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AFC Leopards coach Casa Mbungo defends decision to rest key players ahead of derby

11:31 BST 16/05/2019
AFC Leopards coach Casa Mbungo.
Ingwe failed to get past the Bankers after losing by a solitary goal in a KPL match played at Machakos Stadium

AFC Leopards coach Casa Mbungo has defended his decision to rest key players in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) fixture against KCB on Wednesday.

Ingwe rested regulars David Ochieng, defender Soter Kayumba, Paul Were, Whyvonne Isuza, and Abdalla Salim as they allowed the Bankers to complete a league double over them with a 1-0 victory at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

The Rwandan coach opted to field a second string side with all the eyes focusing at Sunday’s Mashemeji derby against rivals Gor Mahia at Kasarani Stadium.

“My team selection had nothing to do with the derby, no…not at all,” Mbungo told Goal.

“I only decided to rest my top players because they have played in every match for the last two weeks. Most of them have been involved in ten matches and we felt like a technical bench to rotate the squad and we were not thinking about the derby at all.

“We are disappointed that we lost to KCB, the second defeat against them this season, but in my honest opinion, my players played poorly especially in the first half and despite making an improved effort in the second period, we could not get something out of the fixture.”

While Ingwe lost to KCB, their Sunday opponents Gor Mahia also lost on Wednesday, 1-0 to Nzoia Sugar away in Mumias.

The win by the Sugar Millers postponed Gor Mahia’s coronation as they still require six more points to clinch a third straight KPL title.