Sunday, July 22, 2012

Post Match: Karuturi (H)

Life begins at 40.

Leopards hit the 40 point mark with a last gasp 1-0 win over hard fighting Karuturi Sports.

Dennis Machio of MichezoAfrika wrote:-
AFC Leopards’ striker Victor Ochieng pounced on a loose ball in the danger area to sting Karuturi with a last minute goal that ensured AFC Leopards (40) flashed with supremacy at the helm of the KPL table moving four points clear off second placed Tusker (36).

Both teams had played cautiously throughout the match with each set having their fair chance of missed chances.

“We outplayed AFC most of the time and I am disappointed to have come out empty handed. But it was a good match and in soccer you have to accept defeat, we tripped in concentration before the match was over and that was it.’’ Karuturi coach Michael Nam speaking after the match.

In the 89th minute when all looked like it was headed for a barren draw,  Karuturi Keeper Michael Wanyika punched a shot on target back  into play but Titus Wamalwa made a faulty clearance that landed on Victor Ochieng’s path and the striker did not disappoint as he quickly reacted to strike with a powerful drive before Wanyika could recover.

“This was a very hard match but we thank God for the crucial win. Karuturi staged a very strong resistance but football is a 90 minutes game and Victor scored a brilliant goal that made the difference.”

90'FT: AFC Leopards 1-0 Karuturi Sports
87' Victor Ochieng' scores from a counter-attack to put Leopards on the lead
73'Kennedy Oduor dances through Leopards defense unleashes a hard shot but Tiema punches it into a fruitless corner
71' AFC sub; Victor Ochieng' in, Jimmy Bagaye out
57'Masika making great tackles to live-up the game..but generally it's a dull tussle
53'Leopards gets a free-kick
52' Karuturi Sub: Hussein Zzinda out, Allan Otindo in
51' Leopards squanders a corner
50'Wanyika makes a great save, denying Wanga an opener
46'AFC sub; Samuel Mwangi in for Edwin Wafula
46'second half underway
45'AFC-Karuturi 0-0
45'Half time at Mumias Sports Complex.
40'Imbalambala executes a hard shot but Michael Wanyika saves it
32'Wanga fouled at the edge of the box. Idrissa takes it but its too high for Imbalambala
25' Mustapha Ogutu booked for mouthing-off the referee
21'The flower-men really trying but cannot penetrate through Leoaprds' defense. still 0-0
20'Tiema makes a five save at the edge of the box. Slow game with low attendance
15'Jimmy Bageya misses a clear chance to put Leopards on the lead
3'AFC Leopards Vs Karuturi Sports on

Futaa then followed with a report by Rodgers Eshitemi

AFC Leopards SC required a late-gasp strike to extend their lead in the Kenyan Premier League after beating a stubborn Karuturi Sports FC 1-0, on Saturday 21 July, at Mumias Sports Complex.

The match started on a low tempo with both sides sitting back with less raids in the first half.

It wasn’t an exciting game by any means but it is Victor Ochieng’s 87th minute strike from a rapid counter-attack that made the difference.

Jimmy Bageya could have put Leopards on the lead in the sixth minute but squandered the chance before Barnabas Tiema made a fine save, resulting into a fruitless corner.

Five minutes to the break, Martin Imbalambala struck a hard shot, forcing Karuturi's keeper Michael Wanyika to make a great save.

On resumption, Kennedy Oduor kept Leopards' back-line on toes but it was Eric Masika's tactics and tackles that saved Ingwe.

In the 73rd minute, Oduor found himself alone in the midfield, raced through the defense and released  a perfect shot that made Tiema to over-stretch and fluffed the ball out into a fruitless corner.

Following the win, Leopards are now four points ahead of second placed Tusker FC, while Karuturi are eighth with 25 points.

Supersport wrote:-

AFC Leopards went four points clear at the top of the Kenyan Premier League after a late strike from Victor Ochieng’ secured a 1-0 win over Karuturi Sports on Saturday at Mumias Sports Complex.

The dull clash appeared to be heading towards a goalless draw before second half substitute Ochieng – who had replaced Jimmy Bageya in the 71st minute – scored the decisive goal in the match in the 88th minute.

