Speedy winger Paul Were scored the only goal in 62nd minute to earn caretaker coach James Nandwa his first league win and renewed hope
AFC Leopards' edged out KCB 1-0 in a Kenyan Premier League match played at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday.
Speedy winger Paul Were scored the only goal in 62nd minute earning stand in coach James Nandwa his first league win since replacing Belgian Luc Eymael. Nandwa, who doubles as Harambee Stars' assistant coach, had won his first match in charge downing Chemelil Sugar 1-0 in GOtv Shield.
Leopards got the first chance early on with a second minute free-kick near their opponents’ goal but the same was placed wide by Allan Wanga.
Overall, Leopards had better ball possession but appeared to lose the same quickly. The bankers broke through after five minutes with Jacob Keli and Ronnie Osumba coordinating well to break Leopards defense but the latter was ruled off-side as he ran to score.
But the tempo quickly turned around Leopards’ way and a combination between Paul Were and Allan Wanga set up the latter, who blasted wide. A dangerous tackle by Keli on Edwin Wafula earned the KCB marksman first caution of the duel.
Wafula did not last long on the pitch after that and AFC Leopards’ coach James Nandwa was forced to make an early substitution resting the influential defender for Augustine Etemesi. Leopards upped pressure and got first corner of the match in 31st minute clearly determined to go ahead before the break. KCB had a little breather afterwards earning their first corner at the stroke of half time.
The bankers started strongly on resumption with Martin Musalia being forced to stretch and keep out Keli's header. A hard tackle by Dennis Odhiambo on Mike Barasa earned the latter a yellow card even as Leopards kept up the attack. The bankers made their first substitution on the hour mark bringing on Peter Wainaina for Benjamin Chaka.
Two minutes later Leopards' were rewarded with the opener when Paul Were tapped home though it had looked like Allan Wanga had pushed Samuel Okinda in goal. KCB players and technical bench bitterly protested the goal as Okinda lay on the ground for almost three minutes getting treatment.
Centre referee Israel Mpaima cautioned a protesting KCB coach Abdalla Juma just as the match was resuming. On resumption, Leopards were unrelenting and were denied in the 70th minute after Paul Were blasted wide from a Mike Barasa effort.
Before that, Charles Okwemba had shot straight at a KCB defender after Barasa had done the hard work of leaving his markers stranded.