People Daily

Leopards end winless streak as Ulinzi take slender lead

By Charles Thuku @PeopleSports11 AFC Leopards are back in the groove in the SportPesa Premier League, thanks to a 1-0 away win over Bandari at the weekend, and the team’s faithful hope that returnee coach Robert Matano is the man who wields the magic wand to restore the dented image of the big cat.

This victory saw Ingwe end an eight-match winless streak as Matano started his reign with the club that had been reduced to strugglers. For Matano and his troops, the win was a big relief as the last time the team savored victory was on April 23 when they dispatched Thika United 2-1.

It was young winger Marcelus Ingotse who scored the only goal of the match in stoppage time after taking advantage of Bandari’s goalkeeper Wilson Obungu’s poor positioning to beat him with intelligence.

But Leopards, who are perched in the 11th position in the chart, will certainly have to continue working had to win their remaining fixtures if they hope to wing up in a respectable position at the end of the season.

During a weekend in which a paltry 10 goals were scored with three matches ending in barren draws, Ulinzi Stars edged out Nakumatt in one of the two fixtures that produced winners on Saturday.

Unlike Leopards, Mathare United’s series of indifferent results continued with yet another uninspiring score-less draw against Sony Sugar to remain at the basement of the league. Thika United who are above Mathare in the pecking order were not any better with the team settling for a scoreless draw with Sony Sugar.

Mathare’s woes were compounded when their custodian Levis Opiyo was sent off in the 86th minute for a tackle on Sony’s second half substitution Yema Mwana, prompting coach Francis Kimanzi to withdraw defender David Owino and introduce Wycliffe Kasaya in goal.

In Thika, hosts Thika United secured their third score-less draw of the season and their fans deserve better if the team is to escape from the relegation zone. The other match which failed to bear goals was between KariobangiSharks and Kakamega Homeboyz.

In Kericho, Chemelil Sugar had their egos bruised by newly-promoted Zoo Kericho who handed them a 2-0 defeat. Elsewhere in Ruraka, Ulinzi Stars had their vast experience prevail after edging out another rookie in Nakumatt 2-1.

Golden boy Samuel Onyango put the Kenya Defence Forces side in front two minutes after the interval, shooting home a rebound from blocked effort by Nakumatt goalkeeper Sammy Okinda.

The retail traders, however, provided a response in the 58th minute through former Tusker forward Joshua Oyoo who drilled home a nice shot past Ulinzi’s Jackton Odhiambo to level matters. Three minutes to the end of regular time, left back Omar Mbongi gifted the soldiers the winning goal with a fortuitous header that bounced awkwardly on the goal line past the flailing hands of Okinda.

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