Bageya could have put Ingwe in the driving seat early in the first-half but missed a glorious opportunity before the flowermen took the ball into Leopards’ half and forced goalkeeper Barnabas Tiema to a huge save.

A few minutes after the break, Allan Wanga rose high to connect with Idrissa Rajab’s free-kick, forcing Karuturi’s shot-stopper Michael Wanyika to make a superb save.

In the 74th minute Leopards’ fans breathed a sigh of relief after lanky midfielder Kennedy Oduor danced through the defence only for Tiema to parry his shot out for a corner.

The result saw Ingwe register their fourth straight win, leaving them four points ahead of second placed Tusker.

KPL website wrote:-

Victor Ochieng’ pounced on a loose ball in the box to fire in a last minute goal for Leopards to overcome a plucky Karuturi Sports at Mumias.

It was the second match in a row that Leopards took an unconvincing sole goal victory. A controversial penalty gave them victory of Nairobi City Stars last time out but they still maintain their position at the top of the table on 40 points from 19 matches, four ahead of No. 2 Tusker who have a match because of their absence while taking part in the Cecafa Kagame Club Cup tournament in Tanzania.

Kenyanstar wrote:-

AFC Leopards lived it late to see off a stubborn Karuturi 1-0 in a KPL match played at the Mumias Sports Complex. With Paul Were out, Leopards drafted Armon Muchiri into the squad.

Generally a dull match by any standards, both sides never sparked and this suited well the Naivasha based side.

The first chance of the game came in the 6th minute courtesy of Ugandan import Jimmy Bageya but he squandered a chance to put Leopards 1-0 up. On form Keeper Barnabas Tiema was called into action minutes later when he was forced to parry away a Kennedy Oduor’s effort.

The second half began just as the first and it was Leopards who did get the first chance through captain Martin Imbalambala but he also squandered the chance to give Ingwe the lead.

Impatient Leopard’s fans in the stadium started singing the ‘Mungu saidia rhythm’ while some in social networks expressed their disappointment but all this was thwarted when Victor ‘Aguerro’ Ochieng’ volleyed home past Noah Ayuko to send the travelling party in frenzy with the Isokonde dance. Leopards extend their lead to 40 points and are four points clear.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pre Match: Karuturi (A)

Leopards face Karuturi Sports at the adopted home in Mumias.

Futaa's Rodgers Eshitemi writes:

Karuturi Sports FC Coach Michael Nam says that his boys will not be cowed by AFC Leopards’ recent form when the two sides face-off in a Kenyan Premier League match, on Saturday 21 July, at Mumias Sports Complex.
In the first leg in Naivasha, both teams shared the spoils after the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Although Nam bemoaned the injury crisis ravaging the Flower-men’s camp, he is optimistic the make-shift team will do duty.

-We are going to fight without fear. I anticipate the match to be difficult for both teams, Nam told

-We dearly need the three points the same way they want them and I believe the team that will use its opportunities well will emerge the winners.
-Due to injuries, I will be forced to use a make-shift team but I know they will counter them, added the former Rangers FC tactician.

Carol Radull of The Star predicts a 2-1 victory for Leopards.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

MBM City Stars

One of the things we enjoy is when a Kenyan journalist takes time to do something that is for the good of the Kenyan game. Charles Nyende of the Daily Nation last night had a minute-by-minute play of the action as Leopards took on Nairobi City Stars.

We reproduce the action here.


6:48: Welcome to Nyayo National Stadium and our live coverage. This is the 139th match of the 2012 Kenyan Premier League between title chasing AFC Leopards and mid-table Nairobi City Stars. City Stars head into the match on the back of a tremendous recent record where they have won four of their last five matches including a 3-0 humiliation of their opponents today. 

Even so, Leopards, you feel, are the favourites today after looking to have recovered from a worrying slump with two back to back victories. Leopards will be parading their lethal second leg acquisition Paul Were from Tusker, who has fitted into his new club like a black spot on a Leopard skin. 

