Rangers and AFC share spoils in midweek clash
After the barren draw at the Nyayo National Stadium on Thursday afternoon, Rangers would go home the happier side though alittle disappointed that they could not use the many chances they had on their sleeves.
For a team struggling at the bottom of the table, James Nandwa’s side showed the resilience they need to earn a point against the table topping Leopards. Jan Koops’ charges needed to extend their lead at the apex to get off the chasing pack of Tusker, Ulinzi Stars and Thika United.
The Leopards had the early chances of the first half, Jonas Nahimana hitting the side netting from a freekick while Floribert Ndayisaba shot wide from a good angle.
The second half was more active as both teams increased their attacks. Rangers were more colourful upfront with Erick Muranda and Edwin Ombasa being most creative.
Leopards were almost 1-0 up with nine minutes played in the second half but thanks to Victor
Omondi’s acrobatic turn, Rangers kept afloat. Edgar Waudo almost scored an own goal with a header, trying to defend Oscar Kadenge’s cross from the right. Allan Wanga blasted the rebound on Tom Onyango’s ches.
Rangers had a chance with 59 minutes played. Erick Ochieng struck a fierce freekick from 30 yards out, keeper Patrick Matasi failing to hold on to the ball. Erick Muranda blasted the rebound over the bar. Five minutes later, Ochieng’ was once again haunting the Ingwe backline.
The former Karuturi striker blasted tha ball way over the bar after beating the offside trap from a clever Erick Muranda ball. Sensing that they needed a win, Coach Koops decided to throw in his first sub, pulling out a defender, Idrissa Rajab for Jimmy Bagaye. Jonas Nahimana then pulled off to left back with the central defense being made up of Imbalambala and Masika.
Allan Wanga then hit the ball out with the 68th minute from a Benard Mang’oli cross.
Rangers went on with their attacks seeking to find that goal. Leopards too pushed hard and as the game progressed, frustrations started creeping in.Erick Masika was yellow carded after an outburst with the referee who had given Rangers a freekick he thought they did not deserve.
Just a minute later, Leopards were screaming again at the referee after he failed to award what looked like a penalty after a goal moth melee from a corner.
Laurent Tumba had a shot go wide in the 85th minute with his second touch of the ball after coming on for Mike Barasa.
Rangers would almost snatch victory at the death but keeper Matasi made a wonderful save from a Tony Onyango header.