Sports

AFC Leopards purring again!

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 00:00 |
Nzoia FC striker Hilary Simiyu battles with AFC Leopards duo of Isaac Kipyegon and Eugene Mukamgula in BetKing PL match at the weekend. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Twenty-three years is a very long time for a team of AFC Leopards calibre to have last lifted the Kenyan Premier League title and this is a spell the Big Cats have vowed to cast away.

This is the message that has been relayed by Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda even as it appears that Ingwe is intent on walking the talk after beating Nzoia Sugar 1-0 at the resumption of the 2020/21 BetKing-sponsored top tier league at the weekend.

Leopards are craving for the gong so much so that Shikanda, while giving the team plaudits for the win, maintained that the promise the management made to the players to reward them with houses, should the team win the league, remains.

“We have not changed our plans to remunerate players. If they win the title they will have done the management and our faithful a very big favour.

The players should keep this winning mentality and, hopefully, the team can break this disturbing jinx,” said Shikanda.

During the resumption of the league after nearly a seven-week break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Leopards scaled from the fourth to second position thus closing in on run away leaders Tusker.

While Tusker has raked in 37 points thus far, Leopards have 32 to their name with two matches at hand over the Brewers.

For Leopards, pride of place goes to soft-spoken striker Caleb Olilo who scored the lone goal after capitalising on a neat flick from the team’s leading marksman Elvis Rupia.

Although Tusker are still leading, their title ambitions were dented after they were held to a barren draw in a balanced round of 17 fixture at a rain-drenched Ruaraka grounds against KCB.

Tusker should even feel much guilty for failure to put three points in the bag as they failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage after Curtis Wekesa of KCB was sent off after collecting his second yellow card.

It was double trouble for KCB as, besides losing a key player, the result saw the former league leaders drop further to the fourth position in the standings.

But of all the teams in action, Kariobangi takes the bragging rights for having jumpstarted wins last Friday with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Kakamega Homeboyz at Utalii ground.

And, suffice to say, the success by Sharks, who are perched in the third position in the log, meant a lot as it enabled them move within a touching distance of AFC Leopards.

Defending champions Gor Mahia  were  1-0 winners over Nairobi City Stars with Sofapaka drowning  Wazito 2-0 in Wundanyi.

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