AFC edges out City Stars to reclaim top spot
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.