Match Report: Karuturi Sports 3-2 AFC Leopards: Struggling Ingwe fall again

The flower men pile pressure on coach Tom Olaba as they hand AFC Leopards their first defeat of the season with a well drilled victory at 'Old Trafford' ground

By Otieno Otieno

AFC Leopards lost their first match of the season after going down 3-2 to Karuturi Sports in Naivasha on Sunday.

The result will come as shock to the fans of the team as they are yet to win any of their three league matches.

The home side got their goals through Andrew Murunga who scored first in the eighth minute, Hussein Nzinda (72nd) and Joseph Maina (87th).

Leopards were lifted by goals from Eric Masika in the 73rd minute and Martin Imbalambala in the 83rd minute.

The first half of  this match witnessed plenty of action from either side with each determined to get the better of the other and have an advantage going into the second half.

Leopards showed plenty of determination well aware that anything less than a win would be a disaster for them after fans protested twice at poor results.

But the man who was under pressure was head coach Tom Olaba who on March 1 was booed by fans when the team failed to crack Sony Sugar in a match that ended in a barren draw at City Stadium.

Olaba therefore, put all his best men into the match buoyed by the presence of veteran striker Mike Barasa, who has just finished his one match suspension after being sent off against Chemelil Sugar in the season opener.

Barasa should have registered his name on the score sheet as early as the fifth minute when he picked up a lose ball but was ruled off-side just as he prepared to strike the ball.

Three minutes later, the home side was up in the match when Andrew Murunga headed home from a John Kiplagat corner. The goal did not however, dampen the spirits of  the visiting team as they continued piling pressure on their opponents.

At the quarter mark, Oscar Kadenge floated a corner kick which found Allan Wanga unmarked and he headed on target only for Geoffrey Msieba to keep it out using his hands.

It is an action which earned Msieba the red card and Leopards a penalty but Mike Barasa hit the bar with the effort continuing another wasteful half for the club.

The pressure continued and Leopard’s experience bore on the match. Osca Kadenge was enjoying himself and on 20th minute he floated another corner picking out Eric Masika, who whoever headed just wide off the target.

Another miss by Barasa in the 43nd minute completed a dramatic first half  for Leopards.

A concentration lapse by Leopards' defenders allowed Nzinda to bag the second goal for the home side but Masika quickly pulled Leopards back and it all seemed like they would pick a point when Imbalambala added the second.

But Joseph Maina broke the hearts of Leopards with a late goal that enabled Karuturi to pick their first win of the season.