After enduring a poor start to the 2018 season, resurgent AFC Leopards will be looking to continue with their recovery when they meet Wazito in a Kenyan Premier League match on Wednesday at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos County.
Wednesday's encounter will be Ingwe’s third match under assistant coach Dennis Kitambi following the suspension of head coach Robert Matano two weeks ago due to poor performance.
The 13-time Kenyan champions have won two straight matches, starting with a 2-0 win over Sony Sugar, and a dramatic 4-3 win against Mathare United last Saturday, and a win against Wazito will see the big cats rise to second on the log with 13 points, three behind leaders Gor Mahia.
RALLIED FROM BEHIND
Last weekend, Kitambi’s boys rallied from two goals down to floor the 2008 champions in a seven-goal thriller that underlined their intentions to achieve their pre-season ambitions of reclaiming the league title that has eluded them for two decades.
The 4-3 win saw Ingwe move into the league’s top five, after wallowing in the bottom echelons since the beginning of the season.
Brain Marita, Duncan Otieno, Ezekiel Odera and Marvin Nabwire scored a goal each in the goal-fest, with Nabwire scoring what is no doubt a contender for goal of the season.
All four are fit and available for selection for Wednesday’s game, although Kitambi will have to do without striker Vincent Oburu who is injured, and Isaac Oduro who saw red in their previous match and is therefore serving a one-match suspension.
The thought of closing in on K’Ogalo is sure to be a motivator to the Ingwe team that has worn a great deal of criticism for unsatisfactory performance. “We are correcting our mistakes as we go. We had a problem with defence as well as how we were building up while attacking in the first games but now we are performing better. We are still not where we need to be, seeing how we conceded three goals (against Mathare), but those are things we can fix and maintain the good momentum,” Kitambi said.
Lucky for them, they will be meeting a Wazito team that appears quite weak on paper. The debutants are placed 14th in the table, and have managed only one win in five games.
On top of that, Wazito suffered a 7-1 defeat in the hands of Ingwe the last time they met in the knock out stages of the GOtv Shield tournament in August last year.
Wazito however have on their side experienced coach Frank Ouna, who was formerly attached to K’Ogalo as well as the senior national football team.
Ouna is expected to have striker Pistone Mutamba, who was recently called up to the national Under 23 squad, leading the team’s strike force as they strive to better their scoring record - having scored twice in their opening five matches.
“We are aiming for 40 points at the end of the season. The fact that we have started badly doesn’t change that. We still have 28 games to make a comeback and I still believe we can do that,” Ouna said.