James Magayi @magayijim
AFC Leopards moved to second position on the Kenyan Premier League table and closed the gap with leaders Gor Mahia to just three points following a dramatic 3-2 victory over 10-man Wazito in Machakos yesterday.
Ingwe made a mess out of a fixture they should have won without much sweat since they enjoyed numerical advantage over the minnows for 40 second-half minutes. The visitors had Kennedy Ayako sent off for a second bookable offence but still subjected Ingwe to a frantic finale as they sought a point from the game.
Ezekiel Odera and Victor Majid missed from the spot in both halves after referee George Mwai handed Ingwe controversial penalties and Dennis Kitambi’s side made it easy for Wazito to score.
Wazito took a shock lead after 25 minutes when casual defending by skipper of the day Salim Abdalla and a mistimed jump by goalkeeper Jairus Adira accorded highly-rated forward Pistone Mutamba space to squeeze a header into the net.
Yusuf Mainge had needlessly brought down George Owiti on the right flank, conceding the costly free kick that was floated in by Joachim Omolo for Mutamba to nod in. Odera then atoned for his penalty miss two minutes to half-time by lashing a beautiful overhead kick to draw Ingwe level.
Marvine Omondi floated a high ball into Wazito’s defence, finding youngster Jaffery Owiti under tight marking by Luis Sowedi and Mark Odhiambo. Owiti flicked the ball behind him to fortuitously set up Odera who had his back to goal but the bereaved striker expertly lashed the ball to the far right corner beating Philip Odhiambo in goal.
Leopards then went up four minutes after half-time courtesy of Isuza who guided his header into an empty net after Odera did the difficult bit by reaching Moses Mburu’s cross ahead of the Wazito custodian.
Mburu had been hacked down by a reckless Ayako but the left back dusted himself up and took the resultant free kick. Ingwe poured upfront in search for more goals as they enjoyed numerical advantage but it was Wazito who pounced in the 55th minute.
Leopards old boy Haron Nyakha collected a lose ball and set up Joe Waithira on the right. The forward sped without Ingwe defenders ahead but squared the ball to Mutamba for an easy tap in.