Kasarani stadium was the venue for the 7th league meeting between the Sharks and the Leopards with Sharks looking to extend their unbeaten run against the Leopards.
In the 1st half, Leopards were there for the taking with Sharks dominating play and creating lots of chances. With every move they made, the aroma of a goal was in the air, but the halftime whistle blew with the game still goalless.
A rejuvenated Leopards side took charge of the 2nd half, dominating through their menacing wingers. It took the heroics of Brian Bwire in goal to keep the tie goalless. The new Kenya under 20 Captain brought his A game with an outstanding man of the match display.
Here is the match day 2 action breakdown:
The coach made three changes to his match day 1 squad. Brian Bwire replaced John Oyemba in goal, while Nixon Omondi replaced the injured Armani Kyata in defence resulting in Samuel Olwade moving to centre back and Julius Masaba started ahead of Harrison Mwendwa.
Starting XI: Bwire, Juma©, Lemu, Olwade, Nixon, Yidah, Omoto, Abuya, Masaba, Otieno, Kapaito.
SUBS: Oyemba, Bodo, Oyugi, Sakari, Lokale, Mwendwa, Teka.
Sharks were quick to settle into the game and got into their sweet passing rhythm while the opponents were content with sitting back and attempting to hit on the counter.
Erick Kapaito almost netted the opener but his header from a Masaba cross bounced just centimeters away for the post. Patrick Otieno then went close with what was the best chance of the half after reacting fastest to a Leopards defensive error and driving towards the goal only for his near post strike to be kept out by an impressive Ochan in the opponent’s goal.
Patila Omoto then went close from the resultant corner kick after taking a shot from an impressive short corner move only to be denied again by the Leopards keeper. The game headed to the breather goalless but the fans were almost breathless from the action packed 45 minutes.
Sharks started the second half on the front foot and Duke Abuya could have scored after the opponent’s keeper made a poor clearance but his delay after a quick throw in helped the keeper recover. Shortly after that Sven Yidah attempted volley from distance went wide.
Perhaps encouraged by having not conceded despite being out run, the Leopards started growing into the game. They almost took the lead through Makwatta who beat Lemu but Bwire saved his goal bound shot when faced one on one with the striker. Bwire was called into action again, pairing out a Hansel Ochieng shot in the bottom left side of the post. He wasn’t done yet as he denied Leopards yet another goal pulling a top draw save from Hansel’s low shot from inside the area.
There was a last minute scare as the hosts seemed to have grabbed the winner but their converted effort was ruled offside by an excellent call by the Linewoman.
The result leaves the boys with two points in two games and they remain unbeaten against the Leopards in the league.
A trip to Bhukhungu Stadium is on the cards next week as they play Kakamega Homeboyz.