Monday, May 30, 2011

Waiting For A Bus

Developments at Leopards sometimes mirror the adage, 'its like waiting for ages for a London bus, then three come along at once'. But that has a scientific explanation.

News at Leopards had been quiet until last week when three major events took place.

The first related to the signing of a TV deal with Smart TV and covered by the Leopards website.

A report by Dennis Masinde Wandabwa on Kenyanfootie gave news of the Ingwe TV.

Kenyan Premier league club AFC leopards have announced a Ksh 60 million deal with pay television company Smart TV to launch an official club television channel.

The channel which will be called Ingwe TV will air on the African Sports Network (ASN), a channel in the Smart TV bouquet. The deal was signed today (Wednesday May 25th) by Leopards chairman Alex Magelo and Smart TV Chief Executive Officer Daniel Kagwe in Nairobi and will take immediate effect.
The deal, announced on the clubs official website will see leopards fans be able to access exclusive interviews, behind the scene footage, club archived matches, team profiles, historical documentaries, highlights and news, fans features and magazines.

The key components of the agreement include the production of the TV channel, Media promotion and a monetary grant to meet specific club budgetary obligations. The partnership, a first in East Africa, is aimed at providing content to the 6 million strong AFC support. 

The club hopes that Ingwe TV will play a key role in enhancing its image and profile besides exposing AFC talent to the international market. The channel will also play a part in the development of football in Kenya while generating much needed revenue for the club through sponsorships and advertising.

The partnership is expected to result into the development of AFC Leopards Youth Development Program with Smart TV playing a key role in the upkeep of the AFC Leopards under 19 popularly known as Emerging Leopards. 

Smart TV is a pay TV service owned by Next Generation Broadcasting and is operational in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana. In Ghana they have a similar partnership with Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club for the production of Kotoko TV.

The Star also covered the news.

KENYAN Premier League Club AFC Leopards has partnered with Smart TV to produce a dedicated TV channel dubbed “Ingwe TV” valued at more than Sh60m.  The 3-year deal was signed yesterday by Leopards’ chairman Alex Magelo and Smart TV chief executive officer Daniel Kagwe in Nairobi and will take effect immediately.

The key components of the agreement include the production of the TV channel, Media promotion and monetary grant to meet specific club budgetary obligations. The partnership, a first in East Africa, is aimed at providing content to the six million supporters of the club worldwide through various programmes including but not limited to exclusive interviews, behind the scene footage, club archived matches, team profiles, historical documentaries, highlights and news, fans features and magazines.

Airing on Smart TV’s African Sports Network (ASN) channel, Ingwe TV will play a key role in enhancing the image and profile of the club besides exposing AFC’s talent to the international market.
Ingwe TV will also play a part in the development of the game while generating revenue for the club through sponsorships and advertisement on the dedicated channel.

Smart TV is a pay TV service owned by Next Generation Broadcasting and is operational in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana where they have a similar partnership with Kumasi’s Asante Kotoko Football Club for the production of Kotoko TV.

The next related to the new constitution. The CEO announced that a 'new' constitution was ready and could be downloaded here    

The third related to the sacking of players. The Club announced that NINE players were being fired or 'released'.

AFC Leopards has fired nine players from its bloated 32 man squad as they embark on an intensive exercise to strengthen their team at the start of the transfer market on June 1st.The heaviest causalities that have faced the razor at Leopards include the Congolese trio of Itubu Imbem, Hugo Nzoka and Demonde Selenga.

However, none of the fired players has received his dismissal letters but were informed through their mobile phones.They were accused of lack of commitment and complacency in the pitch.

“Yes I confirm that we have been fired by though we are yet to receive our dismissal letters. We are also yet to understand the reasons behind our sack since we have been very committed and dedicated in our performance.” Said Itubu Imbem.

Other players who were not spared the axe include: Douglas Okumu, David Kutwa, Laban Tshimonjero, Gideon Israel, Edgar Waudo and Shabaan Ramadhan.

AFC Leopards through its technical director Hector Komo has been in an aggressive player recruitment exercise in the last two months with high profile names in the Kenyan Premier league approached to join the Mumias Sugar sponsored club.

“We want to make AFC Leopards the best club in the region and we are committed to getting some of the best players to join our ranks.” Said Hector in an earlier interview with

The team is seeking to reduce its playing unit from 32 to 25 players for the second leg in a bid to keep its wages on a manageable scale as well as maintain competition amongst the players.

AFC Leopards has been struggling to get back its claws in the recent past with coach Nick Yakhama finding the going tough since his take over following the dismissal of Robert Matano a couple of weeks back.

Leopard currently occupies the 8th spot on the league table in the Kenyan Premier League standings with 16 points and lost their immediate last match at home 1-2 to Sony Sugar at Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday. 

Supersport also carried the story.

Not strangely and just like happened with the sacking of Robert Matano, the Leopards tactician and the hiring of Nick Yakhama, some members of the Leopards 'officials' went to press complaining that they had not been consulted.

Speaking to Michezoafrika, Hector Como was quoted as follows:-

AFC Leopards technical director Hector Como was not at all consulted nor informed of the alleged sacking of the nine players from the team. Como is in return faulting the AFC Leopards management for making hurried decisions to sack the players without inviting him to the meetings held on Monday evening.

