Chemelil, AFC Leopards share spoils
AFC Leopards and home team Chemelil FC played to a 1-1 draw in their opening match of the 2013 Kenya Premier League seasom at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
AFC coach Tom Olaba paraded four of his new signings in the starting team starting Michael Musalia in goal, Anthony Kimani and Noah Abich in defense while Patilla Omotto got the nod in midfield alongside Bernard Mang’oli and Martin Imbalambala.
Chemelil started proceedings powerfully and were rewarded when Jared Obwoge sank in past Musalia in the 13th minute.
AFC who looked uncoordinated in midfield play attempted a comeback in the remaining half hour of the first half raiding Chemelil goal area frequently.Paul Were’s runs on the left flank frequently tortured Chemelil defense line but there was always poor combination and lack of perfect execution in the final touch inside the box.
In the 37th minute, Paul Were’s cut into the box was cut out as he attempted to deliver a 45 home pass to Victor Ochieng but the serve was too weak and was easily cleared.
Two minutes after the start of the second half, Martin Musalia came to the rescue of AFC Leopards saving with his left foot a goal bound shot after Obwoge capitalized on a defensive blunder. Alone with the keeper, the striker failed to burrow the ball beyond Musalia.
Olaba made a double substitution bringing out Victor Ochieng for and Patilla Omotto and introduced Charles Okwemba in midfield.
New substitute Wafula added immediate power in the Ingwe attack line making a good run on the flanks to deliver to Bernard Mang’oli whose final shot was blocked.
Trouble started twelve minutes after restart when Mike Baraza was ruled offside. He protested the ruling and was given matching orders after landing a second yellow. This sparked protests from the AFC Leopards fans forcing temporary stoppage of the match. The fans pelted water bottles into the stadium but after appeals from the AFC Leopards’ players, calm restored and the match continued.
A good combination between new boy Wafula and Were almost yielded an equalizer but the latter’s last touch failed to tap the ball home.
New signing Noah Abich leveled from the spot in the dying minutes to salvage a point for AFC leopards.Paul Were had dribbled his way inside the box only to be fouled thus occasioning a clear penalty.
Chemelil Sugar coach Mike Mururi lauded the perfomance of his team afrter the match but blamed the match official for awarding AFC the penalty.
" It was a poor decision to award the penalty. That was wrong officiating. However I thank my boys for a good match. We were the better side." He said.