Striker Noah Wafula had put AFC ahead with an early lead but Dennis Odhiambo’s 69th minute goal pulled a point back for John Kamau’s chargesKenya Premier League leaders Thika United came from behind to force a one-all draw with AFC Leopards in a rescheduled league match played at the Nyayo Stadium on Monday.
Noah Wafula had given Leopards an early first half lead but Dennis Odhiambo’s 69th minute goal pulled a point back for John Kamau’s charges.
AFC Leopards showed a great game from the start and should have scored more before the first 45 ended but they were wasteful in front of goal. Thika seemed lost in the first half but settled in the later stages of the game.
AFC Leopards had started off a five man midfield with new signing Peter Opiyo, Patillah Omotto and Edward Seda making up the pyramid central midfield. Opiyo justified his Sh850, 000 million signature in the 5th minute with a superb pass to Paul Were from deep within his own half.
Were dribbled into the box beating Sammy Mejja with a wonderful step over before cutting back a low cross that was slapped home by Wafula. Leopards continued to dominate the opening minutes of the game but were never lucky to extend the lead.
Thika United sought to respond almost immediately but Kahata’s effort went wide. Ingwe keeper Patrick Matasi pulled off a good save in the 24th minute to deny Vincent Otieno, who had sent in a ferocious shot after Clifton Miheso had touched the ball onto him from a free-kick.
Paul Were came close to doubling the advantage for Ingwe but his curling effort after a good one-two with Patilla Omoto went agonizingly wide.
Were was again dangerous on the wings in the 38th minute with another of his stopovers, binging in a cross that was headed by Omoto. However it fell on David Odhiambo’s chest with Peter Opiyo collecting the pieces, passing to Wafula who shot wide.
AFC Leopards should have scored the second through Seda but the youngster failed to beat keeper Indeche from just six yards out after a great pass from Allan Wanga. Seda found himself isolated inside the box and should have made it count.
In the second half, Leopards were still on the attack in the opening minutes. In the 53rd minute Were had an attempt after keeper Indeche had come off his line to sweep away the ball from Allan Wanga’s feet.
However Were’s attempt to lob into an empty net were futile as the ball went way wide. In the 65th minute Kennedy Otieno came in for Wycliffe Opondo and he almost made an immediate impact but he failed to connect well from an Ezekiel Odera cross.
Thika continued knocking on Ingwe's door and it finally opened in the 69th minute, courtesy of a goalkeeping blunder from Matasi.
Erick Masika had fouled Clifton Miheso on the far left with Sammy Mejja taking the resultant free-kick. Matasi came out of his line to collect the ball but failed to hold onto it, Odhiambo having an easy time heading in at the far right.
Thika continued with their onslaught and Francis Kahata twice shot wide from his favorite left foot. Clifton Miheso also had his shot go wide after Kahata had stolen the ball from Edwin Baraza on the left.
Thika still maintain their lead despite the single point earned.