AFC Leopards were held to a goalless draw by visiting Ulinzi Stars in a hard-fought SportPesa Premier League encounter at Machakos County Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Ingwe’s pre-match teamsheet cleared up the speculation surrounding their potential line-up, with confirmation of two changes. In came Allan Kateregga and Marcellus Ingostsi from the side deployed against Nzoia Sugar last time out, with Paul Kiongera injured and Joshua Mawira settling on the bench.
Ingwe could have taken the lead in the second minute of the game striker Gilbert Fiamenyo blasted wide with visiting keeper James Saruni left for the dead.
Saruni would then escape a booking after handling the ball just outside his box with the referee awarding a freekick that Robinson Kamura shooting his effort straight at the wall.
Stewart Hall’s Leopards pinned the Soldiers in their own half but could not capitalize on the chances created.
Evans Amuoka had Ulinzi’s best chance of the half when he beat Leopards’ offside trap but Salim Abdalla cleared the danger.
The key points…
• Fine Saruni save denied Fiamenyo effort in the 83rd minute.
• Ulinzi keeper also handling the ball outside the box
• Few chances of note in second half.
Fiamenyo got another chance in the 35th minute when he robbed Geoffrey Kokoyo of the ball, rounded keeper Saruni but Brian Birgen made a timely interception and clear the ball for a fruitless.
The Ghanaian thought he had given Ingwe the lead but he was correctly ruled offside.
There were few chances in the second half but Fiamenyo stung Saruni’s palm with a power drive and the keeper had to be at his best calm the danger.
Leopards next assignment is against Chemelil Sugar on Sunday 9th April at the Moi Stadium Kisumu
Stewart Hall’s Verdict on the Ulinzi Draw and News on Kiongera
Stewart Hall said the manner of AFC Leopards 0-0 draw against Ulinzi Stars on Wednesday afternoon was a ‘Step in the right direction and insisted his side need to work more to become solid this season.
Afterwards, Hall was forthright in his assessment of the game, expressing disappointment in some areas and also ruing missing out some key members of the first team squad through injury.
Here is a full transcript of the coach’s post-match views…
On his reaction to Leopard’s performance in the league so far and the draw:
This is a work in progress. Played well versus Ulinzi.We had our striker( Kiongera)injured and honestly we don’t have much options in that position. He is definitely out of the weekend clash against Chemelil. We tried two numbers 10s in the second half and this did not help us create enough chances. I am happy with work effort and fitness of the players so far. We have to accept and look forward to the next game.
On Marcellus Ingotsi:
He has some terrific pace that any defend deep. Today he couldn't run behind them, its normal sometimes. He is till very young and can only get better.
We are work in progress. If someone had asked me if we would have 7 points I would say no. We played well. Remember we had a striker injured and another unavailable. So it was very hard for us.