Champions Tusker bounced back to winning ways after edging out Western Stima 2-1 in a tough SportPesa Premier League match at the Kinoru Stadium in Meru on Sunday.
At Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, it was yet another disappointing outing for AFC Leopards as they lost 1-0 to Bandari.
Earlier at the same venue, 2010 champions Ulinzi Stars succumbed to a shock 1-0 defeat to league debutants Nakumatt, while Sofapaka collected maximum points after crushing Thika United 3-0 in the second game played at Afraha.
Second-placed Posta Rangers, considered genuine title contenders, were also stunned by returnees Nzoia Sugar who beat them 1-0 at the Sudi Stadium in Bungoma.
At Kinoru, Ghanaian import Stephen Owusu, making his first start of the season, struck twice from the spot in the opening half before Samuel Odhiambo also scored from a penalty for Stima in the second half. Tusker, who had gone for five league matches without a win, have now closed the gap on second-placed Posta Rangers to just one point.
Ingwe were sunk by a first half goal from birthday boy Abdallah Hassan.
The result marked a third unsuccessful outing for new AFC Leopards coach Robert Matano.
It was a sweet revenge for the dockers who had suffered a similar defeat at the hands of the Big Cats in the first leg three weeks ago in Mbaraki.
Hassan, a defender turned striker, sent Bandari in front at the stroke of half time when he was teed up by Wilberforce Lugogo and drew goalkeeper Gilbert Andika from his position before planting the ball into the net.
Nakumatt’s gallant victory significantly dented Ulinzi’s title race as the Kenya Defence Forces side dropped from third to sixth place on the SportPesa Premier League table.
The cash strapped retailers netted the all-important goal of the in the 86th minute when Kelvin Thairu scored for the first time this season after he latched onto a rebound inside the six-yard box to fire home past Ulinzi Stars custodian Jectone Odhiambo.
“We lost many scoring chances and when you can’t score then you have no one to blame,” said Nyangweso.
In the second game at Afraha, Umaru Kasumba, Hillary Echesa and Rodgers Aloro all struck in the second half as Sofapaka terrorised their opponents with brilliant attacking football.
Sofapaka, who were temporarily under the guidance of assistant coach John Baraza (standing in for head coach Sam Ssimbwa), grabbed the opener through Kasumba nine minutes into the second half.
Echesa, who had just replaced Kennedy Oduor, doubled their advantage tapping into an empty net from Kasumba’s pass to all but confirm the win.
Reports by Francis Mureithi, Cellestine Olilo and Agnes Aboo