Sparkling Marita powers Leopards past Sofapaka
AFC Leopards has registered a slim 1-0 win over Sofapaka at Kenyatta Stadium on June 13th, 2018.
Sofapaka missed an early chance to score in the 7th minute when Rodgers Aloro floated a free kick into the area but Stephen Waruru could not get enough of it to head past Ezekiel Owade. Waruru missed another chance as he feebly took a shot that was easily collected by Owade again. The former Ulinzi Stars forward was teed up by Umaru Kasumba who made the finest of runs across the left flank.
Leopards chances fell on the hands of Jaffery Owiti who could not control the ball well after Brian Marita sent a cross from the right flank. Owiti and Whyvonne Isuza seemed to have scrambled for the ball but the former's final shot went just over Mathias Kigonya's goal posts.
A sparkling Marita once again spotted Owiti inside the box and sent him a pass that he should have headed quite comfortably but Kigonya's quick interception denied Leopards another chance. Marita, had earlier spotted Omondi twice only for the referee to flag him down and down went another chance for Ingwe.
Abdalla colossal defending saw him deny Waruru and Umaru Kasumba clear goalscoring chances in the 23rd and 25th minutes. In the first instance, Shitu blocked Waruru from taking a shot inside the box who had been set free by George Maelo. The center back denied Kasumba as he stopped a powerful shot from the Ugandan for Owade to collect it finally.
A fine combination between Owiti and Isuza saw them dart past three Sofapaka players, Isuza holding the ball fine before releasing Omondi who sent his powerful shot past the right-hand post of Kigonya's post.
Isuza, who has scored nine goals for Leopards so far, missed a wonderful goalscoring chance when he headed out and over Kigonya unmarked after Marita floated in a swinging shot in the 47th minute. Kasumba should blame himself after he unsuccessfully lobbed the ball over advancing Owade. Teddy Osok had swiftly passed the ball to Kelvin Kimani who did not waste time and released it for Kasumba, the last season's club's top scorer just could not put the ball into the net.
Kigonya denied Owiti what went down as the most open opportunity in the 65th minute. Marita had seen Owiti unmarked inside the box and teed him up, the fierce header by the forward was parried away by a swiftly diving Kigonya. The resultant corner was fruitless too.
Leopards got their deserving opener in the 84th minute when the former Western Stima forward, Marita, scored what can be regarded as one of the finest goals of the season. That will compete with Francis Kahata's one against Thika United at the same venue when the judges will sit down and decide who will win the goal of the season award.
Starting XI: Ezekiel Owade, Dennis Shkiayi, Moses Mburu ( Isaac Oduro), Abdalla Salim, Robinson Kamura, Victor Majid, Marvin Omondi, Brian Marita, Whyvonne Isuza, Clyde Senaji (Aziz Okaka), Jeffery Owiti.
Unused subs: Jairus Adira, Vincent Oburu, Ray Omondi.
Sofapaka XI: Mathias Kigonya, Rodgers Aloro, Ellie Asieche ( Teddy Osok) ), Mohamed Kilume, Omar Moussa, Yusuf Mohmed, Brian Magonya, Stephen Waruru, George Maelo ( Willis Ouma), Kevin Kimani ( Ezekiel Okare) Umaru Kasumba.
Unused subs: Wycliffe Kasaya, Hedmond Kwanya, Timothy Luda.