AFC Leopards will on this Sunday host arch-rivals Gor Mahia in a season-defining Mashemeji Derby at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani. A win for Leopards will see them go 39 points, nine shy of their arch-rivals as the season nears its end. A loss will however end their slim title hopes and hand Gor Mahia an un-assailable lead at the top of the standings on 52 points, with three games in hand.
AFC must be wary of a free-scoring Gor side, who thrashed Tanzanian club, Yanga 4-0 on Wednesday in a CAF Confederations Cup fixture at the same venue. Coach Rodolfo Zapata’s side goes into the epic clash without dependable captain, Duncan Otieno who sits out after accumulating five yellow cards while Gor May miss the services of Boniface Otieno in goal, Ernest Wendo and Joash Onyango at the middle of the pack and George Odhiambo in attack.
A win for AFC will see them become the only side to stop the run-away league leaders in local action, besides earning the bragging rights. This will be the 85th meeting between the two sides and AFC are keen to add to their 28 league wins.
The match was previously set to be played on May 26th but was postponed to accommodate Harambee Stars’ international friendlies calendar. The match will kick off at 1500hrs with tickets going for Ksh200 regular and Ksh500 VIP section.
AFC Leopards on Wednesday 18th July entered into a one-year partnership with Infinity Fitness Centre in a move aimed at improving the senior player’s fitness, mental strength and stamina. The launch which was held at the gym was attended by Infinity Director – Ronit Kanani, AFC Leopards Vice Chairman – Mr. Felix Shitsama, Oscar Igaida-Secretary General, AFC Leopards technical bench, players as well as members of staff from both sides.
Speaking during the ceremony was AFC Leopards CEO who outlined the importance of the facility its impact to both the players and the game. “The launching of this partnership is the beginning of our aspiration of applying modern and scientific findings to enhance our performance. I give an ocean of appreciations to the director and management of infinity Gym in availing such well-equipped gym facility for AFC leopards Sports Club use. “said Abisai
“This infinity gym will be very resourceful to our club because fitness is one of the ingredients for effective performance. Effective utilization of the facility will not only help our players to develop the stamina and strength required for the rigorous of the modern football but also help our players cope mental and physical demands of football while at the same time enabling them to efficiently use their technical and tactical skills.” He added.
Infinity Fitness Centre C.E.O also did not hide his delight labelling Leopards as an iconic and a force to reckon in Kenyan football. “It’s great to have AFC on board. They are one of the biggest teams in Kenyan football and it’s an extreme honor. “We hope our facilities will be adequate enough to help in your quest to win the league title again,” Ronit Kanani, the CEO of Infinity Fitness Centre stated.
“I thanks to everyone for attending this occasion and apologies for the members who couldn’t show up, some are busy organising our game against Gor this weekend,” the clubs Secretary General- Oscar Igaida said. “Our main focus as a club is to take the team back to what it used to be and challenge for the league title,” Igaida added.
Thank you so much Infinity, this facility will help us up our game as AFC. “I urge my fellow players to be more committed to making use of this facility so that we can improve our performance,” Duncan -Leopards captain. Leopards will now use the facilities for the next one year as they look to improve and dominate Kenyan football in the near future.
AFC Leopards’ push for an unlikely title took a hit when visiting Bandari held them to a barren draw in KPL match played on Sunday at Kenyatta Stadium. The draw leaves Leopards in the fourth place, four points behind Sofapaka in second place but have played a game more.
The battling Coastal side threatened to take the lead in the 9th minute through Yema Mwana was spurned his chance under pressure from Leopards defender Salim Abdalla. In a game of few chances, Leopards squandered a glorious opportunity to snatch three points when new signing, Alex Orotomal missed a penalty in the 30th minute, after Ezekiel Odera was upheld in the Bandari box.
In the 51st minute, Leopards lost yet another chance when youngster Odeny failed to hit the target. AFC Leopards’ fans thought their team had bagged three points in the 76sth minute but Odeny’s effort after beating Bandari custodian, Farouk Shikhalo only saw the referee award a goal-kick much to the chagrin of the Leopards’ faithful.
The draw leaves Leopards with a mountain to climb ahead of next weekend’s explosive derby against runaway leaders Gor Mahia, who are 13 points ahead of Leopards.
The Mashemeji derby will be played at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on Sunday.
