Stuttering start for AFC Leopards
Chemelil Sugar again proved to be a tough nut to crack for AFC Leopards as they held them to a 1-1 draw in a Kenyan Premier League match played at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on Sunday.
Last season, the two sides played to a barren draw on the opening day with Chemelil winning their match on the final day of the season, and they again managed to stall Leopards.
It was a frustrating day for Leopards, who were forced to play the majority of the second-half with 10 men after Mike Baraza was sent off. The goals were scored by Jared Omwenga (26) and Noah Abich from the penalty spot three minutes from time for Leopards.
Chemelil set out with seven men behind the ball all the time, a tactic that worked to perfection as Leopards failed to find the required penetration.
The Sugar Millers opened the scoring through Omwenga, who slotted in from close range, while Leopards were down to 10 men as Edwin Wafula sat out receiving treatment after a rough tackle.
From then on, it was about how ambitious Leopards would be and they tried hard, with Baraza and Patilla Omoto having shots on target.
The match went to the break with Leopards clearly showing their frustration at the lack of space and time to play, and it got even worse in the second half as Baraza was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Leopards coach Tom Olaba threw on a bevy of subs to aid in his side’s revival and they played a part, as Paul Were was fouled to give Abich the chance to score from the spot.
At the end of the day, it was a result that will please Chemelil, while Leopards will curse their luck once again when it comes to facing the millers.