The said meeting that was meant to have decided to fire the players was held on Monday at the same time when Hector was meeting other prospective players to woo their services to the AFC Leopards pay list.

“I have not been informed of anything about this move and am not aware of any players having been sacked. This is completely unprofessional because nobody involved or informed me of the decision if at all they have fired the players.” Said Hector Como.

On Monday, Hector was meeting: Jamal Mohamed, Mike Baraza, Joseph and Pascal Ochieng for talks on their possible moves to AFC Leopards in the second leg and he fails to understand why he was not consulted as the technical director.

“The executive meeting was held on Monday between 6pm to 11 pm and I was not in attendance and I do not know what they decided. I was from 6.30 till 7.30 with Mike Baraza for a cup of coffee and after mike I was talking with Jamal Mohamed. Around 9 pm I met Joseph Nyagah and was with him and Pascal Ochieng till 10:30 pm. So the decision made by any executive am not aware of and was not involved at all. So I distance myself from the media reports appearing of the alleged sackings.” He explained

“In my opinion and in reference to my philosophy,although I hold no powers to stop the management from making executive decisions, my duty is to advice and in this case it is a big mistake to let the players go at this time. Some of those players are of great quality and the positions they play are crucial.KPL’s new rule does not allow recruitment of more than four new players in the mid season transfer and if they are serious about releasing all these players, where shall we get the replacement to some of them.?” Asked a Concerned Hector.

In a chat with, Hector advises that the best move for AFC Leopards if indeed they are seeking to dump these players would be to loan them out to other clubs with a hope of retrieving their services at the end of the contractual period.

“For me it is better to loan out these players instead of sacking them. That way we will still own them in the event of other moves in future. Soccer is big business across the world and letting some of the best players go on free release is not advisable at all. Some of them can make frequent first eleven in other small clubs and that way we shall be improving their quality of the game since we shall be exposing them more. So in this case after 6 months these players playing constantly can be in great form when we get them back to us and automatically their value will be higher.” He added.

According to Como, the team needs surgery by recruiting one full back left defender, one stopper, one midfielder and a good lethal striker who can bring punch in attack upfront.

“It is not possible to recruit players in each position in mid season. That is not only unacceptable by the KPL rule but it is suicide to do so for a team that will have less time to gel in the mid season.Waudo is a great player we need to keep, Fullback right is only him and Edwin if we suppose that Edwin will have an injury who will substitute him? These are the technical questions we need to look at before making a final decision to fire players and I think the management is making a big mistake.” He quipped.

All said, the management holds all the executive powers to fire and hire players under advice from the technical bench. However none of the players has received neither an official letter of dismissal or release.

The sacked players also gave soundbites to Michezoafrika terming their expulsion a departure from hell to paradise.

The Nation also picked up this reaction in a report by John Ashihundu.

Charles Nyende of the Nation reacted to this sacking by calling AFC Leopards clawless pussycats.

Mumias Sugar Company also reacted by threatening to terminate the sponsorship of Leopards as per this story by the Star.

Never a dull day at the Leopards.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Post Match: Sony Sugar (H)

Leopards lost 2-1 to Sony Sugar FC.

Charles Nyende of the Nation reports:-

Sony Sugar stunned AFC Leopards with a late, late goal to grab all three points in a 2-1 victory at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday. 

Fredrick Onyango nodded home Joshua Oyoo’s corner two minutes after the regulation time had expired to decide the otherwise well balanced affair.
The partisan crowd was left to stare in disbelief as the Sony players celebrated after enduring a torrid time from Leopards in the closing stages of the match.
Former Kenya international Isaiah Omondi had grabbed the lead for Sony early in the first half before the lively Silas Aluvisa equalized for Leopards two minutes from the break.
Both sides wasted several chances but Leopards should thank their acrobatic goalkeeper Barnabas Tiema for keeping them in the game with some stunning saves. 
This was Sony Sugar’s fourth win of the season and their coach Francis Baraza, whose tenure at the club has been shaky, expressed satisfaction saying his work was progressing on track.
For Leopards, a change of coaches has not brought the desired change as they recorded their second loss in three matches. Irate Leopards fans typically began calling for a change of team personnel and technical bench.

Leopards started unconvincingly, allowing the sharper looking sugar men to dictate proceedings.
Sony’s early ascendancy was marked with the opening goal in the ninth minute. Steve Biko fed Omondi, who benefited from poor marking by the Leopards defence but still earned his dues, sprinting away to fool Tiema with a ground shot.
Leopards gradually got into the game and after the ineffectual Evans Wandera and injured Demonde Selenge were removed for Bernard Mangoli and Salim Kinje they began to threaten dangerously.
Aluvisa, a bright spark for Leopards all afternoon, restored parity after he got on the end of some good build up to head home in the 43rd minute. He was suspiciously off side and Sony protested but to no avail.
Leopards should have gone into the break a goal up after Aluvisa had quickly shifted up the gears on the left wing to pick Abraham Cokie in the six yard box but the Liberian placed his header over the bar when scoring looked the obvious outcome.
In the second half Tiema showed his superb reflexes to keep out excellent efforts from Biko and Jared Ogallo while at the other end Alivusa’s bountiful supplies from the left wing failed to find willing suitors.
It all looked headed for stalemate before Onyango delivered the sucker punch. Sony now climb up one place to ninth, displacing Sofapaka who face Congo United today at Nyayo Stadium.

