AFC Leopards were left to rue their missed chances as Zoo Kericho scored three minutes from time to force a 1-1 draw in an entertaining Kenyan Premier League tie held at the Kenyatta Stadium-Machakos on Wednesday 8 May.
Leopards intentions were shown as early as the first minute when Paul Were in his trademark run waded off challenges from a couple of Zoo players before applying in a cut back for Whyvonne Isuza whose shot was blocked by the visitor’s defense.
Leopards came knocking against in the eighth minute when a short back pass to keeper Martin Elungat was intercepted by Vincent Obungu. The young striker was to feed Isuza whose tame shot was wayward off the target.
The knocking was to finally pay for Leopards with Paul Were putting them into the lead in the 11th minute. The brilliant Assad Musa was to give a sumptuous defence-splitting pass to Were with the Harambee Stars winger making no mistake by slotting past Elungat.
The goal gave Leopards the needed confidence boost and they were unlucky to double their lead in the 17th minute when goal scorer Were cross was headed off the bar for Isuza with Elungat tipping a rebound by Oburu. Even before the dust could settle Isuza hit the bar again after connecting to a Soter Kayumba cross this coming just seconds after hitting the side net.
Vincent Oburu was to rattle the bar minutes to the half-hour mark but Zoo held on to prevent conceding another goal heading into the half time break.
Leopards were to introduce Christopher Oruchum for Salim Abdalla at the beginning of the second half with Zoo bringing on Kennedy Omondi for Dennis Omondi with Bernard Odhiambo coming on for Ernest Kipkoech.
The changes gave Zoo the needed impetus with their pressing handing them a penalty in the 55th minute. Up stepped keeper Elungat to restore parity but Owade was to save his effort to keep the scores in the hosts' favour.
Tsuma was to be brought in for Assad Musa as Leopards looked to steady their midfield this after a series of scary breaks from the visitors. Zoo build up was proving too much for the hosts but they looked vulnerable at the back every time Leopards launched a serious attack a deficit that saw coach Cassa Mbungo introducing Wayi Yeka for Were.
The counterattacks were to finally pay for Leopards as defender Sabiri Sindani was to bring Isuza down in his own penalty box after a break from Kayumba. With the referee pointing to the spot, the midfielder was to see his penalty veer off the upright with Elungat well beaten.
AFC Leopard's frailties in front of goal were to be punished three minutes from time when an unmarked Johnstone Ligare headed in a floated corner to the amazement of the Leopards bench.; the visitors holding on for an important point.
Gor Mahia 2-0 Chemelil Sugar FC
In another match of the day, Gor Mahia maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the pile with a 2-0 win over Chemelil Sugar FC. The returning Kenneth Muguna was to give the Hassan Oktay side a half time lead before Samuel Onyango ensured the safety of the point in the second half.
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