Nzoia Sugar 2-2 AFC Leopards: Ingwe strike late to salvage draw

AFC Leopards.

AFC Leopards needed a late goal from second-half substitute Dan Sunguti to salvage a 2-2 draw against Nzoia Sugar in an FKF Premier League match on Sunday.

Ingwe, who have given up on the title race, took the lead through Elvis Rupia in the 5th minute but two quick goals in the second half courtesy of Masha Gaetan in the 57th minute and Hillary Simiyu in the 60th minute put the Sugar Millers 2-1 up before Sunguti scored late for the draw.

With injuries to key players, Ingwe coach Patrick Aussems made three changes to the starting XI with Ugandan goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan replacing John Oyemba, who dropped to the bench while Said Tsuma was also given a starting role.

The Belgian tactician handed a first start ever to defender Omar Somobwana, who joined the team in January 2020 on a four-year contract from St. Peters High School, in Mumias.

It was Ingwe who looked dangerous from the first whistle and should have taken the lead in the 3rd minute when Eugune Mukangula released Bienvenue Shaka from the right-wing, but the former’s effort was parried for a fruitless corner by Humphrey Katasi.

In the 5th minute, Ingwe took a deserved lead, as midfielder Peter Thiong’o delivered the ball from a free-kick and lead striker Elvis Rupia rose highest to head it past Katasi.

The Sugar Millers then almost equalised immediately as Kevin Wafula and Hillary Simiyu combined well from a counter-attack in the 8th minute, but Felicien Okanda could not beat keeper Ochan as his left-footed effort kissed the bar.

AFC almost doubled their lead in the 34th minute as Rupia missed an open chance after being set up by Caleb Olilo.

On resumption, the game remained a balanced affair until the 57th minute when the Sugar Millers leveled matters courtesy of Gaetan and in the 60th minute, they were 2-1 up this time, Simiyu converting from the penalty spot after Okanda had been fouled inside the box.

Sensing danger, AFC coach Aussems opted for a triple change, Harrison Mwendwa, Dan Sunguti, and Hansel Ochieng coming in for Olilo, Shaka, and Mukangula while Moses Mwala came in for Nzoia, replacing Dennis Wanjala.

With Nzoia headed to pick their second win against AFC in the history of the top-flight, Sunguti leveled matters for Ingwe as he powered home a header after a cross delivered by Rupia at the stroke of full time.

Nzoia Sugar: Humphrey Katasi (GK), Ian Karani, Dennis Wanjala, Gabriel Wandera, Ronack Elvis, Juma Kevin, Kapchanga Titus, Kevin Wafula, Hillary Simiyu, Gaetan Masha, and Felicien Okanda.

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Subs: Benson Mangala (GK), Moses Mwale, Gin Pelei, Daniel Wafula, Joseph Mwangi, Leonard Kasembeli, Ian Simiyu, and Elisha Wekesa.

AFC Leopards: Benjamin Ochan, Omar Somobwana, Washington Munene, Collins Shivachi, Isaac Kipyegon, Eugene Mukangula, Bienvenue Shaka, Peter Thiong’o, Caleb Olilo, and Elis Rupia.

Subs: John Oyemba (GK), Yusuf Mainge, Said Tsuma, Harrison Mwendwa, Dan Sunguti, and Hansel Ochieng.