MichezoAfrika features the report by John Munene.

AFC succumbed to a 2-1 loss to visiting Sony Sugar on Saturday afternoon at Nyayo Stadium in the only KPL fixture for the day. The loss marked a three games winless streak for new coach Nick Yakhama.

Isaiah Omondi gave Sony Sugar the lead after 9 minutes while Silas Aluvitsia equalized for the home team from a Salim Khamis cross in the 41st minute to ensure both teams went to the half break tied at 1-1.

Both sides came back looking for the advantage but it was Sony Sugar who ended up  lucky with a 91st minute conversion after Fred Onyango netted the winning goal from a corner by Joshua Oyoo.

The goal didn’t go down well with a handful of Ingwe supporters who claimed their keeper Barnabas Tiema was fouled by Sony players while going for the aerial ball. Some tried to cause chaos but quick intervention from security officials and other fans prevented a repeat of Wednesday scenes where K’Ogalo fans forced the match to abort in the 65th minute.

AFC missed the services of Congolese trio Itubu Imbem, Hugo Nzoka and Laurent Tumba.The latter two missed the match due to lack of work permits.

In a post match interview AFC Coach Nick Yakhama said he is not under any pressure as he is sure his team will go back to their winning ways. He blamed poor officiating for their loss.

KPL website reported:-

ISAIAH Omondi and Frederick Onyango scored for visiting Sony Sugar and AFC Leopards had only Silas Aluvitsia’s 41st minute reply as the Nairobi team slumped at the National Stadium putting pressure on players and coach Nick Yakhama.

Onyango grabbed the last-gasp winner for Sony, heading in an injury-time corner taken by Joshua Oyoo.

Omondi had put Sony Sugar in the lead after nine minutes, connecting with a Steve Biko pass to beat Barnabas Tiema in the Leopards goal.

Aluvitsia’s equaliser on 41 minutes was after an assist from Salim Khamis.

After the break, play was even, but to Leopards supporters, the team was disappointingly short on inventive quality. Their feeling climaxed with anger vented at the players and coach Yakhama who, after coming into the club and winning his first match four fixtures ago, had now gone three without victory, including losing twice.

Some supporters, however, looked for more excuses, almost causing chaos while claiming goalie Tiema was fouled as the winning goal went in.

Security officials and peaceful Leopards fans managed to overcome the trouble makers.
Coach Yakhama said he would not bow down to pressure and was looking to turn the bad run into a winning streak.

Francis Baraza of Sony was pleased with the victory which he said was earned through good tactics.

“We went out to make sure we were in control of the midfield, then to take chances on counter-attack. It worked. We were never under pressure. It was a comfortable match for us.”

4Ulinzi Stars12642148622
5Gor Mahia12552119220
6Western Stima1262498120
7Thika United125341612418
9AFC Leopards125161112-116
10Sony Sugar12435914-515
11Karuturi Sports12336611-512
12Chemelil Sugar12264510-512
13Mathare United122551113-211
14Congo United12246820-1210
16City Stars12228514-98

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pre Match: Sony Sugar (H)

Leopards take on Sony Sugar and the Ingwe Fans are looking forward to a win after two disappointing results of a lose and a draw. See you there!

Supersport's Collins Okinyo predicts a 1-1 draw.

AFC Leopards Vs Sony Sugar (Nyayo Stadium)

New Leopards coach Nick Yakhama has completed the set of results with a win, draw and loss since he took charge with his side comfortable in eighth on 16 points. Their strike force of Itubu Imbem and Demonde Selenga are however, in the middle of a goal drought and are seeking to open their account. Sony Sugar have steadied their ship with a series of draws and will be fighting for a win away from home with young Joshua Oyoo and Isaiah Omondi having to carry the burden of scoring.

Our Predictions: 1-1

The Star's Carol Radull also goes for a 1-1 draw.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Post Match: Chemelil (H)

Leopards drew 1-1 with Chemelil Sugar with Ingwe coming from a goal down to level through a header by Nicholas Muyoti, who appears on the cover of the Ingwe Fan magazine.

MichezoAfrika has a good report by Dennis Machio.

AFC Leopards on Saturday afternoon was forced to drop two points against a visiting Chemelil Sugar FC in a KPL match played at the City stadium as both teams settled for a 1-1 draw. This was the third match for Nick Yakhama in charge of AFC Leopards since coming back to the side from Chemelil while and  the first match in charge for newly appointed Chemelil coach Edward Manoah.

Chemelil Sugar were the first to draw their guns in the 23rd minute when Milton Kidiga rose above the AFC Leopards’ defense to burry home Willis Ouma’s cross with a powerful header.

AFC almost pulled the quickest response with the Chemelil defense still celebrating their goal but a lone counter attack drive by Okumu ended way beyond target.

