The AFC Leopards v Chemelil Sugar tie called off with three minutes to go after fans invaded the pitch and attacked match referee for alleged biased officiatingBy Tim Musungu
The Kenya Premier League (KPL) Top 8 quarter-final match between rivals AFC Leopards and Chemelil Sugar was abandoned in the 91st minute after fans invaded the pitch and attacked match referee at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday night.
Chemelil Sugar were leading 3-2 by the time of abandonment with striker Tonney Opondo coming off the bench to score the third goal for the sugar millers.
Chemelil, under the tutelage of former international Mike Muiruri, were the better side of the encounter and took the lead when Joe Obwore beat Leopards' offside trap to drill the ball past goalkeeper Patrick Matasi.
Before Leopards could settle, Chemelil added the second this time round Daniel Mutai capitilizing on a counter attack to beat his markers and stab the ball to an empty net.
Sensing danger AFC Leopards coach Luc Eymael, who is yet to win a match since joining the club as replacement for sacked Tom Olaba, rested Jonas Nahimana for Noah Abich.
Leopards midfielder and captain Martin Imbalambala was a constant threat in Chemelil's rear guard and he set up Noah Wafula to reduce the arrears in the 32nd minute. On resumption, Leopards suffered a setback when Edwin Wafula was sent off for elblowing Obwore.
The send off did not stop Ingwe from searching for an equalizer and it arrived in the 65th minute when Imbalambala drilled home a screamer. With the match headed for a draw and subsequent penalty shot outs, Tonney Opondo came on as a second half substitute in to make it 3-2 to for the sugar millers.
Agitated AFC Leopards fans then invaded the pitch assaulting the match referee and it took the intervention of policemen, who hurled tea gas canisters to calm the crowd.
Trouble started when a fan from the “Russia” side trooped into the pitch and attacked the second assistant referee Mike Mwangi. Mwangi ran into the pitch in defense as he dodged the fan who were baying for his blood.
The fans went bizarre and attacked all the match officials with fourth official Sylvester Kirwa being roughed up by the fans but was rescued by the police. The Leopards' fans were complaining that the referee Peter Waweru was biased against them and was constantly making decisions favoring their opponents.
As it stands, Chemelil will be awarded the match and Leopards should be prepared for sanctions from Kenya Premier League (KPL).