A purposeful AFC Leopards saw off Sofapaka 1-0 in a midweek Kenyan Premier League tie played at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday 27 June 2012.
Done well to get a ball at the byline
The tie that kicked off slightly later than the scheduled 1900hrs due to unfastened goal nets saw Leopards get the lead, and eventual winner in the first half after Allan Wanga scored on 38 minutes.
Wanga got his sixth goal for Leopards, with a tap in from a miscued pass that came off defender Edgar Ochieng.
Debutant Paul Were who was a livewire on the right wing had done well to get a ball at the byline and his attempted pass to the edge of the box got a touch on defender Ochieng. It rolled past keeper Duncan Ochieng to allow Wanga to bury it.
Abdalla could have conceded an own goal
AFC Leopards had the early raids on goal and on 11 minutes, off a Were cross, Bernard Mangoli could have sent ingwe 1-0 had he had time to place the ball ahead of the defenders.
Seven minutes later, Leopards keeper Baranabas Tiema fumbled a free kick but Sofapaka defender Eugene Asike was slow to bury the spilt ball. It resulted in a corner which was eventually wasted.
Four minutes on, Sofapaka left back Juma Abdalla could have conceded an own goal when he headed a Were cross from the left goal ward in his attempt to clear the ball. Luckily the ball echoed off the upright and back into play to the relief of Sofapaka.
Ground to a final halt
But the game went to the break 1-0 up thanks to Wanga’s 38th minute strike.
In the other half, Sofapaka had the early intent to get an equalizer. Two goal ward bound shots in back to back minutes after the restart, one from skipper James Situma and another from debutant Collins Gatuso Okoth all flew just wide.
Game plans changed as either Coach brought in their three substitutes, but the game ground to a final halt with Leopards revenging a 2-1 first leg loss with the single goal win.
A position and point behind
Leopards could have lost all three points to share one a piece in the second minute of added time had Humphrey Mieno, perennially fouled in the game, placed his header off a final corner. It whiskered just wide off goal at the final whistle.
With the win, Leopards still remains third but closes in on second placed Sofapaka on points. After 16 rounds of play, Sofapaka is on 32 points with Leopards a position and point behind.
AFC Leopards: Barnabas Tiema (GK), Edwin Wafula, Eric Masika, Jonas Nahimana, Idrissa Rajab, Paul Were (Charles Okwemba - 75), Bernard Mang’oli, Martin Imbalambala (Cpt), Laurent Tumba (Augustine Etemesi - 85), Allan Wanga (Jimmy Bageya - 60), Mike Barasa
Unused Substitutes; Simon Lusaka (GK), Abbas Kiwalabye, Amon Muchiri, Victor Ochieng’
Sofapaka: Duncan Ochieng (GK), Hashim Mukhwana, Abdalla Juma (Heritier Luvualu - 81), Edgar Ochieng (Demonde Selenga - 87) , Eugene Asike, James Situma (Cpt), Collins Okoth, John Njoroge, Anthony Kimani (Bob Mugalia - 76), Humphrey Mieno, John Baraza.
Unused substitutes: David Okello (GK), Robert Binja, Felly Mulumba, Abdulatif Omar