James Magayi @magayijim
Twelve-time Kenyan champions AFC Leopards edged Nakumatt in a six-goal thriller served at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos to keep their slim hopes of a first league title in 20 years alive.
A brace from Ezekiel Odera and Jaffary Owiti sent Ingwe 3-0 up by the 22nd minute and maverick forward Marvin Nabwire added Leopards’ fourth in the second half to calm nerves after Joseph Waithera had pulled one back from the spot for Nakumatt. Another late goal by the retailers was insufficient to trouble Ingwe as they ran out 4-2 winners.
At Ruaraka stadium, red hot Bandari consolidated their second spot on the table with a 1-0 victory over Tusker and moved to within 11 points of leaders Gor Mahia who play today in Kisumu.
Silent assassin Yema Mwana poked home in the fifth minute to give Bandari the lead, which they stoically defended to the end, marking a fine run of four consecutive victories in the league. Only Gor and Leopards had put together four wins on the trot this year.
In Nakuru, Enock Agwanda and Sony Sugar’s revival continued impressively as the striker scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Ulinzi Stars.
At Camp Toyoyo, Mathare United ended their eight-match winless run with a late goal to grab maximum points against Kariobangi Sharks. Ahmed Abdalla riffled in a late free kick to complete a marvelous comeback by the Francis Kimanzi’s side.
Eric Kapaito gave Sharks the lead after 12 minutes, getting to the end of a Harrison Mwendwa low cross to poke home and send jitters to Mathare’s technical bench.
Chrispin Oduor, however, restored parity with a classic display that saw him slot into an empty net after rounding off the Sharks goalkeeper. The tie looked headed for a draw before Abdalla conjured a match winner for Mathare.
In Thika, hosts Thika United were thrashed 3-1 by debutants Wazito.