounded animals licking their wounds, Leopards held their heads high ready to pounce another day.

The bottom-placed Leopards only fell to a 48th minute penalty on a day they matched the champions ball for ball.

Signs of the remnants of the uproar about Leopards disobeying the Premiership's secretariat's arrangement that the match be played before television cameras at the International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Sunday was not even evident . The teams played like they knew that nothing else mattered but proving oneself on the pitch.

Anthony Khadudu notched his third goal in three matches by scoring the important winner for the champions shortly after the change of ends.

Mathare United midfielder Jaffar Gichuki led to the penalty award after spirited attacking from the left flank.

He faced Roy Syamba and David Ochieng' and his ball control left Ochieng' only the option of tripping him as he entered the box.

Khadudu stepped up to score, adding to his last week's brace in the 2-1 victory over Western Stima at the same venue.

If Mathare have at last found a goal getter in the diminutive 23-year-old midfielder, their season's import from Sony Sugar, Kenya trialist John Onami, could be shaping up as the much-sought after striker.

As Leopards stayed very much in the hunt for an equaliser, Onami was the target for Mathare passes in counter raids. His positioning and execution looked good and he came agonisingly close with two chances. His strike partner, Paul Ambembo also missed a good opportunity.

"The goals are still hard to come by." said United coach Francis Kimanzi, adding: "There are very many changes in the attack but the more we remain together I am confident that at the beginning of the second leg, we will have found our rhythm."

Leopards had just broken the duck with a season's first win against Sony Sugar last weekend but coming unstuck against Mathare United by no means sounded the death knell.

Leopards competed well enough suggesting they may have life in the Premiership which now has five matches to the halfway stage.

The club's treasurer Duncan Angode said they did not regret their decision to turn down playing at Kasarani.

"We would have had far less supporters there because it is far out of town. Here we are happy with the number that paid to watch."

He said they made Sh110,000 from the gate. "At Kasarani it would have been far lower."

But, apparently, every cloud has a silver lining and Leopards pull-out from the SuperSport "live" TV coverage will be good news for other sectors of Kenyan football.

SuperSport will now likely use the 1:00 p.m. slot on Sunday for a live-TV broadcast of a Copa Coca Cola U-17 match, preceding the Nairobi City Stars v Sofapaka match at Kasarani.

SuperSport will also likely use the same slot next Saturday, May 2 for a live-TV broadcast of the Copa Coca Cola U-17 championship final as a curtain raiser for the later KPL Mathare United v Gor Mahia match that day at Coca Cola Stadium in which Mathare United will respect the decision of KPL and yet again play their home match in the home stadium of their opponent (Gor Mahia).

So the good news is that many talented U-17 youth from around the country will now likely get a chance to feature in live-TV broadcasts in Kenya and Africa.


AFC Leopards- 1. Teddy Okumba: 4. David Ochieng', 3. Collins Kisuya, 2. Robert Indimuli, 17. Arthur Weyula, 6. Francis Xavier, 13. Roy Syamba, 22. Ben Barasa, 7. Farid Ahmed (9. Dennis Mukaisi, 48'), 14. Sebastian Muchera, 5. Michael Njehia (10.Tafadzwa Dondo, 57')

Reserves not used - 16. Onyango Odhiambo, 24. Humphrey Oyando, 12. Jackton Opanda, 20. Jesse Were, 5. Geoffrey Shikanda

Coach - Edward Manoh

Mathare United - 1. Duncan Ochieng': 25. Edgar "Fighter" Ochieng', 17. Lloyd Wahome, 15. Anthony Kimani, 21. Fred Onyango, 18. Jaffar Gichuki, 20. Anthony Khadudu (7. Vincent Okello, 86'), 5. Joseph Nyaga (23. Collins Tiego, 86'), 10. Paul Abembo, 9. Chrispine Odour, 22. John Onami (23. Kevin Oliech, 60')

Reserves not used - 16. Martin Musalia, 8. David Kinyua, 12. Paul Oloo, 24. Andrew Oyombe

Scorer - 20. Anthony Khadudu (48', pen)

Coach - Francis Kimanzi

Referee - Nassur Doka (Nairobi)

From Nation

Leopards 0 Mathare 1

After the former champions declined to play at Kasarani citing lack of a home advantage, Leopards will rue their missed chances that could have seen them deny United to climb to the fifth position up from eighth.

