AFC Leopards suffered a 2-0 loss in the hands of arch-rivals Gor Mahia in the second leg of the Kenya Premier League match played on Saturday 25th at the MISC Kasarani.
Leopards missed a number of key faces in the fixture with Marvin Nabwire, Jaffrey Owiti, Robinson Kamura, Dennis Sikhayi, Abdalla Shittu and Moses Mburu through injury.
Gor who only needed a draw to clinch the title started strong and came close on the quarter hour mark when Cersidy Okeyo’s freekick landed on Bernard Ondiek at the back post but his header was weak, straight into keeper Ezekiel Owade’s arms.
Leopards almost got into the lead after 27 minutes when Wesley Onguso’s defensive header almost landed into his own net as he tried to clear out a cross, but the ball went over the bar.
Four minutes later, Gor broke the deadlock, Omondi hitting the back of the net with a low shot from the edge of the box. The level of happiness should have gone same in the 37th minute, but AFC missed a great chance with Isaac Oduro’s freekick from a good scoring position hitting the wall.
Two minutes late Gor won the ball in midfield though it appeared as a foul on Baker Lukooya and Karim Nizigiyimana spread it wide on the other end to Omondi who cut into the box and sliced a pass back to Ondiek beating Owade one on one.
Almost at the break, AFC had a chance to draw back level from the penalty spot after Charles Momanyi handled inside the box but midfielder Whyvonne Isuza struck wide despite sending keeper Fredrick Odhiambo the wrong way.
In the second half, AFC came strongly with head coach Rodolfo Zapata making a double change bringing on Vincent Oburu and Eugene Mukangula for Baker Lukooya and Edward Seda.
Four minutes from the restart, Mukangula swung in a cross after skipping away from Wesley Onguso on the left, but Isuza’s effort on the volley went wide.
Alex Orotomal had two shots inside the box, but both shots were saved by keeper Odhiambo.
Gor Mahia held on to win the match hence clinching the title with six games to spare.
Leopards will now look to occupy position two in the log and they next face Wazito FC on August 29th in Machakos.
Starting XI: Ezekiel Owade (GK), Yusuf Mainge, Mike Kibwage, Duncan Otieno (CPT), Isaac Oduro, Brian Marita, Said Tsuma, Ezekiel Seda, Whyvonne Isuza, Baker Lukooya and Alex Orotomal.
Subs: Jairus Adira (GK), Christopher Oruchum, Aziz Okaka, Victor Majid, Vincent Oburu, Victor Omondi and Eugene Mukangula.