Yakhama off to a flying start as AFC Leopards sink Bandari
Newly appointed AFC Leopards coach Nick Yakhama received a warm welcome back to the AFC Leopards bench as his boys in blue cruised past visiting coastal outfit Bandari FC 2-0 at the Nyayo stadium on Monday afternoon. A joyful AFC squad led by goal scorer Emmanuel Tostao said they dedicate their win to Yakhama citing his motivation as a big morale booster that contributed a lot to the sweet victory against Bandari.
The win brought back the life in the AFC Leopards family as the fans led by the vibrant Facebook branch fans synchronized to the Isukuti drum beats in an evening marked with celebration and ecstasy.
Thanks to a lovely pass from Liberian Abraham Cokie deep in the midfield, Laurent Tumba drew first blood in the 12th minute when he drove past the sluggish Bandari defenders to drive home beyond an unstable Abdulrahman Swaleh in the Ports’ men gates.
AFC Leopards looked well organized and with better ball possession than has been the case in the last three matches. They had smooth exchanges in the midfield resulting to a second goal five minutes after the half hour mark through teenager Emmanuel Tostao. Tostao easily tapped home a rebound following Tumba’s hard work on the left flank.
A series of shaky goalkeeping from the Bandari keeper Abdulrahman could have cost his team more goals had the AFC Leopards strikers maintained their precision in front of goal during the first half.
After the break, Oliver Msengo seemed to have hit the right points as they came back looking better organized while AFC Leopard’s steam faded off. Coach Yakhama threw in Evans Wandera, Paul Ojiambo and Itubu Imbem for Edward Seda, Hugo Nzoka and Emmanuel Tostao respectively.
In the 75th minute, an Abraham Cokie Corner brought confusion in the Bandari goal area when the keeper failed to punch away the ball but the danger was cleared a few inches from crossing the line.
The result marks the 7th loss for Bandari out of the 9 matches played. They have registered two wins at home against City Stars and Sony Sugar. This is for sure going to draw sulky faces in the club’s management.
After the match, Yakhama attributed the poor coordination in his team towards the final stages to lack of match fitness.
“I have been with the team for three days and I have noted the fitness level of the players needs to be elevated because they fizzled towards the end of the match and gave our opponents an upper hand.” He said.
Bandari coach Oliver Msengo is yet to understand the predicament befalling his team as he has done everything that is needed to ensure his team comes from the woods to register at least three wins in a row.
“Am yet to understand where the problem lies in my team because I think this is nothing to do with training or soccer. It must be something off the field and when we get back to Mombasa we shall sit back with the management to ensure we sort ourselves out.”
Bandari’s next assignment is against Gor Mahia in Nairobi on Saturday.