Fosa Juniors rally to hold Leopards in Bukhungu
AFC Leopards spruned an early advantage to draw visiting Madagscar side Fosa Juniors 1-1 in the CAF Confederations preliminary rounds tie played this Sunday 11 February in Bukhungu.
Ghanaian Prince Arko first goal for the Big Cats set Leopards to a dream start three minutes only for Junior skipper Rado Mbalosoa pulled the Islanders levelled.
The Kenyan side is now tasked with avoiding defeat or forcing a superior scoring draw in the return leg tie to stand a chance of continuing their continental journey.
The club will be boosted by possessing prior knowledge of their opponents unlike in their first leg tie
Coach Robert Matano opted for an offensive side as Vincent Oburu, Aziz Okaka and Prince Arko all started. His call only took three minutes to bear fruit, Arkoh grabbing an early goal by minute touch from Yussuf Mainge's high ball in to the box.
Fosa hit back
Leopards was however pegged back in the 18th minute after Rado Mbalosoa peeled off Isaac Oduro to beat Gabriel Andika with a looping curl from inside the area.
The goal seemed to spur the visitors who grew more in to the game just before the breather.
They made a couple of chances that just Jean Yves failed to make a difference with another over-hit as he went to loop Andika.
Matano first half subs
The first half finale was however dominated with a seemingly unimpressed Matano reading a riot act early with two substitutions despite having only four minutes to the breather.
Aziz Okaka and Henry Uche were victims of the alterations with Baker Lukooya and Collins Okoth sent on.
Leopards got done with their changes as Ezekiel Odera was introduced for Isuza ten minutes after restart.
The left footed attacker got himself in action with a stinging shot that stung Juniors keeper hand for a fruitless corner.
Juniors introduced Samuelson Heriniainia and Rado Mbalosoa in bid to spice up things up heading to the final twenty minutes.
Leopards stepped their attacking mantle as the game wore and could only come close via a dangerous cross that failed to Arkoh couldn't connect.
A 1-1 draw it turned out to with visiting team claiming a crucial away goal to take back home.
Leopards Starting XI: Gabriel Andika, Isaac Oduro, Robinson Kamura, Yusuf Mainge, Duncan Otieno (c),Victor Majid, Wyvonne Isuza,(Ezekiel Odera 56') Oburu Vincent ,Henry Uche(Collins Okoth 41') Prince Arkoh, Aziz Okaka(Baker Lukooya 42')
Unused Subs: Adira Jairus,(GK), Brian Marita, Moses Mburu
Fosa Juniors Starting XI: 22 Ramaritany Damien(GK), 4 Jean Romario Baggio, 5Pierre Tiavina, 7 Herisoa Santatra, 8Jean Claude Lolody, 12 Bakary Mario, 15 Theodin Roger, 23 Adriamirado Aro Hasina,(C) 27 Rado Mbolasoa, 24 Dieu Donne Henry, 19 Jean Vyes,