Nicholas Muyoti brought back a sigh of relief in the AFC camp when he calmly converted in a similar style in the 43rd minute going up for a powerful free header from a Salim Kinje’s corner to beat keeper Fred Onyango for the equalizer.  

The start of the second period was very scary for AFC as keeper Tiema was forced to make two successive saves to deny a recharged Chemelil their second lead. But mostly, both sides maintained a balanced affair canceling each other in the midfield.

Chemelil suffered a set back when Victor Omondi was sent off by referee Fidelis Wekesa for foul mouth with a second yellow card.

With a man down, AFC capitalized on the deficit to surge their attack and Selenga came close in the 65th minute but keeper Onyango was equal to the task pinning down a hard low drive.

In Nairobi for just a point, Manoah saw the need to beef up his defense line .He made a quick technical change to counter the deficit bringing off striker Milton Kiriga for defender Smith Ouko.He then sealed off the defense and compacted the midfield making it very difficult for AFC to make meaningful passes.

Yakhama on his side threw in two youthful strikers Tostao Emmanuel and Odhiambo Paul but their frequent runs on the wings ended in wasted crosses.

Eventually the match ended in shared points much to the disappointment of the AFC Leopards’ fans who had hoped to collect maximum points from the millers.

“Am disappointed but this is football, their strategy was to get at us first and disorganize our game plan. We live to focus on our next assignment.” Said AFC Leopards’ coach Nick Yakhama.

Chemelil coach Edward Manoah praised the performance of his team for the one point though he was confident of maximizing his points.

“A better result would have been for us to win the match. We had better chances and ball play than our hosts. Am happy for the single point against a good team.” He said.

Supersport reports

AFC Leopards were given a huge scare by ten man Chemelil Sugar before settling to a 1-1 draw in a tension packed league match staged at Nairobi’s City Stadium.

The visitors drew first blood in the 23rd minute when Milton Kidiga brilliantly headed in a nice cross from Willis Ouma beating Leopards custodian Barnabas Tiema all ends up.

Leopards upped their game forcing several fruitless corners but they kept plugging away and got the equaliser when captain Nicholas Muyoti scored off a Salim Kinje corner.

Chemelil were then reduced to ten men in the 61st minute after Victor Omondi was sent off by referee Fidelis Wekesa after committing a second bookable offence.

Leopards will host Sony Sugar next weekend in Nairobi while Chemelil Sugar will be in Nairobi to face Mathare United.

Meanwhile, the Star reports that Coach Nick Yakhama was not impressed with his players:-

The table 

4Ulinzi Stars11542127519
5Gor Mahia11542119219
6Thika United115331611518
7Western Stima1152477017
8AFC Leopards115151010016
10Sony Sugar11335713-612
11Chemelil Sugar11254510-511
12Mathare United112451113-210
13Congo United11245815-710
15Karuturi Sports10226511-68
16City Stars11227412-88

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pre Match: Chemelil Sugar (H)

Copies of the first print edition of the Ingwe Fan magazine are still on sale for only Kshs. 300. You can pick them at the stadium or call 0700126608 or 0735648461

After the sad 1-0 loss to Thika United at Mumias Sugar Sports Complex, the Leopards return to action against Chemelil Sugar at the City Stadium.

Ciollins Okinyo who consistently makes predictions for the matches of KPL teams each week does not disappoint today. Wrting for Supersport, he reports:

AFC Leopards vs Chemelil Sugar (City Stadium)

Leopards’ new coach Nick Yakhama suffered his first defeat against Thika United in only his second game at the helm comes up against his former side Chemelil Sugar.

Chemelil’s new coach Edward Manoah will be handling the team in his first match in charge and will want to get off to a good start and prove that he was the best candidate for the job.

Our Prediction: 2-1

Carol Radull continues with her glory hunting ways as she makes predictions for the English Premier League and ignores the KPL fixtures making only one prediction for the Rangers match and the Super 8 tournament. 

Which gives a chance for other newspapers to shine with their weekend previews. The Standard reports, through Gilbert Wandera:-

AFC Leopards coach Nick Yakhama will be a man under the spotlight when his side faces Chemelil Sugar in one of the two Kenyan Premier League (KPL) fixtures in Nairobi today.

Brought in to replace fired Robert Matano, Yakhama is yet to win over the impatient Leopards’ fans.

Last weekend was particularly bad for Yakhama as he watched his team torn apart by Thika United who won 2-0 in Mumias in what should have been a homecoming of sorts for him as Leopards have adopted the ground for some of their home ties.

Today’s fixture is particularly interesting for Yakhama, who until three weeks ago was the man in charge at Chemelil Sugar before the two parted ways due to a poor run in the league.

Perhaps the familiarity with his former club should give him an advantage on the tactical side for it is unlikely that the team could have changed their format of play so quickly.

Ahead of today’s fixture, team captain Nicholas Muyoti has promised his team will get back to their winning ways.

In a meeting with club officials the team captain admitted they did not give their best during Thika United clash, but will overcome the loss.

Of concern to Leopards is the lack of goals by Congolese striker Itubu Imbem, who has scored just once this season.

The Congolese was the club’s top scorer last season, but is yet to get the same form.

For Chemelil coach Edward Manoah, this is his second match in charge since taking over at the club two weeks ago.

