AFC Leopards claw Bandari at Mbaraki

AFC Leopards on Saturday broke an eight-match unbeaten record with a 1-0 win over Bandari in a SportPesa Premier League match at Mbaraki Sports Club in Mombasa.

Ulinzi Stars also returned to winning ways with a hard fought 2-1 win over Nakumatt in Ruaraka as Mathare United and Sony Sugar played out to a barren draw at the same venue.

Other league games saw Kakamega Homeboyz hold high flying Kariobangi Sharks to a barren draw at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, and a similar result was witnessed in Thika in the match involving hosts Thika United and 2009 league champions Sofapaka.

This weekend also marked the return of the SportPesa Premier League to the local screens following over a three-month blackout occasioned by the sudden exit of pay television channel SuperSport.

Kenyan Premier League’s new partners Bamba Sport TV aired live the Ruaraka double header involving Nakumatt and Ulinzi Stars as well as Mathare United and Sony Sugar.

But all eyes were definitely in Mombasa where Marcellus Ingotsi scored in injury time to help Ingwe to their first win in nine games.

The goal came as a result of a big blunder by Bandari goalkeeper Wilson Obungu.

Leopards new coach Robert Matano hugged all his players and reserves at the end of the match and later said that the players delivered an exemplary performance.

“I must congratulate my players for having secured this victory which will boost our chances to climb up the league ladder. We missed a number of good scoring chances but what matters is the three points,” said Matano.

The game started at a slow pace with both teams concentrating on controlling the proceedings in midfield. The home team squandered their chance to take the lead in the eighth minute when Hamisi Mwinyi received a fine pass from Hassan Abdalla but blasted the ball wide.

Bandari again came close to scoring in the 23rd minute when Abdalla sent a cross to the centre but Kevin Omondi missed the target with a header.

A minute later, Leopards got their first scoring opportunity when Alexis Kitenge sent a powerful drive which was parried for an abortive corner by Obungu.

In the second half, the game was explosive with each team trying to get a goal. However, Obungu’s error proved the difference in the end. The former Harambee Stars keeper miss-kicked a back pass by Felly Mulumba and Kitenge pounced to pass to Ingotsi – who blasted home.

Reports by Cellestine Olilo, David Kwalimwa and Abdulrahman Sheriff

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