Expect Leopards to come out all fangs bared as they look for revenge and a chance to go back to the top of the league table. City, you bet, will not just roll over and die. They will confidently want to maintain their winning ways while solidifying their position in better half of the league table. I cannot wait for the kick-off.

6:51: The line-up will be coming up shortly but interestingly AFC Leopard’s big second leg signing, international Pascal Ochieng is starting on the bench. Jan Koop, who early this week told me he always prefers keeping a winning team intact, has stuck to his tested central back pairing of Jonas Nahimana and Eric Masika.

Gideon Ochieng, the Nairobi City Stars, coach has made changes to the starting team that drew 0-0 with Western Stima last Sunday, bringing in ex-Gor Mahia pair of Duncan Owiti and Ibrahim Kitawi while relegating to the bench club loyalists, Justus Basweti and Francis Thairu. This looks interesting.

6:54: The crowd is slowly building up. Remember this is a working day and I will not even mention the chaotic traffic on the streets of Nairobi. Tickets are priced at VIP Sh400, terraces Sh200. It will not be a full house by any measure but a decent turn out all the same. Most on the stands are in blue and white, the official colours of Ingwe.

6:59: I did a quick check on the social media sites. This are some of the facts I came up with.

AFC Leopards Facebook Branch – 9.413 members
AFC Leopards FacebookGroup Page: 1,929 members
Nairobi City Stars Facebook page – 245 likes and no list of members

7:00: line-ups:
AFC Leopards
Barnabas Tiema, Edwin Wagula, Idrissa Rajab, Jonas Nahimana, Eric Masika, Martin Imbalambala (capt), Paul Were, Bernard Mangoli, Allan Wanga, Jimmy Bageya, Mike Barasa. Subs; Patrick Matasi, Abbas Kiwalabye, Amon Muchiri, Victor Ochieng, Augustine Etemesi, Laurent Tumba, Pascal Ochieng
City Stars
Ronny Kagunzi, Mark Ongwae,John Amboko (capt), Nicholas Ochieng, Arthur Museve, Boniface Onyango, Dennis Okumu, David Kingatua, Duncan Owiti, Ibrahim Kitawi, George Mwangi. Subs; Fredrick Majani, Simon Ogutu, Peter Ashango, Joel Sebuliba, Justus Basweti, Francis Thairu, Alex Achoki.

7:01: Both teams have walked into the stadium, Leopards in their traditional blue white, City Stars in a spanking new all yellow kit.

7:03: Great atmosphere that you only get when one of the two –AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia - real big clubs in the country are playing. Isikuti dancers are in full motion to some throbbing drum beat. The late Jack Luseno’s ageless hit Mukangala had the aroused crowd imbibed in acoustic nourishment. It got to me too I must admit.

Here are the match officials:
Referee – James Kagera
Assistant referees – Peter Kiereino, Oliver Ouma
Fourth official – Richard Obare
Match Commissioner – Aloice Odhiambo

7:05: KICK-OFF! Leopards on the Nairobi West side, City Stars on the Bunyala Road side.

7:06: AFC captain Imbalambala almost cuts off the feet of Onyango in an early indication of the midfield battle.

7:07: The second most expensive player in the league Masika sends a long punt to the speedy Were but City Stars are alert to the danger and clear.

7:09: Wanga combines well with Bagaye to release the Ugandan who tests City's keeper Kagunzi with a rasping shot.

7:10: Baraza collides with Amboko inside the City Stars box as both battle for the ball. Amboko comes out worst as play is briefly stopped.

7:12: Wanga detaches from some tight marking to unleash a screamer from just outside the area that is matches by screams from the partisan crowd but the shot sails wide.

7:13: Good opening spell from Leopards but City look unfazed with some confident passing. Not much between the two sides at the moment.

7:14: Leopards coach Koop is on his feet as a missed tackle by Masika almost gets Mwangi away but the men in blue and white recover.

7:16: Ten minutes gone and we have had just one shot on goal, the screamer from Wanga. Most play is concentrated in the middle but you feel things will open up, surely.

7:18: Leopards get to quick corners but they are poorly executed. Dead balls have been a problem area in Kenyan football and this two instances illustrate that.

