The defeat leaves leaders AFC two points ahead of second placed Gor Mahia with the the rivals set to clash in a derby next Sunday at Kasarani
Kenya Premier League (KPL) leaders AFC Leopards’ title hopes went up in smoke on Saturday after they crushed 1-2 to a determined Western Stima side in a league match played at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on Saturday.
Danger man Wesley Kemboi was the man of the day putting Ingwe to the sword with two superbly taken goals in the first half.
Kemboi opened his goal account in the 16th minute heading into the net before adding a second at the stroke of half time when he sneaked into the box, picked a pass and rounded Leopards goal keeper Barnabas Tiema, before firing into the net.
Leopards who were missing the services of defense kingpin Eric Masika, were badly exposed in the rearguard and this was discernible as the opposition attackers endlessly danced their way into their territory.
Substitute Mike Baraza pulled one back for Ingwe in the 79th minute when he made a dazzling run cutting through the centre half to pull a long range shot with his weaker right foot that beat Stima’s keeper Ben Roberts Mandela .
Alloyce Mangi and Ramadhan Salim, were the architects of Stima’s attack making endless runs in Leopards box. Ali Bai could have made the score line 3-0 in the 43rd minute, when he came close threatening Tiema in his own box, after Amon Muchiri had failed to foil his move.
The defeat was a big blow to Ingwe’s title ambitions and left head coach Jan Koops a man under spot light with his fielding.
He begun with Mike Baraza and the speedy Jimmy Bageya on the bench and only brought them into the picture late in the first half, upon noticing that a potential loss was in the offing.
Well Koops smelt the coffee, but it was too late. The loss complicates the matrix for the league leaders who have a crunch date with Gor Mahia coming Sunday in an eagerly awaited derby.
Elsewhere in Thika, hosts Thika United went on the rampage hitting Rangers 4-0 to move joint fourth with Tusker on 42 points. Moses Arita Wycliffe Opondo, Kennedy Otieno and Freeman Murba scored the goals.
At the Hope Centre in Kawangware, Nairobi City Stars fought to a 1-1 draw with Mathare United with Simon Mburu putting the visiting ‘slum’ boys ahead before Ugandan import Bruno Sserenkuma leveled for his side in the 22nd minute.
Goal.com fans what is your prediction on which team will be crowned the Kenya Premier League (KPL) champions now that league leaders AFC Leopards have dropped three crucial points? Please drop your comments in the box below.