AFC Leopards lost their second straight match in the FKF Premier League after going down 3-2 to bogey side Western Stima at Nakuru ASK grounds on Tuesday.
Ingwe went into the fixture seeking to bounce back after losing 2-0 against Tusker, but they found it tough after Stima scored through Michael Karamor in the 13th and 15th minutes, and Geoffrey Ojunga in the 89th minute, to seal a double over them this season.
Ingwe almost pulled off a draw from the fixture as a late rally saw them score two goals in a span of two minutes - first Collins Shivachi making it 2-1 in the 87th minute before Bonface Mukhekhe made it 2-2 but the late goal from Ojunga denied them a point.
The Powermen, who had beaten Ingwe 2-0 in the first round meeting, started the game on a high note and they had a goal ruled out for offside as early as the fifth minute, when Clinton Bulimo’s throw-in was tapped home by Rodgers Ouma.
Despite the goal being disallowed, Stima kept their pressure going, and in the ninth minute Ouma combined well with Ojunga and then set up Baron Oketch, whose right-footed effort was punched for a fruitless corner by Ingwe keeper John Oyemba.
But in the 13th minute, Stima took a deserved lead when Karamor capitalised on a defensive lapse inside AFC’s danger zone to slot the ball past Oyemba.
And three minutes later, Stima were 2-0 up - AFC defender Robert Mudenyu handled the ball inside the box, and up stepped Karamor, who sent Oyemba the wrong way with a well-taken penalty for his second goal of the day.
After the half-time break, AFC started the game the better side and they could have reduced the deficit in the 52nd minute when Peter Thiong’o set up Caleb Olilo but the latter dallied with the ball, allowing Stima’s Kennedy Odhiambo to snatch it from his legs.
In the 59th minute, Stima’s Edwin Odhiambo was yellow carded after a foul on Thiong’o and in the 63rd minute, Ingwe coach Patrick Aussems made his first change, bringing in Hansel Ochieng for off-colour Eugene Mukangula while Stima rested Oketch for Kennedy Otieno.
Shivachi managed to reduce the deficit in the 87th minute after finishing a cross from Washington Munene and there was late drama after the goal as Mukhekhe made it 2-2, but with just moments left to the final whistle, Ojunga popped up with the late goal to deny AFC a point from the fixture.
The defeat means AFC will remain third on the 18-team table with 43 points from 24 matches but they could be dislodged by fifth-placed Kariobangi Sharks, who face Gor Mahia on Wednesday.
On the other hand, the win has pushed Stima above Nzoia Sugar to position 14 as they have 21 points from 26 matches.
Western Stima: Richard Aimo (GK), Clinton Bulimo, Vitalis Akumu, Kennedy Odhiambo, Joseph Mukisa, Geoffrey Ojunga, Edwin Odhiambo, Rodgers Ouma, Michael Karamor, Baron Oketch, and Laban Otieno.
Subs: Stephen Otieno (GK), Isaac Mweru, Bravo Otieno, Swaleh Mbaruku, Michael Alubisi, Patrick Otieno, and Brian Steve.
AFC Leopards: John Oyemba, Collins Shivachi, Robert Mudenyu, Washington Munene, Isaac Kipyegon, Eugene Mukangula, Bienvenue Shaka, Boniface Mukhekhe, Peter Thiong’o, Caleb Olilo, and Elvis Rupia.
Subs: Ezekiel Owade (GK), Yusuf Mainge, Omar Somobwana, Harrison Mwendwa, Dan Sunguti, and Hansel Ochieng.