Moses Arita on song as Thika United maul AFC Leopards
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.