He managed just a point at home after holding defending champions Ulinzi last weekend in a barren draw.

Chemelil strikers need to overcome their lack of sharpness upfront and must learn to put away every chance that comes their way.

The Nation also has the report by Charles Nyende on the battle of the coaches:-

It is only 10 rounds into the Kenyan Premier League but the plot has thickened so fast writers are spoilt for choice on which narratives to pick.

Seven matches are on the programme this weekend, each providing interesting characters and intrigues.
Saturday’s clash between AFC Leopards and Chemelil Sugar at City Stadium offers one of the most interesting match-ups from a coaching perspective.
Former Leopards and Chemelil tactician Nick Yakhama, now back at the helm at Ingwe, faces up to Noah Manoah, who has also coached both teams.
Yakhama decamped from Chemelil two weeks ago to rejoin Leopards, where he had a brief stint in 2009, while Manoah coached Chemelil in 2003 and Leopards in 2009.
The interesting bit, however, is that it was Yakhama who replaced Manoah at Leopards in 2009, just as the reverse has happened on the Chemelil job with Manoah taking over from Yakhama.
The loyalty of the two coaches will be to their current employers but, from their standpoint, neither would want to lose to his former club.
“I hold no grudge against them (Chemelil) and we parted ways amicably,” Yakhama said yesterday. “Manoah is a friend of mine and we even talked yesterday (Thursday).
“I will want to win because it will be very special for me; very sweet to beat the club I was only recently coaching.”
Manoah preferred not to state his true desire, only saying he was not looking at the past. He added that he would have preferred to play his first match in charge at home rather than before an anticipated partisan Leopards crowd at City.
“I will worry a bit about their 12 players but we are working on it on the pitch where it will be 11 versus 11,” he said.
Leopards will be looking to rebound from their 2-0 ‘home’ loss to Thika United in Mumias last Sunday.
The former giants are sweating over the injury of reliable utility man Martin Imbalabala and Congolese imports Laurent Tumba and Hugo Nzoka, who are yet to resolve matters regarding their stay in the country.

KenyanFootie has this report by Wilson Mathu:

The new AFC Leopards coach Nick Yakhama says that he is confident of winning today’s game against his former club Chemelil Sugar. 

The coach who had a mixed result in the first games with the Leopards said that the players had been adequately prepared for the game today.

The outspoken coach said that having been with the millers gave him a good opportunity to snatch the win since he knows where it hurts most. 

He was speaking to the media during the team’s last day preparations ahead of their Saturday 14th May clash with Chemelil at the Nyayo National Stadium.

-I have been there as a coach so I will use what I know to punish them come match day, said the tactician. He was relived off his duties at Chemelil  in unclear circumstances related to the team’s poor run in the Kenya Premier League this season.

The coach said that coaching Leopards was a great opportunity that any coach would love to have and promised the best for the fans. This is not the first time he will be here as he will be remembered for saving Ingwe from relegations two seasons ago.

This will be the first game that he will be playing against the club he left only weeks ago. In the last two games he has been at leopards, he has won 2-0 against Bandari and lost with the same margin to Thika last weekend.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Get Your Copy

Post Match: Thika Utd (H)

Ingwe lost 0-2 at 'home' to Thika United.

MichezoAfrika has this report by John Munene:-
Nick Yakhama’s honey moon as AFC leopards coach was short-lived after his boys failed to live up to expectations when they fell 0-2 to visiting Thika United. The one sided match played at AFC Leopards ’s backyard-Mumias Complex-was a nightmare for the partisan crowd who withstood the afternoon showers to witness their team being ripped apart as Yakhama’s dream come back to his soccer spiritual home failed to end positively.

Thika United’s intent was clear from kick off with Moses Arita being the first to fire a shot that was well saved by keeper Bernard Tiema. AFC’s Ramadhan Shaban later fired wide after Nicholas Muyoti’s header redirected the ball into play from an Abraham Cokie corner.

The Brookside boys then took over the midfield with their offensive troops consistently applying pressure to the frail AFC defense. Custodian Tiema was forced to make two successive brilliant saves to deny Arita and Kepha Aswani while defender John Amboka deflected another goal bound shot out for a corner.

Midway through the first half, the skies opened with the light showers disrupting the rhythmic flow thus ensuring both teams went for the half time break still deadlocked.

The second half clearly belonged to Thika United as AFC were left chasing the shadows. Moses Arita missed an easy tap in the 52nd minute but three minutes later he powered past three Ingwe defenders then managed a final shot between the legs to the far right that a blocked Tiema could not stop to give his team the advantage.

A minute later, man of the match Moses Arita combined well with youthful Francis Kahata but Tiema again denied them n the final strike.

AFC Leopards then initiated one of their best moves with Paul Odhiambo working hard to lob the ball to Emmanuel Tostao from the flanks. Tostao had an easy tap but the first assistant ruled it off for an offside much to the disgust of the fans.

A few ugly scenes from the fans forced the center referee to consult with his linesmen but the match proceeded on.

Former K’Ogalo hero Peter “Pinches” Opiyo then set up Kepha Aswani in the 74th minute but the latter shot wide. Francis Kahata then had his chance with a strong left foot volley but Tiema again came to the rescue of the skinned leopard.

