Kenya’s Tusker FC hand AFC Leopards first defeat of the season
Defending Kenya Premier League (KPL) Champions Tusker FC were made to struggle before edging out the well drilled AFC Leopards 2-1 in a thrilling friendly match staged at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.
The results also marked AFC leopards first defeat of their
pre-season friendly after defeating Azam from Tanzania 2-1 before
trouncing Kariobangi Sharks 2-0 at the same venue.
Leopards led 1-0 through Allan Wanga who headed brilliantly Edwin
Wafula’s cross past Tusker custodian Samuel Odhiambo.
Tusker raised up their game thereafter forcing Leopards defender
Jonas Nahimana to bring down Khalid Aucho in the danger zone.Taking
the resultant spot kick, Ismail Dunga made no mistake planting the
ball home past Leopards Goalkeeper Patrick Matasi.
Michael Olunga scored the match winner for the Bottlers in the
55th minute to spoil Leopards winning party.
Ingwe started as brightly in the second half with Coach Tom Olaba
introducing an entirely new team from the first one. Six minutes from
the restart, Noah Abich playing against his former team had a freekick
flying inches over the bar.
Two minutes later, Wanga almost grabbed his second after a Joseph
Shikokoti’s backpass fell short of Samwel Odhiambo’s distance, but the
fully stretched keeper managed to tip the ball away from Wanga’s feet.
Michael Olunga put Tusker in the lead on the hour mark with a clinical
volley after lutching onto a ball looped behind the defense, beating
Martin Musalia. Five minutes later, Wanga could have restored parity
but hi header was cleared off the line by Martin Kizza.
Noah Abich came close once again in the 70th minute with his freekick
being wonderfully tipped over by Samwel Odhiambo. Augustine Etemesi
spurned a great chance to draw Leopards level with only the keeper to
beat after Kizza and Shikokoti collided trying to head the ball away.
Tusker are preparing for a treacherous season ahead that starts with
the CAF Champions League next weekend while Leopards are preparing to
win their maiden league title since 1998.