“This is a new team and the goals are hard to come by. All the same, we are trying to remain together and I’m sure at the beginning of the second leg, we will have found our rhythm,” said Mathare United’s head coach, Francis Kimanzi.

Khadudu converted a 48th minute penalty as United got the better of a fractious start of the season.

Jaffer Gichuki’s solo effort from the left wing left Roy Syamba and David Ochieng’ for the dead, only for Ochieng’ to trip the left back in the box.

And despite a late push from Mathare in which John Onami missed two open goals and Paul Ambembo came close, it is the Leopards who look set to have more sleepless nights as the urge to break their last position continues to linger on.

Leopards had limped up to the Coca-Cola stadium having won just one of their nine previous premier league matches and now find themselves teetering on the brink with memories of their last week’s 1-0 win over Sony Sugar in Awendo start fading fast.

Yet the way Leopards started the match suggested there may be life in them yet, as they got forward with plenty of freedom and fashioned their first chance with less than two minutes on the clock.

From Standard

Anthony Khadudu struck from the spot for the second week running to hand Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Mathare United a 1-0 victory over hard fighting AFC Leopards.

The match, overshadowed by a tussle over the venue, saw Khadudu, who scored from the spot in Mathare’s victory against Western Stima last week, decide the match in the 55th minute when he fired his penalty past Teddy Okumba in the AFC Leopards’ goal.

Lively left back, Jaffar Gichuki made a solo run and brought down inside the box by an AFC defender and Khadudu stepped up to fire high into the right top corner.

Mathare forward, John Onami, had three chances in the first half, failing to connect with tearing crosses from the right on all occasions. Paul Ambembo forced Okumba to make a smart save in the 22nd minute as Mathare created more openings in the first period that ended goalless.

AFC pressed hard but substitute Dennis Mukaisi effort was saved by Duncan Ochieng in the Mathare goal.

League Standings
2Thika United10518
4Western Stima10518
5City Stars10416
6Mathare United10415
7Sher Karuturi10314
9Chemelil Sugar10313
10Ulinzi Stars10313
12Gor Mahia10310
14Red Berets1029
16AFC Leopards1017

Full Standings

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Leopards and Mat U Saga

AFC Leopards threaten to pull out of KPL

AFC Leopards have threatened to pull out of the Kenya Premier League (KPL) if their complaints are not adequately addressed.

Club Chairman Alex Ole Magelo cited poor officiating in their matches, substitution of referees at the eleventh hour without a valid reason and the haphazard changing of their match venue. The club boss further decried the IDAC rulings that KPL has made them final and unchallengeable.

Addressing a well attended press conference held at the State House Grounds, Magelo who was flanked by Club organizing Secretary Timothy Lirumbi and club treasurer Duncan Angode said they will not honour this weekend’s KPL match against Mathare United if it will be held at Kasarani.

He said even a layman knows th club home ground is at Coca Cola National Stadium and wondered why their weekend clash against Mathare United was being switched to the home venue of their opponents.

A bitter Magelo appealed to Football Kenya Limited (FKL) and the World Governing football body-FIFA to take a deep look in the running of the KPL to avoid turning the very sport of football into disrepute.

“We are deeply touched by poor officiating by the current trend of biased officiating. A case in mind is our match against Sofapaka FC at Kasarani when the centre referee disallowed an own goal citing offside which has never happened in the world.” said Magelo.

“It became more suspicious, Magello added, for my club when centre referee who had been assigned the match and even attended the pre-match session was substituted at the eleventh hour without a valid reason, only for the centre
referee in question to turn up for the match and mismanage it at our detriment,” said Magelo.

The club has also raised a red flag warning that they are reviewing their stand on the Supersport grants that appears meant to blackmail clubs and fix them in a corner. “Yes, I’ m putting it clear that we are considering pulling out of the grants scheme altogether and pursue individual sponsorship deals that will allow us to live again.” KPL has kept mum on various complaints raised by my club and now we are wondering why they have allowed the controversial Hope centre grounds to be used and yet it was condemned as unfit?” Wondered Magelo.

