AFC Leopards’ roared to an emphatic 2-0 victory over Nairobi City Stars in a mid-week Kenyan Premier League match played at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday.
Goals from Noah Wafula and Nigerian import Austine Ikenna propelled Ingwe to winning ways and end a run of four matches without registering victory.
And the win comes as a morale booster for Dutch coach Pieter De Jong and the team in general ahead of Sunday’s ‘Mashemeji derby’ against Gor Mahia at the same venue.
De Jong could not hide his joy after ending a run of poor results and promised Gor Mahia to be ready for a tough battle on Sunday. “We needed victory and I thank God we have won today (Wednesday).
“Furthermore, what impressed me is the display with which we got the win. The team played well in all departments and we should have won by a wider margin. All in all, we have maximum points and are now setting our eyes on Sunday’s derby.
“Against Gor Mahia…we must win. We beat them in first leg 3-1 and want to complete a double over them. We look sharp now going forward and they should anticipate a bruising battle," De Jong told Goal.
De Jong effected changes to Ingwe’s starting eleven benching goalkeeper Wycilife Kasaya and striker Jacob Keli. He introduced Noah Wafula and Martin Musalia and it was Wafula who scored the opening goal in the 5th minute.
Martin Imbalambala then set up Nigerian Austine Ikkena to head home the second goal in 15th minute and from there on, AFC Leopards’ looked the most dangerous side.
Humphrey Mieno should have made it 3-0 in 19th minute but after controlling well a cross from Ugandan Mudde Musa, he shot wide with keeper Fred Majani out of his line.
Mieno, who AFC Leopards’ signed from Sofapaka, once again came close three minutes later but could not beat Majani, who saved his shot. Wafula almost scored a brace in 28th minute but Majani was once again in top form foiling his attempt.
In particular, Mieno and Mudde played a vital role for Ingwe in midfield by creating several scoring chances which went begging. Before half-time, Ingwe should have scored more than four goals with Mieno watching his thunderbolt sail over the bar in 35th minute.