AFC Leopards has lost its third match this season 0-1 away to a stubborn Mathare united in the 10th round of Kenya Premier League mid week fixture. Leopards succumbed to an early goal in a match that it enjoyed possession for the better part of the evening.
Mathare United got the only goal of the match in the 10th minute through their Ugandan forward Hussein Zzida. This was the first match for Abdalla Juma who was appointed last week as an assistant coach replacing Mickey Weche who was sent packing alongside head coach James Nandwa and team manager Francis Xavier.
With the majority of first eleven players still nursing injuries which has troubled Ingwe, Juma gave youngster Khalid Jumaan and veteran Charles Okwemba starting positions while pushing James Situma up in the midfield instead of the usual defensive role. Leopards showed a promising game but the striking partnership of Austine Ikenna, Jumaan and the 2013 player of the year Jacob Keli did not find traction upfront.
On resumption from the break, Juma immediately brought in Mike Khamati for Austine Ikenna and later Oscar Kadenge for Khalid Jumaan and Bernard Mangoli for the injured Jackson Saleh.
Leopards remain 11th on the log with 11 points 9 behind leaders Gor-mahia. Focus now shifts to next weekend when Leopards hosts third placed Tusker F.C. on third May.
Starting XI: Martin Musalia (GK), Edwin Wafula, Titus Wamalwa, Eric Masika, Jackson Saleh (Bernard Wanyama ‘76’), James Situma, Jacob Keli, Musa Mudde, Austine Ikenna (Mike Khamati ’47’), Charles Okwemba, Khalid Jumaan (Oscar Kadenge’67’)
Reserves: Patrick Matasi (GK), Joseph Shikokoti, Juma Abdallah, Bernard Mang’oli and Mohammed Hassan.
(By Michael Agala)