This story was also ran by all the leading dailies and also made the Sports News

The Standard report

Kenya Premier League (KPL) is being accused of stage managing AFC Leopards’ ouster from the league through arbitrary change of venue.

Leopards chairman, Alex ole Magelo, said this after an e-mail written by KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda to Mathare United chairman Bob Munro accidentally went to Leopards secretary Richard Ekhalie.

Munro is also the KPL chairman. Oguda’s note written on Monday says: "They have hit the nail in the coffin and are accepting to withdraw from the grant."

Oguda adds: "Advise on reply and it is sad that they are saying KPL is manipulating the fixtures."

Magello claims this email written to club secretary Richard Ekhalie was not meant for the recipient indicated on the address and sees it as an attempt between the two KPL officials to manipulate fixtures.

Magello questions why Oguda should consult the KPL chairman yet he is an interested party since his club participates in the top league and are Leopards’ opponents on Saturday.

The Standard comment

They may have spent a decade trying to build a credible, competitive Kenyan Premier League.

Yet by the click of a mouse, the KPL CEO Jack Oguda let out a cat — a big one for that matter, when a scandalous e-mail addressed to the league’s chairman, Bob Munro saying AFC Leopards "have hit the nail in their coffin" has left the league body rocking.

The officials, both in KPL and AFC Leopards were still haggling over the semantics of the phrase.

Leopards’ swift and hard-hitting response is worrying. Leopards chairman Alex ole Magelo, said: "The gloves are off. The correspondence with the chairman is in bad taste and it confirms our fears of certain people in KPL working to condemn AFC Leopards to a death bed," Magelo said.

Oguda was at pains to explain how the letter he authored strayed to Richard Ekhalie’s e-mail box.

He said: "I wrote the mail but the words in question do not mean what Leopards have interpreted. I meant that if such institutional clubs like Tusker are queuing for the SuperSport grant, what would be the effect on a community supported club like Leopards."

My take is that with such frosty relations between Leopards and the KPL and anybody related to Mathare United, utmost caution should be taken in dealing with arising matters.

KPL responds to AFC Leopards

The war of words between AFC Leopards and Kenya Premier League is set to continue, with the latter sending its response to AFC Leopards. Here in is the communication in full:

Regarding your recent communications, please note the following relevant points:

- KPL is likely the most democratic sports organization in Kenya. In KPL all 16 clubs have equal shares and votes. Unlike in the past or some other leagues, the policies and rules are applied to all clubs equally.

- Since our company was incorporated over five years ago, all decisions have been made by consensus. No club has ever insisted on a vote. The decisions are binding on all clubs.

- As agreed by our clubs, SuperSport designates the matches to be broadcast live in Kenya and Africa and our clubs agreed to respect their choices.

- The matches designated by SuperSport for broadcast this weekend are Nairobi City Stars vs Sofapaka and AFC Leopards vs Mathare United. As SuperSport is committed to another event on Saturday and Coca-Cola stadium is already booked on Sunday, the matches are scheduled to be played at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.

- Of the ten matches broadcast by SuperSport so far this year, six of the home clubs played in a stadium which was not their home ground.

However, a club is also free to decide to opt out of the agreed arrangements on live-TV matches and associated SuperSport funding.

Consequently, you can either honour the match at 3:00 p.m. at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday OR choose to opt out of the SuperSport arrangements and funding and play at 3:00 p.m. at the Coca-Cola Stadium on Saturday.

Please inform me in writing of your decision by noon tomorrow (Thursday, April 23rd) at the latest.

If I do not hear from you by then, it will be assumed that you agree to honour the match at 3:00 p.m. at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.

Jack Oguda

Comments to the story

Tash wrote what is the unverified Leopards response

23rd March 2009

Jack Oguda


In response to the two options you gave us regarding the live broadcast matches, AFC Leopards hereby opts out of the SuperSport arrangements and funding mainly because the current haphazard broadcasting scheduling is not beneficial to us. It, in its current form, denies us our much cherished home advantage status while loosing us revenue. We therefore expect to play on Saturday the 25th of April at 3PM at Coca Cola Stadium and expect the rest of our match fixtures not to be interfered with. However, we are ready and willing to be included in the SuperSport arrangements and funding in future when and if the broadcasting arrangement is regularized and the league ran in a more credible, transparent and professional manner. As you ponder on whether to regularize operations, we also request KPL to furnish all clubs with the contracts between SuperSport and KPL and clarify how much money is each club entitled to for the live broadcast of each match. While on it, also clarify to clubs why they should not be paid the specified amount at the end of each month after broadcast instead of waiting indefinitely for monies they even don’t have an idea of the total sum. Please also be kind enough to tell us when and if AFC Leopards will be paid our live broadcast share for our already broadcasted matches, and how much.

