Superb Mike Barasa brace sinks ten-man KCB
Mike Barasa scored two wonderful goals in the second half to give AFC Leopards an important 2-1 victory away to KCB in an entertaining KPL match played at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday evening. The win extends AFC Leopard’s unbeaten run to 21 games and cements their places at the top of the log.
Barasa struck in the 48th and 78th minutes to get Leopards three points ahead of second placed Sofapaka. Substitute Ezekiel Odera scored the consolation for KCB in the dying minutes of the match as the bankers charged forward to stage a nervy end to the tie.
The high tempo match started with both teams going out on attack and KCB taking credits for the opening exchanges. Benjamin Chaka was causing all sorts of problems to Edwin Baraza on the left with Elvis Ayany and Mike Oyando providing good cover.
Leopards were however the first to get a chance at goal with Jonas Nahimana heading over the bar after a Martin Imbalambala’s long throw.
In the 9th minute Erick Masika almost gifted KCB with the opener but Paul Mungai could not do much with the lost ball. The Under 23 striker went on the right before cutting in a cross for Jacob Kelly, but Jonas Nahimana was fast enough to cover for his compatriot.
Mungai then tried his luck from a distance in the 13th minute but his shot went wide.
20 minutes into the match,the Leopards were on the attack and Victor Ochieng shot wide after Allan Wanga's misfired shot fell on his feet. Ochieng again lost another chance after beating Kaleb Adola with a nicely cut in shot but Bethwell Warambo covered well to clear the ball before it could cross the line.
Minutes past the half hour mark, Victor Ochieng’ saw his header alone in the box go wide after Robert Syong’os return header from a uncleared corner.
KCB were again forced into another goal line clearance five minutes from the half time whistle after another short corner with Adola off his line.
On 45 minutes, Jacob Kelly had a decent chance but Patrick Matasi pulled the best out of himself saving the former Mathare United striker’s shot from the edge of the box after he was let through by Elvis Ayany.
In a quick counter that led to a corner, Salim Kinje’s shot after a short start to the corner was acrobatically tipped off by Kaleb Adola for an resultant corner.
In the second period, AFC , Leopards seemed to have had a sip of liquid Mumias sugar and they came back with more energy.
Three minutes from the restart, Barasa put Leopards on the driver’s sit with a wonderful left foot shot. Robert Syongo brought in the cross from the left and Victor Ochieng laid it off for Barasa who struck to beat Kaleb Adola.
KCB Coach James Omondi reacted by pulling off Benjamin Chalka for Bernard Meki and Clifford Alwanga for Peter Wainaina.
With twenty minutes to the end, the evergreen Paul Mungai’s shot went straight into Matasi’s hands as KCB tried hard to break the Ingwe defense. Not even the coming in of Ezekiel Odera for Mike Oyando would change things for the bankers who were enjoying much of the possession.
AFC Leopards‘ Salim Kinje limped out injured and in his place came in Oscar Kadenge.
KCB were reduced to ten men in the 75th minute when Paul Mungai saw a straight red after he appeared to have hurled some nasty words at the assistant referee after a call that he didn’t like.
Just a minute after the send-off Mike Barasa doubled Ingwe’s lead with a ferocious right foot shot after wobbling through two defenders.
KCB managed a late consolation through Odera who slapped in the ball after Matasi had punched it away.
The win puts AFC Leopards three points clear of second placed Sofapaka in the KPL Standings.