Leopards roar past Thika United

Sunday August 12 2012

PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION AFC Leopards' Mike Baraza (right) controls the ball infront of Thika United's Simon Mbugua during their Kenya Premier League match played on 12th August 2012 at Nyayo Stadium. AFC won 5-0.

PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION AFC Leopards' Mike Baraza (right) controls the ball infront of Thika United's Simon Mbugua during their Kenya Premier League match played on 12th August 2012 at Nyayo Stadium. AFC won 5-0. 

By ODINDO AYIEKO [email protected] and FRANCIS MUREITHI [email protected]  

Thika United became a highway of goals as AFC Leopards displayed a five-star performance, winning 5-0 at the Nyayo Stadium in the Kenyan Premier League.

Hosts Ulinzi Stars also beat City Stars 2-1 at Afraha Stadium to keep their title hopes alive.

Ingwe’s Charles Okwemba scored a hat-trick as Laurent Tumba added another and Thika United’s Simon Mbugua scored an own goal as AFC took their points tally to 44. Okwemba scored the first of his goals in the 15th minute, heading home a Floribert Ndayisaba corner and added another in the 30th minute in a similar fashion.

Thika gave as much as they received but were shy in front of goal, coming close many times after some erratic defending by Eric Masika and Jonas Nahimana but were wasteful as AFC led 2-0 at the break. In the second-half, Allan Wanga beat the offside trap and his shot was deflected by Mbugua into his own net.

Laurent Tumba added the fourth goal before Okwemba sealed Thika’s fate late in the game.

Welcome result

It was a welcome result for Leopards who had in the midweek dropped two points in their barren draw with Rangers. Coach Jan Koops was happy with the win, saying: “We are, of course, happy with the win, but we need to improve.”

Ulinzi Stars were made to struggle before beating the visiting City Stars 2–1 in a closely contested match at Afraha Stadium on Sunday.

The soldiers should count themselves lucky to have snatched the three points from relegation-bound City Stars. Ulinzi opened the scoring  in the 18th minute through Anonym Nderitu’s penalty but City Stars’ Ugandan import Bruno Sserekumo levelled in the 27th minute.

Ulinzi got the winning goal in the 67th minute through  Josiah Okelo.

At the Gusii Stadium, Ishmael Dunga scored in the 60th minute to gift Sony Sugar a 1-0 win over Muhoroni Youth. On Saturday, hosts Oserian FC and Western Stima drew 0-0  in Naivasha.

On Monday, Gor Mahia take on Sofapaka in a 7pm league game at  Kasarani.