7:20: Rajab and Imbabambala play some neat one two in the middle but the Kenya captain sends a long ball down the right wing to no one in particularly. If Leopards are thinking of regaining the lead of the league table they certainly must play better football.

7:22: Were is enjoying himself on the pitch with some sublime moves. It is good to see players showboat sometimes. The crowd are loving it but it a goal the want most. City Stars will care less.

7:23: City Stars finally get their first shot on goal, a long-range hopeful effort from Onyango well dealt by Tiema in the Leopards goals.

7:24: At the other end Mangoli almost sends the ball sailing to Nakummat Mega with a thunderous shot. Are we going to get any goals this evening?

7:26: Penalty for Leopards after Ochieng handles the ball in the box following great ran from Were

7:26: GOAL!

7:27: AFC LEOPARDS 1 CITY STARS 0. Goal poacher Mike Baraza calmly steps forward to send the penalty kick home. This is his fifth goal of the season.

7:30: It passed me earlier on but Okumu was shown the yellow card for protesting the penalty decision. You will feel for him though, television replays show Ochieng did not handle the ball. I case for video technology, I wonder what Fifa president Sepp Blatter would say about this?

7:32: The Isikuti beats throb on, City coach Ochieng remonstrates with the fourth official on the touch line. Things are getting hot down there.

7:34: Were is tormenting his markers with some trickery with the ball. He is a life wire for Leopards.

7:35: City Stars get a nice break but Kitawi rushes his shot with plenty of space and option for him and the chance goes begging.

7:37: Wanga fails to control the ball under the close attention of Museve following a good Leopards build up. It has been a rather quiet spell from him so far.

7:37: That man Were again. He leaves the City defence for dead but puts too much weight on his pass when he needed to just pick the unmarked Baraza in the box. What a chance.

7:39: Were is at it again but his free kick from about 25 metres wide is a poor effort. He shows his frustration with stare into space.

7:41: It is now all Leopards us they search for more insurance. Rajab floats a cross into the box but Wanga's jump is a few centimetres shot and City are let off the hook.

7:43: Masika is down injured and is receiving first aid. Gives me chance to give you the recent form of the two sides:

Leopards: LLDWW
City Stars: WWWWD

7:44: Masika returns and shows it with an emphatic headed clearance off a City Stars free kick.

7:47: City are gradually getting back into this game with Kitawi and Owiti driving forward to the back four of Leopards - Wafula, Nahimana, Masika and Rajab. This match is far from over.

7:48: Baraza wrestles down Kangatua, by far City's most impressive player this evening, to draw a foul as the game goes through a lull.

7:50: Nahimana gets his face full of Kitawi's studs. That was dangerous play from Kitawi but he escapes without a caution.

7:52: It is now all City as they search for the equaliser. Nahimana makes a wild clearance in his six yard box under pressure.


7:57: Leopards will be the happier side at the break. They were under increasing pressure from City who dominated the latter stages of the half but had nothing to show for it. Only a brave man can predict the outcome. Me? It can go either way. Yeah, right.

8:02: I must admit here at Nyayo Stadium the press facilities are rather rudimentary. 

Actually, they are non existent. I have squeezed into a booth used by the SuperSport broadcast team to carry out this reporting and, what do you know, thanks to them I can give you the following half time statistics

Shots on goal:
Leopards 5 City Stars 3
Leopards 4 City Stars 0
Leopards 53 City Stars 47
Leopards 7 City Stars 11

8:07: More stats for you at the break

Head to head. They have met six times since 2009. AFC Leopards winning three times, City Stars twice with one draw.

League record:
P W D L F A Pts
2. Leopards: 17 10 4 3 25 15 34
10. City Stars 17 5 6 6 13 16 21

Leading League scorers
Allan Wanga 6
Mike Baraza 5
Victor Ochieng 4
City Stars
Boniface Onyango 2
George Odari 2

The eleven goals that Leopards have scored at Nyayo
8:10: Nairobi mayor George Aladwa is in attendance. I wonder if he is here in his capacity as the father of the city or he is a Leopards fan. At least I know he is the chairman of ODM Nairobi County. Okay, let us not bring politics into football.

