More Than Sports

Leopards Claw Ethiopia's Defense SC

Skipper Martin Imbalambala and reigning Kenyan Premier League Player of the Year Jacob Keli scored a goal apiece each as AFC Leopards clawed visiting Defense SC from Ethiopia 2-0 to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.
 
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Gor beats US Bitam

Danny Sserenkuma’s second half penalty is all that Gor Mahia needed to beat 10-man Gabonese Champions US Bitam in their first leg encounter of the CAF Champions League at Nyayo National Stadium, yesterday. 

Both teams started the match on a cautious note, leaving no space for the other to take advantage, but it was the Kenyan Premier League champions who settled first with the trio of Sserenkuma, Godfrey Walusimbi and George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo keeping Bitam’s defence on toes. K’ogalo could have scored in the 20th minute after Walusimbi and Odhiambo combined well, but the former’s cross in the box from the left was too high for his teammates. Two minutes later, David Owino made an incredible bicycle kick to deny the visitors an opening goal.

In the 34th minute, captain Jerim Onyango pulled off a fine save from Meye Axel’s header before Odhiambo’s  powerful shot at the edge of the box missed target by inches as half time ended tied at 0-0. Pressure on bitam On the hour mark, Bitam were reduced to 10 men after their captain and goalkeeper, Yves Bitseki, was red-carded for handling the ball outside his area and Fabien Owono came in as a replacement with Claude Mve substituted. But after Gor Mahia coach, Bobby Williamson, brought in Innocent Mutiso and Jared Obwoge for Rama Salim and George Odhiambo respectively, their impact was felt immediately as they piled pressure on Bitam’s defence.

And it’s in the 73rd minute that the referee awarded Gor the penalty after Sserenkuma’s shot was handled in the area by the Gabonese defender. The dreadlocked forward did not  make a mistake from the resultant spot, kick sending the keeper wrong way. Speaking after the match, Gor coach said he was satisfied with the result, but admitted that they still have a lot to do before next weekend’s return leg clash in Libreville.

“I am satisfied with the result, but we need to improve in some areas. We have players like Joseph Wanyonyi and Kevin Omondi who have been out with injuries, but I hope by the time we travel they will be available,” said Williamson. “From the way they have player here, I know it will not be an easy match in Gabon, but we’ve a one goal advantage and will do our best.” Jerim Onyango was similarly pleased with the one-goal advantage, but urged his teammates to give their best in the return tie. “I am happy we won, but we must be prepared for a touch match next weekend,” said Onyango. The match was watched by an unsually small crowd, compared with the KPL matches.

Source: www.standardmedia.co.ke

Sofapaka Win KP Charity Cup

Sofapaka claimed their second successive Kenya Power Charity Cup title after seeing off Mathare United 2 – 1 on post match penalties in a game that ended 1 – 1 in regular time at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday 2 February.


Mathare United had the first real threat on goal, that coming on the 26th minute through Edwin Ombasa who raced to meet Kenneth Wendo’s pass but Duncan Ochieng was alert and smothered the chance.

Sofa penalty

Two minutes later, Sofapaka won a penalty after Edgar Ochieng handled in the Mathare United box and veteran forward John Baraza stepped forward to successfully convert.

The holders went close again on the hour mark through Anthony Kimani’s free kick after he was fouled by Vincent Odongo but his delivery just missed the target. Thereafter Duncan Ochieng needed to be at his best to stop a Mathare United counter.

Equalizer

Gabriel Nduru then went close, shaving the Sofapaka post from a corner before Peter Odhiambo stopped a Sofapaka counter attack instigated by Maurice Odipo and on 73 minutes, Mathare United’s wait came to an end as Noah Abich netted the equalizer from a free kick after Mustafa Kasolo’s foul.

As the end – to – end attacks intensified, Enock Agwanda thought he had scored his team’s second on the 80th minute but the assistant referee’s flag was up for offside.

Spot kicks

With a tie breaker needed, the teams headed to post match penalties where both lost the first four spot kicks before Felly Mulumba and Eric Johanna scored the fifth ones to take it to sudden death where Thomas Wanyama scored his as Eric Mmata missed to hand Sofapaka the title. 

Source: www.futaa.com

Kenya Misses Out On Hosting Rights

Kenya is not among the countries shortlisted to the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

This was revealed following a meeting held by Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Cape Town on Monday.

According to the statement, only six countries have been shortlisted. The countries include: Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia.

Despite the development, FKF President Sam Nyamweya insists that Kenya still stands a chance and explained why stating that Caf has given them a lifeline.

“I have since been contacted by the secretary general of Caf, Mr Hicham El Amrani, who has confirmed to us that Kenya could not be included on the list of official bidders released by Caf because the government guarantee had not been presented by the time of the meeting held in Cape Town, South Africa.”

