Ushuru FC 0-1 Leopards
The match was tilted towards Ushuru, with AFC Leopards’ still trying to find their footing after a mass exodus of players. Ushuru were calm and collected on the ball and looked the better side but failed to convert their good football into goals. Ken Kenyatta coached boys boxed AFC Leopards out of the midfield but Michael Katende , their lone striker upfront did not convert the efforts.
Ushuru went for 4-5-1 system with two attacking minded midfielders in Allan Katerega and Philemon Otieno. Philemon was more of a central midfielder and was the star of the day for Ushuru. Hassan Mohammed, Kiwanuka Evans and Oduor Kennedy were the other midfielders of the day who kept Benard Mang’oli and company at bay for most of the match.
Ushuru’s back four of central defenders Kanamali Kapilima and David Otieno were outstanding as well as the full backs; Mboyi Richard on the right and Rodgers Ochieng’ to the left. They stood tall in the defense, going for tackles with precision and clearing danger balls with confidence. They blocked off Leopards’ striker Khamati with his only meaningful input being winning the free kick that resulted in the goal for Ingwe.
On the opposite side, Logarusic seems to have many players who can run without thinking and think without running, they played an average match. There was nothing exceptional about them but the fact that they have won two of their last two matches is a plus. It may be more of attitude than ability, with players out to prove a point that they made no mistake to stay put as others left or come in when the den is still not out of the woods.
Leopards’ went into the first half with a 4-3-3 system. Eric Masika was played as a left full back, I don’t know if it was tactical to keep Katerega off the line or it was out of necesity. It is one of those tactical stuff coaches do, which means Masika stayed on the line so as to keep the ball and opponent to his right. Patrick Kagogo, Bernard Mang’oli and Otieno Duncan were in the midfield. Khamati played between Khalid Juman and Timonah Wanyonyi upfront.
They went into the game by-passing the midfield to send the ball upfront which the Ushuru defense did well to keep at bay. At fifteen minutes, Wanyonyi tried to come to the left and kagogo went to the right behind Khamati to try and unlock the Ushuru defense but nothing came out of it.
The goal that came on half an hour mark was a chip to Khamati who tried to beat David Otieno but was brought down outside the box. Bernard Mang’oli sent the free kick onto Khalid Juman head and into the net. From then on, it is Ushuru who went on to pile pressure. They played a high defense line while Ingwe had their back four just in front of new signing Indeche in goal.
In the second half, Ivan Anguyo came in for Wanyonyi and so Leopards shifted to a 4-4-2 play to try and keep off Ushuru pressure. Mang’oli joined Anguyo in front of the defense as Duncan Otieno went high up behind the strikers. They kept losing the ball to Ushuru easily but the taxmen did not make much of their efforts.
As the match went into closing moments, the substitutes did not make much impact. Ushuru took of Allan Katerega for veteran Moses Odhiambo while Okwemba came in for Kennedy Oduor much later. Ingwe brough in Joseph Njuguna for Kagogo and Khamati went off for Lamin Dialo. When the final whistle was blown, Leopards had earned three vital points in their quest to claw their way out of their first leg problems.
Ushuru will blame themselves for not taking advantage of a team that is trying to find its footing with a bunch of new signings.