AFC Leopards start new FKF Premier League season on a high note
Crisis-hit AFC Leopards did the unthinkable by condemning defending champions Tusker to a poor start in the 2020/21 Football Kenya Federation Premier League by edging them 1-0 at Thika Stadium yesterday.
Tusker, who beat Gor Mahia 8-7 on post-match penalties to win the FKF Super Cup four days ago at the same venue, were literally helpless in the 19th minute when Leopards striker Saaed Musa ran unchallenged in the six-yard box to fire the ball at the back of the net.
Interestingly, despite their troubles of losing key players, Leopards demonstrated a lot of tenacity almost throughout the highly physical game.
Caleb Olilo’s shot from the edge of the box after only two minutes in the game, missing the target narrowly.
Olilo, who was a thorn in the flesh of Brewers’ defence, was on it again in the seventh minute when he capitalised on a miscued clearance with his effort ending in the side netting.
At this juncture, Tusker was living dangerously and should count themselves lucky that Saad’s effort in the 12th minute rattled the upright post after the pacy striker had dummied inside the Ale Mens’ zone.
Sensing danger, Tusker coach Robert Matano made three changes after the interval in a bid to turn the match around by introducing Kevin Monyi, Rogers Ouma and Jackson Macharia for Shami Mwinyi, Eric Zakayo and John Njuguna, but the move did not bear fruits.
Macharia turned Ingwe’s defence inside-out from the edge of the box in the 71st minute before misfiring in what was the best chance for the former.
However, Tusker’s folly to settle for a draw at worst came in the dying minutes after Boniface Muchiri was brought down inside the box only for the striker, who turns out for both the national senior and under-23 sides, to waste the resultant penalty.
Elsewhere at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, hosts Kakamega Homeboyz’s experience prevailed when they edged out newly promoted Kenya Police 1-0. Ghanaian striker Stephen Opoku netted the all-important goal as efforts by Police to salvage the match came to naught.