Ten-man AFC Leopards held by Chemelil Sugar in season opener

Difficult start for Ingwe as they fail to break down the sugar millers with ten men after striker Mike Barasa was sent off in 57th minute for dissent at Moi Kasarani
AFC Leopards failed to break their jinx against Chemelil when they were held to a 1-1 tie at Moi Kasarani on Sunday.

This is the third straight year that Leopards are failing to break down Chemelil in their domestic encounters.

On Sunday, Leooards had to come from a goal down to ensure they picked a point from the fixture after Jared Obwage scored the first goal in the 13th minute.

Leopards had to wait until the dying minutes of the match to salvage a point and this was through Noah Abich who scored from the penalty spot.

New Leopards coach Tom Olaba was denied clear firepower upfront when top striker Allan Wanga was ruled unfit for the match due to a last minute injury but the men who who got the job were still impressive.

New signing Patilla Omotto was among new players who got an opportunity to start for Leopards together with former Mathare United goalkeper Martin Musalia.

Leopards made a strong come-back after conceding the opening goal and midfielder Paul Were played his heart out in trying to get an equalizer for his side. His awesome crosses inside the Chemelil box always lacked someone to tap home.

With five minutes before the half time whistle, Were picked out Victor Ochieng with a beautiful delivery but the latter's effort was too weak allowing Chemelil defenders to clear the danger.

Buoyed by the 1-0 lead, Chemelil came back in the second half determined to extend the score and Obwage was denied by Musalia early in the match in a move the Chemelil striker will surely blame himself.

Obwage had found himself only with Musalia to beat in goal but a slight hesitation allowed Musalia to recover.

Leopards were reduced to ten men when veteran striker Mike Barasa was sent off in the 57th minute for dissent.

The action drew protests from the Leopard's fans forcing the match to be stopped briefly. Leopard's players calmed their fans who at this time had started throwing objects on the pitch allowing the match to proceed.

Second half substitute Edwin Wafula brought in some power upfront and a goal was always in the offing.