8:11: And we kick off the second half with City getting the first touch.

8:13: Were gets past a sliding Onwgae but a trailing leg brings him down. The Kenya winger, by this indication, still has plenty of gas to burn.

8:14: Imbalambala pushes up from midfield but his wild shot is way over the bar. It would make a super rugby union conversion.

8:18: Not much constructive football going on as both teams struggle to hold onto possession.

8:21: Bageya squares the ball to Imbalambala on the edge of the box but he flays the ball over the bar again. The crowd goes "ooooooh!" That will tell you the speed the ball was travelling at.

8:21: Boniface Onyango of City Stars gets a yellow card for rough play.

8:25: Wafula, Were combine to put Baraza through, who does a step over to hit the gain line but his cross goes begging with Wanga mistiming his run. This will encourage Leopards

8:26: On paper Leopards are the superior side but on the ground, City Stars are anything but cowed by their fancied opponents. It is still anybody's game out there.

8:29: Leopards have a good shout for a penalty after Ongwae looked to have clearly handled the ball in the box but referee Kagera waves play on.

8:31: Owiti gets a yellow card for trying to fool the referee with an injury. Kagera is gaining prominence in this match.

8:32: Owiti shows good pace to split open the Leopards back line but Tiemi is alert to the danger.

8:35: Tricky Bageya is bundled to the ground by Okumu and the ref calls for a foul. City coach Ochieng is incensed. They share harsh words and HE IS RED CARDED. Off to the stands he goes

8:38: City Stars are seeing more of the possession but not making good use of it. A sea of blue and red is making it difficult for them to progress to the final third of the pitch.

8:42: Tiemi is down injured. He went down like looks like he was pole axed . Play has been stopped as he receives medical attention. Koops looks worried but Tiemi is back on his feel and play resumes.

8:44: City Stars make first substitution, bringing in Basweti for Kingatua. Basweti is a former Leopards player. Could that make a difference? Let's see.

8:45: Baraza turns Onyango at the edge of the box but his shot whistles past the face of goal.

8:47: Baraza receives a yellow card for a deliberate hand ball. The cheek from Baraza. It was so obvious you cannot blame the referee.

8:48: Leopards make a double substitution. Out goes Were for Congolese Tumba and out goes B.araza for Ochieng. Ochieng is Leopards third highest league scorer with four goals and will be thinking of increasing the tally.

8:51: Masika gets a yellow card for rough play.

8:52: Kitawi tests Tiema with a good effort from 20 metres out. City can gain from this.

8:54: Wafula tries one from far. Out. Leopards have not really shown that thrust up front except when Were was making his direct runs and Wafula's effort from far shows their frustration.

8:56: The 90 minutes are up and the fourth official has added a staggering six minutes. This will be an anxious wait for Leopards fans.

8:58: Wanga is superbly stopped by Kagunza after Rajab picks him in the box with a pin point delivery. It could have been all over for City Stars.

8:58: City make another substitution. Owiti out for Achoki.

9:01: Ogwae refuses to throw the ball back to Leopards after Wange kicked it out to have the injured Bagaye attended but nothing comes of it.

9:02: And the final whistle goes. AFC LEOPARDS 1 NAIROBI CITY STARS 0.

9:10: Leopards stubbornly clung to their early first half win and there is huge relief on the stands because City fought hard in this one had chances come back in the game.

The win pushes Leopards to the top of the 16-team league table and even though it was not a convincing one it surely cements their credentials as legitimate title contenders.

City on the other hand will be disappointed they lost their five-match unbeaten run but they have shown they are certainly not relegation material. Their blight today was the red card to coach Ochieng who let his players down when they needed him most. We hope you have enjoyed our coverage and bye bye.

Post Match: City Stars (H)

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

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

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

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

Gregory Mulemi of Kenyanstar reported:-

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

MichezoAfrika reported:-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Ngulu of Futaa reported:-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mbuga also gave the Leopards coach's retort:-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Claudia Ekai writing for Supersport filed this report:-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Daily Nation live blogged the action.