Kind regards,

Richard Ekhalie,
Secretary General
AFC Leopards S.C.

Blonquist wrote

KPL should not use Supersport story to protect themselves. Tunajua wao ni nani. By the way i thought the OB van was brought to televise matches that are played out of Nairobi but they still insist on televising Nairobi matches and now AFC Leopards cannot play at home? I apreciate what supersport has done to the Kenya Premier League but it is time for them to honour clua wishes of having home advantage by playing at home. By the way, in England a broadcasting company cannot even try to fix a match to suit them then why in Kenya? I thought KPL was runned by members of the 16 clubs but it looks like the quarks act as supersport puppets. With or without the money, the league will go on. Mimi na wakenya wenzangu hatutakubali wenzetu wa AFC leopards wadhulumiwe

Anonymous wrote

leopards si mulisaidiwa kuingia ligi tuonyesheni mpira uwanjani,pesa mnapata lakini upuzi,sofapaka walikuwa na nyinyi kwa nyasi,saizi wako wapi,mpeleke upus uko,kukimbia imawashinda ovyo na bure kabisa.

Man Man wrote

wewe No.3 just shut the hell up. Ukona akili lakini haufikiri. Leopards walisaidiwa na nani?

Collorado wrote

I kindly feel that response is adequate and bold. That demonstrate the Kind of leadearship kenya has been lacking. As much as we need money lets not compromise our values. Supersport as it stands is and will remain 2 be a foreign company and can not determine the future governance of football in this country. Olemagero, thank you for shanning incompetency in KPL, and may the 6 other clubs and many more learn from AFC LEOPARDS, chui, that money is not everything.

Hatimy demands Munro investigations, AFC demand supersport contract

AFC Leopards demands supersport contract

AFC LEOPARDS is now demanding Kenya Premier League (KPL) to furnish clubs with the contracts details between sponsors SuperSport Limited and KPL and clarify how much money each club is entitled to for the live broadcast of each match.

The club further wanted KPL to clarify clubs why they should not be paid the specified amount at the end of each month after broadcast instead of waiting indefinitely for monies they even don’t have an idea of the total sum.

At the same time, Football Kenya Limited Chairman Mohamed Hatimy has instructed KPL senior Managemnt to ask Chief Executive officer (CEO) Jack Oguda who has been accused of manipulation of fixtures in favour of Mathare United to step down.

Hatimy in a E-mail called upon KPL to appoint an independent committee that will exclude KPL chairman Bob Munro since he chairs Mathare United, to go ahead and investigate his conduct.

Hatimy further asked Oguda to choose between KPL and Mathare United since this raise a serious conflict of interest. “There seems, Hatimy added, to be a serious governance crisis at the KPL company with regards to who makes what decision. This needs to address with the aim of clearly redefining the role of the CEO which currently is controversial. You need to cushion the CEO from accusation of conflict of interest in the performance of his duties.”

“He is an official of Mathare fc which puts him in bad position when decisions are to be made involving Mathare United. A system needs to be put in place to insulate him from the attacks he is receiving now. You must move with speed to allay fears from the stakeholders about the manner in which weighty issues are being handled so casually.” said Hatimy.

Hatimy went on to demand justice noting that fairness and transparency must be seen to be done to AFC Leopards in the case noting that without the truth, it will be impossible to reconcile the two parties.

Leopards Marketing Director Richard Ekhalie’s letter to KPL demanded to be told when and if AFC Leopards will be paid their live broadcast share for their already broadcasted matches.

Ekhalie announced that his club has hereby opted out of the SuperSport arrangements and funding mainly because the current haphazard broadcasting
scheduling is not beneficial to them. He said the switching of Leopards match against Mathare United from Coca Cola National Stadium to Kasarani denies the team the much cherished home advantage status while loosing them revenue.

