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AFC Leopards, Sharks share spoils at Kasarani

Sunday September 15 2019

AFC Leopards' Collins Shivachi (right) vie for an aerial ball with Kariobangi Sharks' Nixon Omondi during their Kenyan Premier League match on September 15, 2019 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

AFC Leopards' Collins Shivachi (right) vie for an aerial ball with Kariobangi Sharks' Nixon Omondi during their Kenyan Premier League match on September 15, 2019 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

VICTOR OTIENO             
By VICTOR OTIENO            
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AFC Leopards picked their first point of the season after they settled for a 0-0 draw with Kariobangi Sharks in their Kenyan Premier League clash at the at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Sunday.

Ingwe lost 1-0 to Kakamega Homeboyz in their league opener. For Sharks, the draw increases their points tally to two after being held to a 2-2 draw by Western Stima in their season's opener.

Leopards coach Casa Mbungo said he is satisfied with a point from the match and is not under pressure for a win.

"Today we improved which is very good for us because we have many new faces in our team. We just need to keep on working hard to win," said Mbungo.

His opposite number, William Muluya said both sides deserved to win since they created chances.

"We deserved to win in the first half because we improved and created chances. In the second half, AFC really pushed us and I think they deserved to win," said Muluya.

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Leopards started brightly, coming close to breaking the Sharks defence on three successive occasions before Samuel Olwande intercepted Tresor Ndikumana's clever pass, which was intended for John Makwata inside the the visitor's box.

Olwande made another timely clearance on the 14th minute when he stretched well to clear a dangerous pass from the left wing in the face of Makwata, who was waiting to connect.

Sharks, who were playing cautiously, missed a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock 10 minutes later after Erick Kapaito failed to beat goalkeeper Benjamin Ocham from a one-on-one situation.

Moments later, Patrick Otieno produced a moment of magic when he dribbled from the left wing, despite shoving from his marker and managed to turn well inside the hosts' box to float a cross in front of Leopard's goal that was not converted.

Ndikumana then rifled the side net the other end as the two teams entertained the sizeable crowd at the stadium.

While the domestic cup winners dominated the exchanges after the half-hour mark, they failed to find the back of Ingwe's net, the two teams going for the break with no goals.

Looking to pick their first victories of the season, both teams made substitutions at interval, Leopards resting John Wanda and Diara Ismael for Austine Odhiambo and Hansel Ochieng respectively, while Sharks introduced Daniel Sakari for Nixon Omondi.

Sharks' goalkeeper Bwire was alert and saved Makwata's close range attempt, before again denying substitute Odhiambo a few minutes later from outside the box.

Leopards thought they had taken the lead in the 79th minute after Makwata managed to sneak the ball past a brilliant Bwire, but the goal was cancelled for offside to the disappointment of the home supporters.

The hosts outplayed their opponents in the second half and poured in front in hunt for the winning goal, but luck was not in their side.

At the Kenyatta stadium in Machakos, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Kisumu All Stars also battled to a barren draw in another league match.

Michael Owino missed a chance to give All Stars, fondly known as Blue Eagles their first win of the season, after he missed a penalty in the 90th minute.

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