AFC Leopards XI: Ezekiel Owade, Dennis Shikayi, Isaac Oduro, Robinson Kamura, Hassan Abdalla, Duncan Oteino, Brian Marita, Ezekiel Seda, Alex Orotomal, Ezekiel Odera and Jaffery Owiti.
Subs: Jairus Adira, Michael Kibwage, Mburu, Clyde senaji, Vincent Oburu and Eugene Mukangula.
AFC Leopards leap-frogged Mathare United and Ulinzi Stars back into third place after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Sony Sugar, in a match played at Kenyatta Stadium on Sunday.
Leopards scored the all-important goal in the 53rd minute through Abdalla Salim who rose highest to thunder Brian Marita’s corner into the net.
The match saw coach Rodolfo Zapata make two changes to the team that lost to Homeboyz, with, Marvin Nabwire and Isaac Oduro coming in for Victor Majid and Moses Mburu.
Leopards had threatened prior to the opener with speedster Marita forcing a reflex save form the Sony goalie in the 13th minute.
Whyvonne Isuza squandered a glorious opportunity when he shot feebly after a cut-back from Ezekiel Odera in the 27th minute, after a fine counter-attacking move as Sony Sugar lived dangerously.
Alex Orotomal made his debut, coming on in the second half drawing joy and excitement from the Ingw’e faithful.
Ingw’e is now level on points with Bandari in third and a further five points behind Sofapaka, who have both played a game more.
Leopards take on Coast-based Bandari Fc at the Kenyatta Stadium next Saturday, knowing that a win will directly derail one of their rival’s chances in the race for the top three finish.
AFC Leopards X1: Ezekiel Owade, Dennis Sikhayi, Salim Abdalla, Robinson Kamura, Isaac Oduro, Duncan Otieno, Marvin Nabwire, Whyvonne Isuza, Brian Marita, Jaffrey Owiti, Ezekiel Odera.
Subs: Jairus Adira, Alex Orotomal, Edward Seda, Eugene Mukangula, Michael Kibwage, Victor Majid, Moses Mburu
Allan Wanga returned to haunt his former side, as Kakamega Homeboyz hit AFC Leopards 3-0 in a Sportpesa Premier League match played on Sunday in Kakamega.
The match, played at Bukhungu Stadium saw Ingw’e dominate the opening exchanges, with Brian Marita, Whyvonne Isuza and Jeffari Owiti coming close.
It was however former talisman, Allan Wanga who outdid Ingw’e when he opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, before competing his brace in the 67th minute.
AFC Leopards efforts to salvage a draw were dealt a blow when Ali Bhai made it 3-0, handing Coach Rodolfo Zapata his first defeat since taking over at The Den.
The match was interrupted for an hour after a section of Ingw’e faithful protested a disallowed Whyvonne Isuza goal in the 70th minute.
Zapata made just one change from the side that held Zoo Kericho to a goalless draw last week, with Isuza replacing the suspended Marvin Nabwire.
The defeat that featured two ex-leopards in Wanga, goalkeeper Gabriel Andika and defender Collins Kisuya, saw Ingw’e drop to sixth on 32 points, behind Sofapaka, Mathare United, Bandari and Ulinzi Stars who have played a game more.
Kakamega climbed to seventh on 31 points but having played a game more that Ingw’e.
AFC Leopards next face Sony Sugar at Kenyatta Stadium on Saturday, hoping to bounce back and keep pace with the leading pack as the season enters a crucial title-deciding period.
AFC Leopards have announced the signing of Thika United duo in Said Tsuma and Saad Musa. The two young midfielders now join former team mate Eugene Mukangula who arrived at the den last week.
20-year-old Saad Musa has penned down a four-year contract and speaking during his unveiling the youngster didn’t hide his excitement.
“It is an honor to play for AFC leopards. I dream of becoming AFC Leopards legend, I look forward to adding flavor and helping the team regain glory” he said
On the other hand, 22-year-old Said Tsuma has signed a three-year contract with the club and attributed his strength in the midfield as a ball winner.
“It is Great achievement to play for AFC leopards, my strong point is winning the ball. I hope to strengthen the midfield” said the talented midfielder.
The duo will now battle it out for a starting berth in the middle of the park with new signing Edward Seda, Captain Duncan Otieno and Victor Majid.
AFC Leopards will be back in action in the Sportpesa Premier League against Kakamega Homeboyz on July 1st at the Bukhungu Stadium.
