AFC Leopards back at the top with win over Mathare
AFC Leopards on Saturday afternoon took control of the Kenya Premier League log after a spirited 4-2 win against Mathare United in an entertaining six goal thriller played at the Mumias Sports Complex. AFC Leopards is now perched at the helm of the KPL log with 57 points two ahead of Gor Mahia who play Muhoroni Youth on Sunday and three ahead of defending champions Tusker who have a date with giant killers Western Stima.
The Blue Leopards were forced to twice recover from double defensive punishment by Mathare United who twice staged clinical text book counter attacks to pull level.
Ingwe took the lead through Mike Barasa in the 14th minute beating Martin Musalia from a close range tight angle left foot shot but before the Ingwe defense line could settle back in their formation from their celebration, Jesse Were pounced on a loose ball in the box to rattle Matasi for the leveler just seconds after restart.
Three minutes later, Bernard Mang’oli recaptured the lead for AFC with a fierce low drive to Musalia’s far right from Okwemba’s assist.
Jesse Were was back in the 22nd minute with a powerful shot from the edge but Matasi was on point this time to easily collect the attempt.
In the 36th minute Paul Were’s contribution on the left flank delivered a corner for Ingwe and the attempted lob in was cleared before it could create damage. The clearance landed on Were again who brought a cross back to the danger area but the referee ruled off side.
In the 40th minute, Victor Ochieng was served with a clever ball deep from the midfield by Mang’oli but his run was marginally judged offside though his final chip above Musalia in goal had been stopped by the upright.
Mike Barasa in the 43rd minute broke the fragile Mathare United offside trap with a good run but his final shot on target was cleared just before it crossed the line by captain Anthony Kimani for a non effective corner.
Mathare United had the final piece of action in the first half with a 45th minute free kick at the edge of the box that was fired above for Ingwe to take a 2-1 lead to the break.
At the start of the second half, Bernard Mangoli’s drive was clipped for a free kick taken by Mike Baraza but Musalia was equal to the task parrying away the goal bound shot to safety.
Mathare had moments of scare in the 63rd minute when a defensive blunder gifted Victor Ochieng an easy ball but the latter was sluggish in his reaction failing to finish off what looked like an open chance.
In the 66th minute, Mathare United produced a spectacular counter attack, capitalizing on a weak cross by Mang’oli to catch the overlapped defense line off guard. Mathare attacked like a swarm of bees with five players sprinting in sync deep from their half and the final ball found Francis Ouma’s head on the blind side to beat Matasi with a roof top goal.
Allan Wanga then came in for Victor Ochieng in the 71st minute and he immediately made the difference for Ingwe as three minutes after coming on, he beat the Mathare United defense line to serve a proper square ball for Paul Were to sink past Musalia for a 3-2 lead.
Charles Okwemba creamed Ingwe’s cake with a 4th goal in the 89th minute heading past Musalia from a Mike Baraza free kick.