17 July 2012

Kenya: Leopards Take Charge Again As Gor Threaten Top Dogs

AFC Leopards resurgence since the start of Kenyan Premier League second leg saw them overtake defending champions Tusker to assume the lead they lost midway through the opening round.

Leopards were among the title challengers who won their weekend matches as they beat City Stars 1-0 in a last Friday night fixture at the Nyayo Stadium. It was sweet revenge for the Jan Koops charges as Stars had humiliated them 3-0 in the first led fixture in April.

Koops is happy with the return to the summit and insists they are determined to hold onto the lead until they take their record 13th title at the close of the campaign. The solitary goal, a spot kick converted by veteran Harambee Stars striker Mike Baraza compounded what seemed a somewhat unlucky outing for City Stars, who blamed their loss to poor officiating. Leopards have 37 points, one better Tusker who are away in Dar-es-Salam for the Cecafa Kagame Senior Challenge Cup.

Also registering victory were former champions Ulinzi Stars who saw their goal machine Evans Amuoka take his Golden Boot hunt to nine goals and third position, behind leader John Baraza of Sofapaka (14) and Thika United's Kepha Aswani (10). Ulinzi now lie third on the log with 33 points same as Sofapaka, who commands a poorer goal difference. Sofapaka saw their hunt for the top spot go up in smoke as they fell 2-0 to relegation threatened Mathare United in a midweek clash.

Gor Mahia also extended their winning streak as they moved to sixth position on the log with a 1-0 win over Chemelil Sugar in Nakuru. KCB, who fell 3-1 to Gor in their last clash, recovered to register a 3-0 win over debutants Muhoroni Youth, who now join Rangers and fellow new boys Oserian in the drop zone. Gor has 29 points, one behind Thika United who drew one-all with Oserian. Muhoroni, Oserian and Rangers stare at the drop with 16, 14 and 12 points respectively.

And just as it has been tradition, Sony Sugar found it tough to rake a point at the Old Trafford as they fell to a solitary goal by the national under 23 coach James Nandwa led Karuturi Sports. Karuturi now moves to seventh place, behind Gor with 25 points, a point better off Chemelil.

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