“We therefore expect to play tomorrow (Saturday the 25th of April) at 3pm at Coca Cola Stadium and expect the rest of our match fixtures not to be interfered with.

“However, Ekhaliue added, we are ready and willing to be included in the SuperSport arrangements and funding in future when and if the broadcasting arrangement is regularized and the league ran in a more credible, transparent
and professional manner. However, Hatimy clarified that without the truth, there will be no justice while without justice there will be no reconciliation and urged KPL to put their act together and address the issues raised by AFC Leopards immediately.

AFC Leopards Chairman Alex Ole Magelo said it was unfair for KPL to change their home match this weekend from their traditional venue of Coca-Cola to the Moi International Sports centre Kasarani without their consent.

Magelo said his club had already booked the match in advance and wondered why KPL decided to switch the match to Kasarani without prior permission.

“We are perturbed by KPL’s unilateral decision of changing venues without informing the concerned parties. As the home team, we believe our match
against Mathare United must be played at the Coca Cola National Stadium but not at Kasarani. We had already booked the venue and if there was any change, we must be informed in advance.” said a bitter Magelo

Further comments have been made

Leopards get their wish but will it count? asks the Daily Nation

AFC Leopards fiercely guarded home advantage comes under extra focus on Saturday when they host champions Mathare United at Coca-Cola National Stadium in a Kenyan Premier League match.

The Leopards versus Mathare United match has generated a lot of news this week, of the wrong type, and inevitably stands out as the must-watch tie.

Cried foul

Facts. The encounter was rescheduled to be held on Sunday at Moi International Sports Centre as a SuperSport featured match. But Leopards cried foul saying it was their home match and under no circumstanced would they allow it to be moved to MISC, where Mathare play their home matches.

KPL gave them an ultimate: Play at MISC on Sunday under SuperSport’s cameras or risk forfeiting the multi-million shilling grant sponsorship.

And so, AFC Leopards now find themselves playing at their familiar home at Coca-Cola Stadium where they have yet to register a win three months into the season.

“All the happenings of the week have brought mental disturbances to my players. But we know Mathare are a consistent side with quality players and we will go out there positively, taking the game to them,” Leopards coach Edward Manoah said.

Manoah said Leopards maiden league win last weekend, 1-0 against Sony Sugar, was no reason to celebrate and his team needed to work harder to repeat such a result.

The Sony win has proved costly for the former giants with three players, defender Jackton Opanda, midfielder Roy Syamba and striker Dennis Mukaisi recovering from injury and doubtful for today.

Leopards can, however, look to Harambee Stars trialist Sebastian Muchera, who has scored twice in two matches.

Mathare United edged out Western Stima 2-1 at Coca-Cola Stadium to register only their third win of the season and will feel confident of another result against the bottom placed team in the league table.

Edgar Ochieng, Anthony Kimani, Collins Tiego, Paul Ambembo and 2008 KPL coach of the year Francis Kimanzi gives the Mathare fans that extra assurance.

Testing feline fury, reports the Standard

A fixture pitting Mathare United and AFC Leopards on any day is often peppered with powder keg and spice with pre-match banter.

It is also that time when Mathare United chairman Bob Munro takes leave from the VIP dais to jostle with swallows for a bird’s eye view from the highest point of the terraces if only to escape the venom spewed by the unforgiving Leopards fans. Then, it takes a controversial call by a referee, especially against Leopards, to set off the firecrackers!

It is Ingwe fans’ considered view that Mathare United’s prosperity is at the expense of their struggling feline.

KPL website has the story

Week's sideshow may work against resurgent Leopards

Posted Friday, April 24, 2009 at 20:33

Again, the jostling for the covetous top-five places in the Kenyan Premier League will be the weekend highlight, never mind the hullabaloo about bottom team AFC Leopards refusing to play a scheduled "television match" on Sunday at the International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

The KPL clubs do not know what view to take of Leopards who claim that, instead of playing at the Coca Cola Stadium on Saturday, they would be depleting their chances of a good performance, and perhaps cash revenue, if they were to play at Kasarani.

