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Nzoia Sugar back on top after draw with AFC Leopards



Nzoia Sugar back on top after draw with AFC Leopards

Nzoia are now top of the table with 28 points from 14 matches, one point ahead of Gor Mahia, who had enjoyed an overnight stay after winning 1-0 against Nairobi City Stars on Saturday.

Leopards did most of the attacking in the opening exchanges as they looked to grab an early goal, but they looked vulnerable at the back when Nzoia launched their quick counterattacks.

Joseph Mwangi’ ‘s low shot narrowly missed in the 18th minute from inside the visitors’ box and eight minutes later, Sije Yasin’s attempt from range was saved by Leopards goalkeeper Levis Opiyo who was well-positioned to make a save.

Sony continued to threaten on the counterattack with Felicien Okanda playing a through pass for Boniface Kweyu whose chipped effort flew over Opiyo’s goal-posts in the 42nd minute, and the score was 0-0 at halftime.

AFC Leopards predictably dominated possession from early in the second half, but they initially found chances hard to come by against a determined and resilient Nzoia.

The visitors had to wait until just before the hour mark for their first major second half threat, with a free kick picking out Saad Musa at the back post, but Humphrey Katasi comfortably saved his lunging effort.

Nzoia were unlucky not to hit the front in the 70th minute through Ian Simiyu. The burly forward rose highest to meet Mose Mwale’s corner-kick but could only successfully guide his attempt onto the woodwork and out of danger.

That was as close as the Sugar Millers came to a winner, with the visiting side proving exactly why they have been so tough to beat in recent matches.

In Sunday’s other matches, Kenya Police FC’s claimed upward trajectory under coach Francis Baraza continued as the Makarao recorded a crucial 1-0 victory against Bidco United.

The result saw Police move to fifth position on the table with 24 points – three behind leaders Nzoia Sugar, having now played a game less. Bidci are seven places and nine points further back in 13th position.

Striker Elvis Rupia struck in the 43rd minute of the match when he turned well to fire into the back of the net with Bidco goalkeeper Daniel Odiwour well-beaten.

Alex Juma almost netted an equalizer just past the hour mark, but his shot went over the bar rather than the back of the net.

Police could have extended their lead late when Thomas Wainaina was penalized for a dangerous tackle just outside the 18-yard area, but Musa Mohamed fired wide.

Elsewhere, Vihiga Bullets’ winless run continued when they were beaten 1-0 by Ulinzi Stars at Bukhungu Stadium.

Bullets have gone eight games without a victory in the league, and the result saw them slide to 17th place on the log with four points from seven 11 matches.

Staphod Odhiambo scored in the 67th minute after capitalizing on a mistake made by Vihiga’s defense in the penalty area. After failing to deal with a long ball played into the box, Odhiambo was on hand to collect the ball before giving his side the lead from close range.

Ulinzi Stars have moved up two places on the log to sixth with 23 points from 14 matches they have played this season.

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