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

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

Log after Week 18 matches.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pre Match: City Stars (H)

Leopards face Nairobi City Stars tonight in a match where an eleventh victory this season will lead them to the top of the Kenyan Premier League standings.

Amos Mbuga of MichezoAfrika reports:-

AFC Leopards head coach Jan Koops has said his team will approach City Stars with all the caution since their opponents are very  “unpredictable” and if not handled with care can cause a major upset. The two teams will meet on Friday evening at the Nyayo national stadium in a KPL evening fixture.

Koops said winning against Stars is very crucial as it will take them to first position a point above Tusker as well as open a bigger gap from third placed Sofapaka who lost on Wednesday evening to Mathare United.

“We will only laugh after 30 matches when we win the title. The match on Friday will only motivate the players. In the first match we lost to City Stars and we will not like the same to be repeated. We need to overturn the score line. However it should be remembered it will be a very hard game since stars are professional and not school boys,” he said

The coach said he is encouraged with the level of competition in the league where no one is more special than the other therefore making the games more interesting.

“Look at teams like, Gor, Thika and Ulinzi, they are all closing the gap at the top. It implies one thing. The league has improved immensely,” Koops added.

The tactician also said there is a lot of talent not only in the premier league but also in the lower division that needs to be tapped and nurtured to help the Kenya football at the international stage.

Supersport reports:-

Tenth-placed Nairobi City Stars take on a resurgent AFC Leopards on Friday at Nyayo National Stadium.

Team Manager Lawrence Njenga has exuded confidence ahead of the match, saying that the team will go for a straight victory against the second-placed Ingwe. 

“We defeated them fair and square in the first leg match and will prove to them that it wasn’t a stroke of luck,” he said. 

“They are second-placed on the table but that does not scare us at all. The fact that we defeated them in the first leg gives us confidence. We are going for nothing less than a victory.” 

City Stars beat AFC Leopards 3-0 in the first leg match played on 5 May at Nyayo and Njenga believes AFC will be under pressure to avenge the defeat. 

“The team (City Stars) has been training well and we have no major injury concerns ahead of the game. All the players are okay and are looking forward to the game,” he continued. 

“AFC Leopards want to take vengeance since we defeated them in the first leg and therefore will be playing under pressure.” 

Dan Serunkuma was instrumental in City Stars’ win against AFC Leopards, as he scored a brace, but has since joined Gor Mahia. 

“Serunkuma was in fine form that day, he is no longer with us but I believe the players I have will be up to the task,” he concluded.

Gilbert Wandera of the Stadard writes:-

Elsewhere, AFC Leopards may go top of the standings this evening (7pm) if they beat Nairobi City Stars at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Leopards are currently second on the log and need to win on Friday to displace leaders and champions Tusker.

This is a grudge match as City Stars won the first leg 3-0 and it is a result that marked the turn around for the Kawangware based club since they have not lost from that time on.

City Stars have gone an in incredible six matches un-beaten and go into Friday’s fixture as the favourites.

Even after losing top goal scorer, Dan Ssrenkuma, the Kawangware-based club has not been shot of inspiration. Their most recent win was against high riding Thika United away.

Former Gor Mahia striker Ibrahim Kitawi is fast settling at the club and his experience will count for something against Leopards.

Like, City Stars, Leopards have also turned around their performance winning their last two fixtures.

The team welcomes new defence kingpin Pascal Ochieng’ who completed his move to the club this week. 

Rodgers Eshitemi of Futaa reports on the line up:-
AFC Leopards SC Coach Jan Koops has made a single change in his squad that beat SoNy Sugar FC last weekend for Friday’s Kenyan Premier League match against Nairobi City Stars FC, at Nyayo National Stadium.

Jimmy Bageya has replaced Laurent Tumba and will play alongside Paul Were, Bernard Mang’oli and skipper Martin Imbalambala in the midfield.

Harambee Stars defender Pascal Ochieng’ will start from the bench as well as Victor Ochieng’ and Patrick Matasi.