The non-complaining clubs would point out that, last year, in 14 out of KPL's 22 "TV matches" a team surrendered the right to play at home. This year, a home team has complied to move its match to a TV venue -- Kasarani or Coca Cola Stadium -- six times out of the ten played so far.

Furthermore, decision that KPL clubs would comply with practical ways of running the league were reached on by senior managers of all the 16 Premiership teams. This no doubt included Leopards' secretary general, Richard Ekhale, a man who has gone out to lambasting the KPL secretariat for allegedly coercing his club to play at Kasarani.

Clubs were also finding it unfortunate, the remarks from AFC quarters that there are KPL officials biased against Leopards because they were affiliated to other clubs.

If Leopards' thinking was to be upheld some fear that the trend would trash a previously agreed upon -- by all members -- method of running the KPL.

Were AFC Leopards to win the 2009 Premiership, the club boss, Alex ole Magelo, would automatically become the KPL Chairman to replace Mathare United's Robert Munro. That is how the rules are, as crafted by all the 16 owners of the Premiership, who did not infer lack of integrity among any of their members when they made the rule.

The Premiership ownership is therefore clearly asking Leopards to play by the rules set up by an institution and stop cherry picking the ones that suit them and chucking what they dim inconvenient.

Nevertheless, this weekend, there are those who will only give little thought to the shenanigans stirred up by Leopards, arguing that the team, struggling in apathy since the beginning of season before a sensational first win at Sony Awendo last week, were using it as a ploy to misdirect their tribulations.

Table toppers Sofapaka and second-placed Western Stima will each be going flat out for victory while on the other hand hoping their rival slips up.

There is plenty of incentive for a chasing trio. Third-placed Thika United, fourth Nairobi City Stars and No. 5 Tusker have a chance of assuming the leadership on goal difference should Sofapaka and Western Stima lose.

The interest of others, including Sher, Ulinzi and defending champions Mathare United, will also be to win and jump into the cushion of a top five .

In the bottom rungs, battling swords are out for sides intent on marching out of the relegation zone. In particular for basement team Leopards, scoring goals and grabbing victories will more likely remove them from their misery quicker than the limelight-stealing cameo of their officials.

(16)AFC Leopards v (8)Mathare United

Two weeks ago, coach Edward Manoah tinkered with the team. Against KCB, Leopards started without goalie Charles Onyango, defender Allan Ogal, midfielders Humphrey Oyando, Geoffrey Shikanda and Tafadzwa Dondo and striker Jesse Were.

There was a marked improvement in the team which drew 1-1 with KCB at the Coca Cola Stadium. Even though striker Sebastian Muchera scored their equalizer in the 79th minute he missed two or more opportunities for a side that showed a knack for creativity.

Following this outing with a stunning 1-0 win over Sony Sugar in Nyanza may not have surprised those who had seen Leopards play promisingly against KCB.

Rather than be dismissed as a hapless bottom team Leopards can be expected to come into Sunday's clash with Mathare United as a team capable of making life difficult for the champions.

But Leopards will be under pressure to prove that they can play winning football with the help of home advantage because of the raucous manner they rejected playing under TV cameras on Sunday.

They will be meeting a stern Mathare United side which had to make a mental change of the logistics after the match reverted to the Coca Cola Stadium.

No one can say Mathare United had any qualms about playing a home match away from home. This season they have gone out twice under such circumstances and won. Beating Agro Chemicals 2-0 and Western Stima 2-1 at Coca Cola Stadium which can hardly be described as an uncomfortable venue for the champions.

United will be returning to last week's scene of their win over Stima which really put the champions' campaign back on track after early season misfiring. Anthony Khadudu, the scorer of a brace over Stima may just have solved the striking problem that had plagued the otherwise all-round gifted Mathare United.

If Leopards were hoping to catch Mathare on a low, a luxury enjoyed by six teams which have so far either beaten or held United, this will perhaps not be the time. A thriller is expected whose result should overshadow the verbal sparring at the moment noisiest at the Leopards' corner.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A 'W' At Last

Fellow Leopards

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that Ingwe is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our team is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our Leopards, Saturday afternoon was your answer.

It's the answer told by phone calls that rang at Radio Jambo and the text messages exchanged by fans in large numbers, by people who waited eight matches.

