AFC Leopards celebrated their 54th birthday with a 3-2 in over Wazito FC in a rescheduled Round Two match played at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Wednesday 14th March.
Whyvonne Isuza was the hero of the day, grabbing a brace for Ingwe with Ezekiel Odera scoring the other while Piston Mutamba also scored two for Wazito.
Isuza could have scored as early as in the 7th minute but his header off a Brian Marita cross was easily dealt with by Wazito custodian Philip Odhiambo. Emmanuel Tienan was adjudged to have fouled Ezekiel Odera in the box in the 14th minute, the referee awarding Ingwe a penalty. However, Odhiambo denied Odera, much to the joy of the Wazito players who had contested the referee’s decision.
Wazito opened the scoring in the 25th minute, Piston Mutamba heading in powerfully past Ingwe custodian Jairus Adira after a good freekick by Joachim Omollo. They maintained this lead until the 43rd minute when Ezekiel Odera equalized with a beautiful overhead kick.
Wazito suffered a huge blow soon after the restart with Kennedy Ayako picking his second yellow for a foul on the impressive Moses Mburu and AFC Leopards capitalized on the resultant free kick, Isuza heading in Mburu’s cross to make matters 2-1.
Wazito introduced Joe Waithira for Joachim Omollo in the 50th minute and the gamble paid off. Harun Nyakha, who was having the game of his life, initiated a quick counter attack by lobbing a high ball to Waithira who ran all the way from deep in their half and cut back the ball beautifully to Piston who beat the on rushing Adira with a simple tap in to equalize.
More drama was to ensue as AFC Leopards won another penalty in the 77th minute. Dave Oswe pushed Marvin Nabwire Omondi in the box and the center referee wasted no time in calling for a penalty. However, Victor Majid took his kick casually and Peter Odhiambo easily collected it.
With ten minutes to go, AFC Leopards introduced Ugandan Baker Lukooya for Marita and this changed proved critical just two minutes later. Odera floated in a perfectly weighted cross to Lukooya in the box, who in turn chested it down and quickly released a pass to Isuza, the latter shooting past Odhiambo for the winner.
“We might have won today but did a lot of mistakes which we shouldn’t be doing at this level. We picked the three points but I am not happy with the performance. We also lost two penalties and it is unbelievable! We will go back to the drawing board and work on the mistakes.” – AFC Leopards Coach Dennis Kitambi
“Before the match the AFC Leopards coach was quite confident they would wallop us but I think we earned our respect from him despite losing. I had several debutants in the team today and it is always a learning rope. We will improve from the lessons we have picked from this particular match.” – Wazito FC Head Coach, Frank Ouna