With five minutes to go, Coach Juma Abdalla then introduced Kennedy Otieno for the man-of-the-match Arita and this move paid dividends minutes later as Otieno powered a 25 yard left foot shot with a minute to go that sealed the three points and the home team’s fate.

An elated Juma Abddalla thanked his boy’s good team work for the win and added that
“Thika United deserved that performance. We played well and am happy we collected maximum away points”

A dejected Nick Yakhama claimed some fouls on his players went unnoticed but promised a comeback in the next match.

KPL website reports:-

AFC Leopards 0 Thika United 2

AFC Leopards had no reply to Thika United’s energetic presence at Mumias Sugar Company’s Sports Complex that produced threatening attacks throughout the match.

Moses Arita [55th minute] and Kennedy Otieno [88th] concluded the miserable time for Leopards’ supporters and their new coach Nick Yakhama who had hoped for far much better.

Thika had had many great opportunities to score, the best falling to Francis Chege, before Arita came on off the bench for the visitors’ lead. Otieno also came off the bench to score after a scorching solo run on the left flank. He fired to the near post past a bewildered Barnabas Tiema in the Leopards’ goal.

Leopards, a team that had not lost to Thika United in five matches, looked quite poor on the day. The supporters sensed that and looking for a scape goat directed verbal abuse on the centre referee.

A clearly off-side Emmanuel Tostao converted a cross past Thika ‘keeper David Okello and when the Leopards’ rookie was flagged off, the supporters did not like it.

Supersport has a report by James Wokabi:-
Second half goals by Moses Arita and Kennedy Otieno handed coach Nick Yakhama his first defeat since he took over as AFC Leopards lost 2-0 to Thika United in Mumias on Sunday.

Arita scored on 55 minutes before Otieno stepped off the bench to seal the points with a powerful shot two minutes from time to give Thika its first win over Leopards in five matches.

Playing in Mumias as part of its obligations to its sponsor, leopards were decidedly second best with Moses Arita denied by goalkeeper Barnabas Tiema early on.

Their only effort at goal in the first half was wasted by Ramadhan Shaban who blazed over after an Emmanuel Tostao knock down.

Arita then put Kepha Aswani through on goal but Tiema pulled off a stunning save with his feet and the Attacking midfielder fired the rebound over the bar.

Thika continued their dominance in the second half with Peter Opiyo shooting wide on 47 minutes after advancing into the box.

Yusuf Onyango then made ground down the left on 52 minutes but Arita was unable to convert his inviting low cross.

The goal came three minutes later and Onyango was again heavily involving finding Arita with a long cross. The striker beat his marker and then escaped the attentions of Dimonde Selenga before squeezing the ball home at the far post.

Content to sit and play on the counter Thika continued to create the better chances with Tiema saving Michael Bodo’s shot on 57 minutes with Arita’s follow up deflected out for a corner.

Leopards thought they had equalised on the hour mark but Tostao’s goal was ruled out for offside.

Selenga’s shot on the turn was gathered by David Okello at the second attempt on 62 minutes.

The winners threatened again 12 minutes from time with Francis Kahata hitting the side netting. The youngster had another go on 84 minutes but Tiema tipped the ball out for a corner.

They sealed the points two minutes from time when Otieno sped away down the left before unleashing ferocious shot that beat Tiema at his near post.

The KPL standings as per the KPL website:-

4Gor Mahia10532119218
5Thika United105231510517
6Western Stima1052365117
7Ulinzi Stars10442106416
8AFC Leopards1050599015
10Sony Sugar10325612-611
11Chemelil Sugar1024449-510
12Mathare United102351012-29
13Congo United10235714-79
14Karuturi Sports9225510-58
15City Stars10226411-78

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pre Match: Thika Utd (H)

Supersport has the report:-

AFC Leopards vs Thika United (Mumias live on SuperSport 9) 

AFC Leopards new coach Nick Yakhama got a dream debut over the weekend getting an important win against Bandari. He faces a young but talented Thika side in Leopards’ second home in Mumias with the milk boys looking for a first win in five matches against Ingwe.

Thika have been in very impressive form this season with Peter Opiyo in fine form which has contributed to their solid start this term.

Our Prediction: 1-1 

Carol Radull also predicts a draw:-

AFC Leopards Vs Thika United Sunday 2pm
Mumias Sports Complex
My prediction: Ingwe 1—1 Thika
Nick Yakhama is likely to get his first real test back at AFC Leopards in this match against Thika. Thika is currently one point behind AFC and have won 4 out of their 9 matches played, while Ingwe have won 5. Yakama won his first match back against Bandari last week but acknowledged after the match that his players lacked match fitness and could improve in many areas. Bandari is currently bottom of the standings so beating them wasn’t a big achievement. Thika on the other hand had a tough time against struggling Mathare United, earning just a point last weekend. But Juma Abdullah’s boys have been playing relatively well. They are a young side but full of talent. AFC will be playing at their second home, the Mumias Complex, and even though the squad is more comfortable in Nairobi, they will not be lacking fans there. This fixture last year ended in a fist fight that saw three Thika players suspended. I doubt there will be a fight this year, but this will certainly be an exciting match to watch.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Post Match: Bandari (H)

KPL website reports:-

AFC Leopards 2 Bandari 0
Laurent Tumba scored in the eighth minute and Emmanuel Tostao made it 2-0 after 31 minutes against the struggling Bandari to turn the fortunes of a recently troubled AFC Leopards.