Starting XI: Barnabas Tiema (GK), Edwin Wafula, Eric Masika, Jonas Nahimana, Idrissa Rajab, Paul Were, Bernard Mang’oli, Martin Imbalambala (Cpt), Jimmy Bageya, Allan Wanga, Mike Barasa

Substitutes: Patrick Matasi (GK), Abbas Kiwalabye, Amon Muchiri, Pascal Ochieng’, Augustine Etemesi, Laurent Tumba, Victor Ochieng’

Coach: Jan Koops Ass Coach: Nicholas Muyoti Team Manager: Bernard Onyango

The match will kick-off at 1900hrs local time.

Kenyanstar reports:-

AFC Leopards tonight have a chance of going top of the KPL when they take on Nairobi City Stars at the Nyayo national Stadium. On 5th of May, Jan Koops’ face turned red after watching his side get a 3-0 bashing from City Stars at the mucky Nyayo National Stadium. Dan Sserunkuma-now at Gor Mahia-was a constant threat to Eric Masika and Jonas Nahimana. His weaving runs and dummies did confuse AFC Leopards to habd the Kawangware based side their biggest win in recent times.

Sserunkuma scored a brace on that afternoon but wait a minute, this is a whole new affair. Both sides have not lost a match in the second leg.
Leopards did have a difficult time after the City Stars loss and many fans began doubting Jan Koops side’s  title credentials, at the beginning of the second leg, Leopards had a match in hand-against Sony Sugar- and they managed a 1-1 draw against Zedekiah Otieno’s side in Mumias. Leopards bounced back in fashion beating Sofapaka and Sony Sugar with identical 1-0 wins to keep up pace with champions Tusker Fc.

Paul Were is expected to continue with his exploits on the right flank and with the support of Jimmy Bageya and Allan Wanga, Koops seems to be taking on City Stars head on.

City Stars were relegation candidates a couple of months ago but they did turn around their season with convincing wins over AFC Leopards and Ulinzi Stars helped Gideon Ochieng’s side back in a respectable spot in the league. With the departure of Sserunkuma, another Sserunkuma has filled Danny’s position well and this is evident from the results the club has posted so far. Former AFC Leopards stopper John Amboko did keep out Jimmy Bageya, Charles Okwemba and Mike Barasa from scolding Keeper Peter Odhiambo. Tonight, the City Stars Captain will be up to task to stop the dreaded striking force again.

New signings Pascal Ochieng’ will tonight sit on the bench perhaps to learn the Koops way. Floribert Ndayisaba will have to wait for another day to don the Rio Tinto as he is yet to be fully cleared to play for his new side.  Former Gor Mahia duo of Dancun Owiti and Ibrahim Kitawi have earned starting berths  after coming on as substitutes against Western Stima last weekend.A win tonight will take Ingwe to top on the log for a while since leaders Tusker Fc are in Tanzania for the CECAFA Club cup. For City Stars, a win will lift them to seventh.

Meanwhile, the Leopards players received a boost when the former Mumias Sugar CEO visited the training camp and rewarded the players for the Victory number 10 against Sony Sugar by handing over a sum of Kshs. 180,000.

Muigai Kiguru of the Star reports:-

AFC Leopards head into today’s top Kenyan Premier League clash against City Stars bouyed by a Sh300, 000 donation from Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa and a further Sh180, 000 from Nairobi gorvernorship aspirant Evans Kidero. Kidero was fullfing a pledge he made earlier in the season of giving the club the amount whenever they win a KPL match and was therefore rewarding them for their 1-0 win over Sony Sugar last weekend.

Kidero said he is not going to tire from honouring the promise and said the challenge is for Leopards’ players to show whether they are determined to win the league title. Less than two weeks ago, Kidero rewarded the players with the same amount after they beat fellow title challengers Sofapaka.

Aladwa said the teams performances in their recent matches shows they are ready to challenge for the title. “Leopards remain the best team to challenge for the title this year,” said Aladwa. He observed that Leopards are a national outfit that requires support from everybody. “Leopards and Gor Mahia are the biggest clubs in Kenya and without them I dont think fooball will be the same” said Aladwa.