AFC Leopards failed to utilise their home advantage at the Coca-Cola National Stadium, after an Anthony Khadudu second half goal denied them the much needed three points against champions, Mathare United.
In Naivasha, Gor Mahia arrested hosts Red Berets to climb three places to number 12, while Kenya Commercial Bank swam away with three points at the Coast over Bandari.
Leopards 0 Mathare 1
After the former champions declined to play at Kasarani citing lack of a home advantage, Leopards will rue their missed chances that could have seen them deny United to climb to the fifth position up from eighth.
“This is a new team and the goals are hard to come by. All the same, we are trying to remain together and I’m sure at the beginning of the second leg, we will have found our rhythm,” said Mathare United’s head coach, Francis Kimanzi.
Khadudu converted a 48th minute penalty as United got the better of a fractious start of the season.
Jaffer Gichuki’s solo effort from the left wing left Roy Syamba and David Ochieng’ for the dead, only for Ochieng’ to trip the left back in the box.
And despite a late push from Mathare in which John Onami missed two open goals and Paul Ambembo came close, it is the Leopards who look set to have more sleepless nights as the urge to break their last position continues to linger on.
Leopards had limped up to the Coca-Cola stadium having won just one of their nine previous premier league matches and now find themselves teetering on the brink with memories of their last week’s 1-0 win over Sony Sugar in Awendo start fading fast.
Yet the way Leopards started the match suggested there may be life in them yet, as they got forward with plenty of freedom and fashioned their first chance with less than two minutes on the clock.
Red Berets 1 Gor Mahia 2
Sensational striker George Odhiambo scored a brace to help goal register a 2- 1 victory over battling Red Berets in a fast paced match played at Sher Stadium.
Odhiambo was on target in the 30th minute after he connected a fine pass from Tom Onyango for a simple tap in.
Stung by the goal, Beret’s Tony Onguro leveled the terms with a minute to halftime after he out jumped the static Gor rearguard to connect with a firm header from a well taken corner kick.
A second half blunder by Berets defenders in the 60th minute allowed the dangerous Odhiambo a free run to beat an advancing Stephen Ondudo with a tricky shot that sent Gor supporters into rapturous roar.
Western Stima 0 Sher 0
Western Stima were held to a 0-0 draw by Sher Karuturi in a dreary match played at Bukhungu stadium, in Kakamega.
George Wesa almost put Stima in the lead in the 19th minute with a well taken free kick at the edge of the box but his shot hit the side bar and went out play.
In the second half, Karuturi brought in Juma Benlen who brought life into their attack and missed several scoring chances after dribbling past the Stima defenders.
The absence of Eric Apul from the Stima midfield appeared to have dealt a blow to their striking department.
Bandari 1 KCB 2
Visitors, KCB put up a sterling second half show to register a deserved win over Bandari in a rather dull Kenyan Premier league match at Mombasa Municipal Stadium on Saturday.
KCB scored after a series of defensive blunders from the hosts.