Nick Yakhama, the re-hired Leopards coach responded perfectly to a situation that had seen the sacking of Robert Matano, blamed for poor results after losing three of previous for fixtures.

Fielding of non-regular starters Tumba and Tostao were one of the changes made by Yakhama.

Tumba controlled a Hugo Nzangu cross to fire in strongly and Tostao’s tap in was from poor tending of goal by Bandari’s Abdulrahman Swaleh.

AFC LEOPARDS - 19. Barnabas Tiema: 5. Edwin Simiyu, 26. Douglas Okumu, 3. John Amboko, 6. Nicholas Muyoti (captain), 23. Abraham Cockie, 20. Shaban Ramadhan, 2. Edward Seda, 9. Hugo Nzangu, 21. Emmanuel Tostao, 8. Laurent Tumba
Reserves - 1. Patrick Matasi, Gk; 13. Edgar Waudo, 33. John Shamala, 16. Evans Wandera, 29. Paul Odhiambo, 14. Silas Aluvisia, 7. Brian Masiolo
Scorers - 8. Laurent Timba (8’), 21. Emmanuel Tostao (31’)
Coach - Nick Yakhama
BANDARI - 19. Abdulrahman Swaleh: 3. Duncan Otewa, 13. Hamisi Majepo, 4. Samuel Mayeye, 12. Raphael Okelo (captain), 17. Crispin Odula, 7. Shaban Kenga, 2. Mohamed Musa, 18. Abdul Wahab, 27. Simon Kalai, 14. Ali Juma
Reserves - Musa Khamis, Gk; 6. Hamisi Kafani, 10. Ayub Karoyo, 11. Zuberi Kombo, 9. Frank Opara, 28. Peter Musiime, 26. Fred Ochieng’
Coach - Oliver Msengo
Referee - Nasur Doka
Assistant refereee - Mike Mwangi
Asst ref - Jane Cherono
Reserve ref - Anthony Ogwayo
Match commissioner - George Ogola

MichezoAfrika features a story by Dennis Machio that states:-

Newly appointed AFC Leopards coach Nick Yakhama received a warm welcome back to the AFC Leopards bench as his boys in blue cruised past visiting coastal outfit Bandari FC 2-0 at the Nyayo stadium on Monday afternoon. A joyful AFC squad led by goal scorer Emmanuel Tostao said they dedicate their win to Yakhama citing his motivation as a big morale booster that contributed a lot to the sweet victory against Bandari.

The win brought back the life in the AFC Leopards family as the fans led by the vibrant Facebook branch fans synchronized to the Isukuti drum beats in an evening marked with celebration and ecstasy.

Thanks to a lovely pass from Liberian Abraham Cokie deep in the midfield, Laurent Tumba drew first blood in the 12th minute when he drove past the sluggish Bandari defenders to drive home beyond an unstable Abdulrahman Swaleh in the Ports’ men gates.

AFC Leopards looked well organized and with better ball possession than has been the case in the last three matches. They had smooth exchanges in the midfield resulting to a second goal five minutes after the half hour mark through teenager Emmanuel Tostao. Tostao easily tapped home a rebound following Tumba’s hard work on the left flank.

A series of shaky goalkeeping from the Bandari keeper Abdulrahman could have cost his team more goals had the AFC Leopards strikers maintained their precision in front of goal during the first half.

After the break, Oliver Msengo seemed to have hit the right points as they came back looking better organized while AFC Leopard’s steam faded off. Coach Yakhama threw in Evans Wandera, Paul Ojiambo and Itubu Imbem for Edward Seda, Hugo Nzoka and Emmanuel Tostao respectively.

In the 75th minute, an Abraham Cokie Corner brought confusion in the Bandari goal area when the keeper failed to punch away the ball but the danger was cleared a few inches from crossing the line.

The result marks the 7th loss for Bandari out of the 9 matches played. They have registered two wins at home against City Stars and Sony Sugar. This is for sure going to draw sulky faces in the club’s management.

After the match, Yakhama attributed the poor coordination in his team towards the final stages to lack of match fitness.

“I have been with the team for three days and I have noted the fitness level of the players needs to be elevated because they fizzled towards the end of the match and gave our opponents an upper hand.” He said.

Bandari coach Oliver Msengo is yet to understand the predicament befalling his team as he has done everything that is needed to ensure his team comes from the woods to register at least three wins in a row.

“Am yet to understand where the problem lies in my team because I think this is nothing to do with training or soccer. It must be something off the field and when we get back to Mombasa we shall sit back with the management to ensure we sort ourselves out.”

Bandari’s next assignment is against Gor Mahia in Nairobi on Saturday.

