Leopards win to keep pressure on Tusker, Bandari held
Caleb Olilo scored the winner as AFC Leopards edged Nzoia Sugar 1-0 on Saturday at the Utalii Grounds to move into second on the FKF Premier League standings.
The result took Leopards’ points tally for the season to 32 from their opening 15 matches, just five behind the league leaders Tusker FC who were held in a barren draw at home earlier against KCB FC.
Tusker have played two extra matches meaning Ingwe can take charge of the early title race if they win their games in hand against the Brewers and derby rivals Gor Mahia.
At the Mbaraki Grounds in Mombasa, Bandari FC and Bidco United traded quick goals from the penalty spot in the second half as they battled to a 1-1 draw.
William Wadri was wasteful on the day but it was the Ugandan that found the equaliser for Bandari in the 74th minute after they had fallen behind six minutes earlier courtesy of Stephen Waruru’s opener.
At Utalii, Leopards were notably missing four of their first team players; captain Robinson Kamura, international Clyde Senaji, Marvin Nabwire and Collins Shichenje with some of them nursing injuries.
But they enjoyed a lively opening half, keeping Nzoia goalkeeper Benson Mangala occupied and they finally beat him when Elvis Rupia laid the ball for Olilo to finish.
Leopards goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan made an impressive fingertip save to keep out Titus Kipchanga’s effort later and he was called to action again to prevent Hillary Simiyu and James Kibande from levelling matters.
Rupia spurned an open chance to double his side’s advantage, scuffing the ball into Mangala’s gloves from close in with the Leopards bench already celebrating.
-Additional report by Godfrey Ashiali and Mark Mutuku