Four minutes after replacing Ingotsi, Samuel Ndungú scored a late goal that inspired AFC Leopards to a 1-0 win over Tusker FC on Thursday August 24 at the Nyayo Stadium.
The first half was a relatively fair affair for Tusker, with the defending champions commanding play but could not engineer a break into Leopards’ defense. Anthony Ndolo saw a header early on effortlessly saved by Gabriel Andika before Aziz Okaka’s hard shot failed to test Duncan Ochieng on the opposite end.
The match was also forced to be stopped on two occasions, first due to David Mwangi’s injury and then a head injury on Ingwe’s Dennis Sikhayi.
The goalless first half set up a big final half as both sides resumed with vigor especially in midfield, with both teams looking to stamp authority at the centre where the ball was mostly circulating.
In the 52nd minute, Marlon Tangauzi received his first yellow card for a tackle on Harun Nyakha at the edge of the box. Free kick specialist Mike Kibwage stepped up to take the resulting free kick but his effort went way over the bar.
Tangauzi was then given marching orders just three minutes later for another reckless tackle on a Leopards player, leaving the defending champions with ten men on the pitch as he slowly limped out. Tusker wasted another free kick in the 57th minute and Nsimbe decided to make their first change of the game two minutes later, introducing Lloyd Wahome for Brian Osumba.
On his part, Matano executed two quick changes, bringing on Ray Omondi and Vincent Oburu for Aziz Okaka and Nyakha respectively. Sempala’s long range effort almost caught Andika off guard but the shot went off target much to the disappointment of Tusker’s bench.
In the 79th minute, Leopards rested Ingotsi for Samwel Ndungú for the last substitution, and it is the fresh legs that made the sole difference four minutes later with a crafty shot that not even Ochieng could save.
The win quashes Ingwe's six-match winless streak against Tusker and takes their point tally to 23. They now move two places up to 13th on the league standings while Tusker go to 8th place with 29 points.
Leopards starting XI: Gabriel Andika, Mike Kibwage, Sikhayi Dennis, Salim Abdallah, Robinson Kamura, Victor Majid, Harun Nyaka, Whyvonne Isuza, Marcelus Ingotsi, Aziz Okaka, Alexis Kitenge
Subs: Mukolwe Edwin, Ramadhan Yakubu,Ndungu Samuel, Ray Omondi, Andrew Tololwa, Oburu Vincent
Tusker Starting XI: Duncan Ochieng, Marlon Tangauzi, David Mwangi Eugene ,Asike, James Situma hashim ,Sempala, Paul Odhiambo, Brian Osumba, Ekaliani Ndolo, stephen Owusu Boniface ,Muchiri
Subs: David Okello, Llyod Wahome, Humprey Mieno, Danson Kago, Michael Khamati, Macharia, Ndinya Victor