Supersport features a story by James Wokabi that states:-
Coach Nick Yakhama enjoyed a dream debut as AFC Leopards saw off Bandari 2-0 at Nyayo National stadium on Monday. Laurent Tumba and Emmanuel Tostao found the back of the net in the first half as Ingwe ran out confident winners. The win saw them climb to sixth on the log; above arch rivals Gor Mahia on goal difference.

“I am happy but not satisfied. The boys played well but the stamina levels went down in the second half and its something we have to work on. The only change I made was to ask the boys to possess the ball more and avoid losing possession,” Yakhama told

Appointed coach last week for the second time in two years, Yakhama rung the changes bringing Abraham Cokie back to the line up as well as youngsters Edward Seda and Ramadhan Shaban to the middle of the park.

The hosts went ahead on 8 minutes with a well worked goal as Tumba controlled a Hugo Nzangu cross and rifled the ball into the net cuing off wild celebrations in the stands.

The goal almost made it 2-0 five minutes later when Bandari keeper Abdulrahaman Swaleh fumbled the ball but his Hamisi Majepo cleared his shot off the line.

Leopards were dominant and they accreted another fine opening on 21 minutes when Shaban found Tostao in the inside right channel but the striker fired the ball agonizingly wide of the far post.

The second goal materialized on 32 minutes and again Tumba was heavily involved. The Congolese midfielder persisted down the left before crossing for Shaban whose point blank shot was kept out by Swaleh but Tostao was on hand to tap home the rebound from 10 yards.

With the hard done in the first half, Leopards coasted through the second half going close on several occasions but were unable to add onto their tally. 

Kenyan Star reported:-
Nick Yakhama made a grant entry back to the  coaching job at the club he lifted out of the nationwide league in 2008 by beating Bandari by two straight goals on his first match in charge.

AFC Leopards who had lost last weekend to minnows Congo United were reeling with the fact that a win was a must if they had to keep track of their title ambitions. After firing Robert Matano and snapping Yakhama from Chemelil Sugar, confidence was high though there was some murmuring from some quarters over the hiring of Yakhama.

Laurent Fabrice started the onslaught for Ingwe as early as the 8th minute after firing from close range benefiting from poor defense after a Ramadhan Shabaan Cross. The recharged Leopards continued with the attack and Hugo Nzangu saw his effort cleared off the line by the Bandari Captain Raphael Okello.

Emmanuel Tostao banged in the second for Ingwe 33 minutes into the game, this time Laurent Fabrice turning into the supplier. Laurent who had a good display on the afternoon made a run on the right leaving the Bandari defense gasping for breath before releasing in a low cross that saw the Bandari keeper Swaleh Abdulrahman save from Shaban Ramadhan before Tostao toasted in the rebound.

AFC took command of the whole first half with nice touches from the midfield totally controlled by Liberian import Abraham Cokie and should have banged in two or more goals before half time.

However in the seconde half, Bandari came back with a spirited fight after the pep talk from coach Bango and took the game to AFC's half. Chrispin Odula and Ali Juma now took charge of the midfield, pinning ingwe into their own half.

The Leopards tried once or twice to hit the dockers on the counter with Hugo Nzoka and Emmanuel Tostao being kept close by Okello and co in the Bandari defense.

The result now sees Ingwe climb to sixth position with 15 points, seven behind leaders Tusker. They are sandwiched between holders Ulinzi and bitter rivals Gor Mahia who both have a similar number of points but seperated by goal difference. The dockers woes worsen as they dip to 15th position with 6 points, just a point above league trailers Nairobi City stars.

The Daily Nation in a story by Sammy Kitula titled Leopards unleash claws, sink Bandari in Nairobi clash reported:

Nick Yakhama couldn’t have asked for a better result on his return at the AFC Leopards helm, than that 2-0 win over Bandari in a Kenyan Premier League match on Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Laurent Tumba scored after eight minutes and when Emmanuel Tostao added the second in the 30th minute, Yakhama clenched his fist, punched the air and exclaimed, “Yes” as his side leaped three places up to tie fifth with Gor Mahia on 15 points.

From the kick off, the match was played at a frantic pace, with both sides fancying themselves to take the match. 

It took little under five minutes before Leopards showed exactly what they can do, when Tostao unleashed a rocket from 25metres, forcing a fantastic save from Abdulrahman Swaleh.

Leopards looked uncharacteristically sturdy and efficient looking at the back, stifling any potential attacking moves from the visitors. 

The fluid passing from Ingwe caused havoc for Bandari and it was only going to be a matter of time before the wounded Leopards made the breakthrough. 

Just after eight minutes, a clearance was whipped onto the path of Tumba, who shot with fantastic power; proving too much for the goalkeeper as the corner of the net bulged and the stadium erupted.

Tostao added the advantage in the 30th minute after Swaleh punched a Shaban Ramadhan shot.

“This was a very good display from my players. They showed maturity and great form in that win. 

It has also come at a very good opportunity as we aim to regain our form,” said Yakhama after the match.

The Table Now:-

4Western Stima951365116
5Ulinzi Stars9432106415
6AFC Leopards950497215
7Gor Mahia9432109115
8Thika United94231310314
10Sony Sugar9315612-610
11Mathare United923489-19
12Chemelil Sugar923449-59
13Karuturi Sports9225510-58
14Congo United9135614-86
16City Stars8125310-75