Leopards land Mwatate United in Sportpesa round of 16
Defending cup champions AFC Leopards have landed Mwatate FC in the round of 16 of the FKF SportPesa Shield, following a draw held on Wednesday, June 28, 2018, at FKF House, Goal Project.
As confirmed by FKF The ten times cup champions will be home to the coastal based side at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani from 2 pm on Wednesday 25th July.
This will be an interesting fixture for ingwe as they seek to make it to the quarterfinal stage of the Sportpesa Shield.
Coach Rodolfo Zapata with his charges will be in for the challenge as they seek to defend the title.
AFC Leopards have announced the signing of Nigerian International Alex Orotomal who has previously turned out foe Sunrise FC which compete in the Rwandan topflight.
The lanky forward finished fourth on the scoring charts in Rwanda, with 10 goals, 3 behind the leader Ndarusanze Claude.
The 24-year-old Nigerian has penned at two-year deal with club and will compete for a starting berth in the Rodolfo Zapata coached side alongside current lead goal score Ezekiel Odera.
Welcoming the new signing was AFC Leopards Patron and Nairobi County senator Johnson Sakaja.
"Excited to sign on and welcome our newest AFC Leopards super striker Alex Orotomal from Nigeria. Alex has been a top scorer in the Rwanda league. Karibu to AFC Leopards SC." Sakaja said.
AFC Leopards will be in action away to Kakamega Homeboyz on July 1st at the Bukhungu Stadium.
AFC Leopards failed to move to second position in the Kenya Premier League table after they drew 0-0 with Zoo in a rescheduled match played at the Kericho green Stadium on Wednesday June, 27th.
Coach Rodolfo Zapata named a more defensive line up partnering skipper Duncan Otieno and Victor Majid in the middle of the park as Isuza and new signing Eugene Mukangula started the match on the bench.
In the first half the home side controlled proceedings going close to the opponent’s box but failed to convert clear cut chances AFC Leopards clear chance came in the 35th minute when Zoo’s goalie was forced to clear from the line.
In the second half Zapata withdrew Majid for a more attack minded Whyvonne Isuza but the results did not goa as planned as both sides settled for a draw.
Ingwe midfielder, Marvin Nabwire was shown red in the 93rd minute after indecent play from the youngster.
Leopards now remain fourth on the table with 32 points and next face Kakamega Homeboyz on Sunday 1st July.
AFC Leopards Starting XI: Ezekiel Owade, Dennis Sikhayi(Mukangula), Moses Mburu, Salim Abdalla, Robinson Kamura, Duncan Otieno, Victor Majid(Isuza), Marvin Omondi, Jeffari Owiti, Brian Marita, Ezekiel Odera
Subs: Jairus Adira, Mike Kibwage, Whyvonne Isuza, Ray Omondi, Baker Lukooya, Eugene Mukangula, Aziz Okaka
AFC Leopards continued with their perfect run in the Sportpesa Shield Cup with an easy 4-0 win over Naivasha based side Rain Forest FC, the match which marked round 32 of the competition was played on Sunday 24th June at the Karuturi ground.
Coach Rodolfo Zapata opted a strong starting X1 with new signing Eugene Mukangula given the starting berth, Duncan Otieno and Michael Kibwage were both named on the bench for the first since coming back from National duties.
As expected AFC Leopards controlled proceedings from the first whistle going ahead in the 9th minute through Ezekiel Odera after fine cross from inform Brian Marita.
It was until the 32nd minute that Leopards doubled their lead through Jaffrey Odeny before Odera added his second for the day in the 36th minute putting Leopards in a strong position before the sides headed for the break.
After the break, head coach Rodolfo Zapata threw in Ray Omondi who scored the fourth goal in the 77th minute to settle matters in favor Leopards.
Starting XI: Owade (GK), Sikhayi, Mburu, Abdalla, Kamura (C), Majid, brian_maritta, MarvinNabwire, Mukangula, Senaji, Jaffery Subs: Adira, Oburu, Bakerazy, Okaka, Kibwage, Oduro, Odera
AFC Leopards have completed the signing of Edward Seda from Kenya Premier League side Mathare United on a three-year deal. The 25-year-old skillful midfielder rejoins the den for his second stint after he turned out for ingwe from 2013-2015. He has been a key figure for Mathare United in the league this season helping them in couple of matches. Edward Seda who is a joy will now battle it out with Duncan Otieno, Whyvonne Isuza, Victor Majid and Marvin Omondi for a place in the middle of the park.