The Kenyan Premier League continues to heat up with two round 8 matches being played on Easter Monday. Wazito FC was playing against Zoo FC, while Tusker FC vs AFC Leopards. The latter one was the main event, and the result was a shock for me. Watching the game, I could not believe this was Ingwe losing to Tusker (you can catch my comments about the game on youtube)
I went into the game believing that the Leopards had this game in the bag! Boy, was I wrong! However, it was still entertaining to watch Tusker try to redeem themselves from their dismal form this season. Going into the match, Tusker was at No 14, and I swear, I have never watched a season where the Breweries team has performed so poorly. Luckily, they won this game and were able to go up the table a few spots.
So, what exactly went wrong for the Leopards on this beautiful Easter Monday?
For starters, I would say Andika (their goalkeeper) was not in his best form, and that had catastrophic effects for the rest of the game. The last time we saw Andika play was during the second leg of the CAF Confederations Cup where Ingwe was unable to beat the Fosa Juniors. Consequently, they missed their opportunity to proceed in the continental tournament, and Andika (as well as other teammates) received a lot of criticism (you can catch my views on this game here).
Fast forward to this current game, and he is making rookie mistakes that cost his team the match. He misjudged a backpass from one of his cohorts (Kibwage), only for Timothy Otieno to come lurching forward, block that attempt, and see the ball going into the net. There was nothing Andika could do to stop it. AFC went down 1 goal thanks to Otieno’s initiative and Andika’s lackluster attempt at clearing the ball. This was in the opening minutes of the first half.
When the clock hit the 30-minute mark, Andika makes another blunder that sees his team going down another goal. He intentionally sweeps Otieno off his feet, without even attempting to make contact with the ball. Result: Andika is shown a red card and a penalty is awarded to Tusker. Now, AFC is down two goals to Tusker within the first thirty minutes of the game!
Other than that, AFC’s defensive prowess was literally unheard of the entire match. Their ineptitude to deal with the likes of Otieno and Wahome is what put their goalkeeper in trouble in the first place, as well as enable both of these players to score a brace each for their team. For instance, they were unable to mark the dangerous Wahome effectively when he was near the goal, which resulted in his two goals. In the case of the Otieno goals, an improperly timed and weak backpass from the defender (Kibwage for the first instance; Kamura for the second) was to blame.
There were also several missed chances from both sides but most notably from the AFC camp. All their frantic attempts were for naught until Isuza caught a lucky break and was able to whizz one past David Okello. Clinical finishes from the other Ingwe strikers would have ensured that they won the game or at least managed a draw, but alas, they ended up throwing those chances away.
Final result: Tusker 4 Leopards 2.