We are, and always will be, AFC Leopards Sport Club.

It's been a long time coming, but Saturday, because of what we did on that date in this season at this Premiership moment, change has come to the Premiership.

I would not be writing this blog today without the unyielding support of the best team of old, the most supported team in the League, the rock of the Premiership, the 'love of our lives', the nation's best Premiership team AFC Leopards.

Muchera and Mukhaisi, we like you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned three premiership points that are coming with us to the Title.

To our colleagues at the Office, thank you so much for all the support that you've given the team. We are grateful to you.

And to my clubs coach, Edward Manoah, the unsung hero of this Team, who has been rebuilding the best Club, with the aid of Tony Lidonde, Thank You.

To our chief pass strategist Farid Ahmed who's been our key player with us in every step of the way.

To the whole team assembled with meager resources, you made this happen and we are forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, we will never forget who this victory truly belongs to.

It belongs to you the Ingwe Supporters.

We were never the likeliest candidates for the Title let alone the game on Sato.

We didn't start with much money or many endorsements.

Our club was not hatched in the halls of a church . It began in the backyards of Nairobi and the living rooms of Kibera, Kawangware, Langata, Buru Buru and the front porches of Hooters..

It was built by a genius in Manoah who knew how to spend wisely on every penny of the Club.

It grew strength from the Young Players who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy, who left their home teams and their families for the club that offered little pay and less sleep but great pleasure.

This is your victory.

And we know you didn't do this just to win the Game. And I know you didn't do it for us.

You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate today, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - a home game against Mathare United, a host of injuries, the worst haters in a century.

And to all those calling in at Radio Jambo on Saturday from beyond our shores, from Buru and South C, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of Leopards leadership is at hand.

Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless Ingwe!!!

On a serious note...

Sony 0 Leopards 1

Sebastian Muchera scored for Leopards in the 35th minute for a sensational win over Sony at Awendo that sparked off celebrations among Leopards supporters all round the country.

It was the first win for the bottom-placed Leopards but few of their fans doubt that it was the beginning of a sure resurgence.

Muchera, who scored the previous weekend in the 1-1 tie with KCB at Coca Cola Stadium, again showed reliability as a worthy striker when he connected a fine cross from Ahmed Farid.

"We are happy that the boys have finally found the winning touch which has been eluding us," said their team manager Tony Lidonde, a former Leopards stalwart.

It was a stout effort by Leopards because Sony are a supremely difficult team to beat at Awendo.

League Standings
2Western Stima9517
3Thika United9415
4City Stars9415
6Sher Karuturi9313
7Ulinzi Stars9313
8Mathare United9312
12Chemelil Sugar829
13Red Berets929
15Gor Mahia927
16AFC Leopards917

Full Standings

Agro Chemicals did not play their match against Chemelil as a player from one of the teams had passed away after taking an illegal brew.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leopards Draw KCB

KPL website report

AFC Leopards 1 KCB 1

Jacob Keli, after replacing Joseph Waweru early in the second half, gave KCB a deserved lead in the 75th minute at the Coca Cola Stadium.

But a never-say-die Leopards hit back with a beauty of a goal taken by Kenya trialist Sebastian Muchera in the 79th minute.

Leopards paid the prize for a sloppy approach by penalty taker Michael Njihia whose feeble shot at KCB 'keeper Daniel Oliech ricocheted off the right upright and the bankers' defenders took it out for a corner.

Gideon Ogude had handled a ball floated into the box from the left flank when referee Joseph Okiro pointed to the penalty spot.

Keli's and Muchera's goals summed up a match where the attacks dedicated themselves to the hunt for goals in an evenly matched contest of two sides with poor defensive capabilities.

Keli priced open the Leopards backline that has conceded the highest, 12 goals, total in the league and fired with the right foot from inside the box. Teddy Okumba the man taking the place of regular Charles Onyango in the Leopards' goal had no chance.

In retaliation Muchera latched on to a cross from the left flank and blasted past Daniel Oliech for KCB to concede their ninth goal in eight matches -- the third worst record in the 16-team log.

Bottom-placed Leopards, even though cursing Njihia's unacceptable casualness in penalty taking, would have been pleased with the result. But certainly not KCB who were left rooted to 13th place.

