Leopards draw ends losing streak

Mathare United's John Mwangi (left) races past AFC Leopards' Robinson Kamura in the rescheduled league match that ended in a barren draw.

The lads were unlucky not to reap maximum points in a rescheduled Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match against AFC Leopards played at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Wednesday 7 October.

In the end, both sides settled for a share of the spoils after a great display of wonderful goalkeeping on either end as well as missed chances. Unlike the first leg, the match got off to a flying start with Leopards forward Vincent Oburu almost handing his side an early lead only to be denied by Lennox Ogutu who cleared off the line after Levis Opiyo had raced off his line.

Then on the other end, Cliff Nyakeya failed to beat Ian Otieno in a one on one situation after Tyson Otieno picked his run with a clever through ball. A rare error from David Owino almost cost us an early setback. Ugandan Keziron Kizito dispossessed the youngster on the left, feinted towards the right byline where he sent a low cross across the face of goal. Alexis Kitenge was first to it but his effort was saved brilliantly by Opiyo’s outstretched foot. Musa Mudde fluffed the rebound wide.

John Mwangi was denied the breakthrough by Ian Otieno who saved his low drive comfortably. As the half hour mark approached, Kizito found himself on the end of a brilliant passing maneuver but his shot from the edge of the box flew way over the bar. Nyakeya almost punished Ingwe when he made space for himself on the left, cut into his favorite right foot but his shot went straight into Ian’s hands.

Samuel Ndung’u was next to threaten. His curling effort from a freekick rose above the wall but cannoned off the bar when destined for the top left corner. End to end action saw John Mwangi gallop past Robinson Kamura on the left before finding Tyson Otieno with a clever cutback. The youngster stung the hands of Ian with a rasping drive but there was no yellow shirt to connect to the rebound.  

 Tyson--who was at his destructive best--embarked on a mazy run through the middle, left three Leopards defenders in his wake, shanked a venomous volley from the edge of the box that veered narrowly off target with Ian well beaten.

Robert Matano summoned the attacking guile of Whyvonne Isuza and Marcellus Ingotsi at the restart as he sought to break the deadlock. Chrispin Oduor played a dangerous back pass to Opiyo which was read by Oburu. However Opiyo intervened with a clean sliding tackle to avert the danger.

The tie crumbled into a tactical battle as Francis Kimanzi summoned Ronald Reagan and Chris Ochieng’ from the bench. Vincent Oburu attempted to dribble his way out of trouble. Olwande managed to dispossess him and slip a pass to Tyson who played Ochieng’ through on goal with a clever through pass.

Ochieng's shot forced Ian to an instinctive save which was parried into the path of Tyson but the youngster fluffed the rebound wide. A late surge by the visitors was halted by Opiyo who showed good reflexes to deny Mudde and Oburu on separate occasions.

He still had a lot to do to earn his clean sheet as the charged Leopards pressed for the winner. Ingotsi plays a quick give and go with Isuza, stepped into the six yard box but his first touch on the return pass was heavy allowing Opiyo time to intervene with a one hand save.

With ten minutes left on the clock, Ingotsi turned provider on the right to set Isuza scurrying down the right byline. Isuza's cutback was however intercepted by Lennox who stuck his right boot to avert the danger.

The result leaves us at 14th place with 21 points in the revised league standings.

Starting XI: 30. Levis Opiyo (GK) 16.David Owino 25.Samuel Olwande 6. George Owino (C) 23. Lennox Ogutu 22. Roy Okal 27.Tyson Otieno 29. Chrispin Oduor 13. John Mwangi (67’ 15.Ronald Reagan) 17.Cliff Nyakeya (88’14.Derrick Onyango) 17. Elijah Mwanzia (60’ 9. Chris Ochieng’)

Subs: 1. Mark Kioko (GK) 12. Andrew Juma 20.Martin Ongori 24.Victor Ashinga