Leopards cautious as they host Sharks

Saturday, September 14th, 2019 00:00 |
AFC Leopards’ newly signed striker Ismail Diarra controls the ball during the team’s training session in Gigiri recently. Photo/RODGERS NDEGWA

The tenet that football has no manners is still engraved in the minds of AFC Leopards ever since their ignominious 1-0 defeat by Kakamega Homeboyz at the start of their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) campaign two weeks ago.

Leopards must have swallowed the bitter truth that goals are the ones which count in a match and not football artistry.

This was exactly the case for the big cats in the ‘Ingo Derby’ at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega and this is a spell they would wish to cast away when they stalk Kariobangi Sharks in their second fixture of the season at Moi International Sports Centre (MISC) Kasarani on Sunday.

“Leopards played well and I was personally taken aback why we lost. Obviously, everyone was disappointed and I don’t think there is any room for error,” said newly-elected club President Dan Shikanda.

Ingwe Technical Director Tom Juma added his voice on the misfortune saying, “It was one of those black days and the Technical bench has talked to the players to reverse this trend,” said Juma.

The match was earlier programmed for Nyayo National Stadium, whose repairs have yet to be completed, before KPL switched it to Kasarani.

For Leopards coach Andre Casa Mbungo, the match presents him with a perfect opportunity to clear the debris and one hopes that experience players like Whyvonne Isuza, Vincent Oburu and Dennis Sikhayi will lead from the front to help appease their disenchanted fans. 

However, in Sharks, Leopards will be up against a gritty outfit which boasts of quality players like Duke Abuya and Patillah Omotto who are expected to provide a lot of inspiration as the team seeks for an improved performance after being held by Posta Rangers in their first match.

In the meantime, Tusker take battle to Mathare United in another pressure cooker encounter at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos today.

Tusker international striker Boniface Muchiri has lately been on fire and this is one of the players Mathare’s back line will let loose at their own peril.

But then, Mathare have their own danger-men that are capable of wrecking havoc  with the most notable being Chris Ochieng.

In a late kick off in Machakos today, Kakamega Homeboyz’s conquest over Leopards comes under a litmus test when tyhey come face to face with Posta Rangers.

Against Kariobangi Sharks in their opening match which ended 2-2, Range showed a lot of character and ir remain to be seen whether they will replicate the same against Homeboyz who have Allan Wanga as their main hammer in attack.

In Kisumu, Fireworks are expected to fly when Wazito, the team with most marquee signings in the season, face Western Stima.

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