The small party of Leopards supporters displayed true faith in their team. Majority in their beloved blue and white hoops of their team danced to the terrace drum beats of the "isikuti"; sale of more replica shirts continued. They certainly looked like a fraternity pretty sure that their team will turn round their fortunes soon or later.

Leopards have not won in eight games but there was a vast improvement in their performance yesterday. The team was driven on by a hopeful midfield and among their supporters there is plenty of optimism that they will soon win decisive games.


AFC Leopards - 1. Teddy Okumba: 4. David Ochieng', 3. Collins Kisuya, 2. Robert Indimuli, 17. Arthur Weyula, 18. Tom Wango (15. Geoffrey Shikanda, 70'), 22. Ben Barasa, 5. Michael Njihia (20. Jesse Were, 80'), 13. Roy Syamba (10. Tafadzwa Dondo, 50'), 14. Sebastian Muchera, 9. Dennis Mukaisi

Reserves not used -- 16. Charles Onyango, 24. Humphrey Oyando, 11. Allan Ogal, 27. Lewis Sintakoi

Scorer - 14. Sebastian Muchera (79')

Coach - Eddie Manoah

KCB - 16. Daniel Oliech: 19. Joseph Kangata, 3. Godfrey Oduor, 25. Gideon Ogude, 13. Isaac Odhiambo, 14. Michael Oyando, 7. Kevin Kimani, 11. Humphrey Mieno, 18. Asuman Ngaywa, 12. Daniel Waweru (10. Godfrey Maina, 76'), 17. Joseph Waweru (9. Jacob Keli, 47')

Reserves not used - 1. Alex Mwangi, 5. William Mafawi, 23. Harrison Matu, 15. Kenneth Wendo, 8. Jonathan Mwaniki,

Scorer - 9. Jacob Keli (75')

Coach - Leonard Saleh

Referee - Joseph Okiro (Emali)

League Standings
1Western Stima8517
2Thika United8415
4City Stars8414
6Ulinzi Stars8312
8Sher Karuturi8210
10Mathare United829
11Chemelil Sugar829
12Red Berets829
15Gor Mahia827
16AFC Leopards804

Full Standings

Nation Report

AFC Leopards came back from a missed penalty and a goal down to hold KCB to a 1-1 draw at Coca-Cola National Stadium.

KCB defender Gideon Oguda handled the ball in the box in the 29th minute to give the home side a penalty.

The chance to take the lead, however, went begging after Michael Njehia, in flashy orange boots, placed his shot on the upright to be scrambled out of play by the KCB defence. Leopards were made to rue the missed chance in the 75th minute when, against the run of play, second half KCB substitute Jacob Keli stole between the defense to emphatically guide his shot home.

All looked wrapped up for the bankers before Harambee Stars call-up Sebastian Muchera, from nothing, turned on the edge of the box to exquisitely guide his shot beyond the desperate hands of Daniel Oluoch nine minutes before time.

Standard review

At Nairobi’s Coca-Cola Stadium, basement club AFC Leopards displayed the neat passage of play that brought them eleven league titles in years past but profligacy in front of goal denied them victory against a subdued KCB.

"It’s time my players stood up and converted chances that come their way," Edward Manoah said.

"I’m impressed with the way we are growing as a family since they are still a young team, but these are the kind of matches we should be winning if we hope to survive," Leopards coach, Manoah told FeverPitch.

Defensive lapse

Manoah sat perplexed when KCB keeper, Daniel Oluoch, pushed Michael Njihia’s 30th minute spot kick to the post before his side conceded in the 74th minute to substitute Jacob Keli after a defensive lapse.

"At the end, it was encouraging to see the boys recover from the goal to equalise and it shows there is spirit in the team and soon, we will start turning things around," Manoah charged as Leopards remained the only KPL team not to register a win this season.

Sun-Soaked Sunday

"Credit to Leopards, they played very well but I’m happy we got away with a point from a match we were second best. We will be back to our flowing football soon," KCB coach Leonard Saleh added.

He decried the standards of officiating in KPL matches, saying, "These referees are trying, but they are incompetent. KPL needs to resolve their problems with FKL so that quality referees can be allowed to handle league matches."