“However, it is not lost for Kenya because I have an opportunity to present the guarantee during a meeting in South Africa later this week, after which we should be considered as having officially completed the bidding process for us to move to the next level of the procedure.”

Morocco will host the next edition in 2015.

Source: supersport.com

2014 Tusker Premier League

Thanks to an influx of top tier foreign talent, the return of some heavy hitters, the 2014 Kenya premier league promises to be the most exciting one yet. All the top four teams: Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Sofapaka and Tusker have strengthened their squads significantly and are ready to challenge for top honours.

The returnees

Jockins Atudo who central defender played a pivotal role in enabling Kenya win the 2013 CECAFA cup, has returned to Tusker after a stint with Azam of Tanzania. Also joining Tusker is former KPL player of the year Kevin Kimani.The brilliant midfielder Kimani is back on the local scene after a stint in the Greek second tier and is sure to add sparkle to Tusker’s midfield. Humphrey Mieno, the towering midfield maestro has also left Azam and returned to Sofapaka.

2010 Kenya footballer of the year, George Odhiambo “Blackberry” has rejoined the club that launched his career , Gor Mahia. Should he regain his 2010 form, then his partnership with 2012 KPL player of the year Dan Ssserunkuma and another returnee Rama Salim, will give other defences nightmares.

The Signings

AFC Leopards signed 2013 Kenya player of the year Jacob Keli from KCB. His combination with CECAFA cup final 2-goal hero Allan Wanga promises to be an explosive one. Leopards have also shored up their defence by signing the experienced Joseph Shikokoti and James Situma.

Sofapaka have strengthened their side by signing Harambee Stars utility player Clifford Miheso. Burundian striker, Abdul Razak Fiston, 20, joins the Batoto ba Mungu on a two-year deal from Rwanda club, Rayon Sport while defender Celestin Habonimana played for the Cecafa club champions, Vital ‘O will add much needed solidity in the backline.

Gor Mahia plugged the gaping hole at left back by signing Uganda Cranes full back Godfrey Walusimbi. Also joining will be another Uganda Cranes stalwart, Godfrey Kizito “Baba” who will add steel to the midfield. In Jared Obwoge , Gor Mahia will hope they have found an able replacement for Raphel Kiongera.

KCB who had a strong season last year have shored up their attack by signing returning players Raphael Kiongera and Ezekiel Odera, two players who had shone brilliantly for the club in the past. Also joining KCB is former KPL top scorer Francis Ouma.

New Venues

As this column proposed in an article months ago, Sofapaka have moved their base to the newly refurbished stadium in Machakos. Tusker have shifted their home base to Meru. There both teams are sure to draw much bigger crowds. For the first time ever, Sofapaka and Tusker may actually enjoy a home field advantage.

The Glorious return of Nakuru All Stars.

Now known as TopFry Nakuru All Stars, this newly promoted team is the re-incaranation of the original Nakuru All Stars which won the first ever Kenya National Football league in 1963 but was disbanded in the mid 1970s after having been relegated in 1973.

Nakuru All Stars had been a force to reckon with in the 1960s and early 70s before disorganization led to financial issues which eventually doomed the club. When Bata Bullets of Limuru raided the club and signed all their best players, it was curtains closed for that team.

The return of a community team in Nakuru is brilliant news for the Kenya premier league. This is a team that drew larger crowds than their neighbours Ulinzi whenever they played. Their return to the top tier league is sure to draw massive crowds at Afraha. They will have to significantly strengthen their team for them to survive.


Nakuru fans will also be celebrating their return to topflight football

Nakuru have also strengthened their side by signing Maurice Odhiambo who joins from a Danish side on loan and promising midfielder Angelo Okumu who comes from Gor Mahia on loan.

Bandari’s conversion to a community team

Bandari have finally seen their light and decided to convert to a community team. It has always been a crying shame that Mombasa , Kenya’s second largest City with almost 1 million people has lacked a team to represent the city. With such a huge potential fan base, Bandari should become a force to reckon with especially of they change their monicker to something like Coast Stars which will further endear them to Coastal fans. Now that Mombasa and Nakuru have community teams, Kisumu ought to follow suit.

Despite losing Shaban Kenga to Gor Mahia, Bandari have an able replacement in Kenya U-20 midfielder Patillah Omoto who should thrive away from the spotlight of Ingwe.

Thika United

Not to be left behind, Thika United, who finished sixth in the league last season, have signed vastly experienced playmaker Moses Odhiambo from Gor Mahia as well as Ugandan goalkeeper Hassan Muwonge. The youthful and highly Timothy Ludda has the potential to excite fans this season. He had been a target of AFC Leopards who tried deperately to sign him.

The league is set to grow in leaps

All things considered, this is bound to be the most exciting league in years. Gor Mahia as defending champions will be hard pressed to retain the title. More fans will be drawn to the games and it is just a matter of time before the clubs can negotiate a better financial deal from Supersport. 

Source: www.kenyapage.net

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