Western Stima dents AFC Leopards' title ambitions
Wesley Kemboi tacked by Nahimana
AFC Leopards’ Tusker Premier League title ambitions suffered a huge setback on Saturday after a shock 2-1 loss to Western Stima at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium. Wesley Kemboi’s brace ensured the power men went home not only with cash from gate collection but also three points richer.
Western Stima was the first to attack. Wesley Kemboi fed Alloyce Mangi whose feeble shot was easily collected by Bernard Tiema. AFC Leopards followed with Paul Were making a good run on the left flank but his cross to Allan Wanga was intercepted by Stima keeper BenRoberts Mandela.
In the 14th minute keeper Tiema failed free kick landed to Wesley Kemboi but the latter squandered one of the easiest chances by shooting to the top of the bar.Kemboi made amends for his earlier miss with a well-placed free header in the 17th minute following a cross by Alloyce Mangi to give Stima the lead.
A disjointed AFC leopards easily lost possession and blunt attacking left the hosts defender with little to worry on.A free kick awarded to AFC after a foul on Paul Were fell to Martin Imbalambala but his shot was nowhere close to the target.
AFC coach Jans Koops must have hard enough of the lackluster performance and he swung into action by making a double substitution five minutes to the interval. Mike Baraza came in for Laurent Tumba while Charles Okwemba paved way for Jimmy Bageya.
Another defensive lapse gifted an unmarked Wesley Kemboi an easy goal to double the advantage at the extra minutes of the first period.
AFC Leopards enjoyed a good spell at the one hour mark but Allan Wanga misfired when two good chances fell his way.
Alloyce Mangi would have made it 3-0 after a Jonas Nahimana blunder but he misplaced his shot. In the 76th minute, Mangi had another chance but couldn’t keep his shot on target.
Mike Barasa pulled one back in the 77th minute with a solo effort that beat BenRoberts Mandela to bring some joy to the many Ingwe faithfuls at Afraha.
A last minute foul on Allan Wanga won AFC a free kick that Martin Imbalambala shot straight at keeper Tiema’s gloves.
The loss leaves AFC Leopards just two points below Gor Mahia who they meet in a must watch top of the bill derby next weekend at Kasarani.