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.

Imbambala opened the scoring after heading home an acute cross from dribbling wizard Paul Were on 18 minutes, while Keli poked home another cross from the former Tusker FC forward at the stroke of halftime to give Ingwe a 2-0 advantage at the breather.

"This result puts us in a good position. We have some work to do because its only halftime. But I am confident we will qualify," Leopards coach James Nandwa told Nation Sport after the game.

"I am disappointed because my team let in some very soft goals. We are in a difficult position but still in with a chance. I will prepare them for a real fight back in Addis for the return leg," Nandwa's opposite number Gebremedin Hiyle said.


Leopards, who missed the services of key forward Allan Wanga through injury, should have won the tie by more goals, if not for the wastefulness of Were, midfielder Edwin Seda and forward Oscar Kadenge.

Defense meanwhile, entertained the crowd with some quick passing and deft touches but failed to find a solution to Leopards physical presence and aerial balls for long spells.

The return leg match is set to be contested at the 35,000-seater Ato Emanuel Fentahun Stadium located in the Ethiopian capital with the aggregate winner booking a date against South African club SuperSport United in the first round of the competition.


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