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Leopards fail to scale Mt Kenya: No respite for limping ingwe as Gor beat Vihiga to go third on the table.

The enormity of the task that AFC Leopards' latest coach Andre Casa Mbugo has to grapple with became even more apparent 24 hours after his appointment as Ingwe fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Mount Kenya United in the Kenya Premier League match.

It had been hoped, contrary to previous overwhelming evidence suggesting otherwise, that a change in the technical bench would herald better results. That proved not to be the case as then bottom side Mount Kenya handed Ingwe their seventh defeat of the campaign to drag the 12-time champions deeper into the relegation mire.

John Ndirangu put Melis Medo's side ahead in the 16th minute while Salim Abdalla leveled matters for Leopards with a header in the 33rd minute. Peter Amani ensured they will be no peaceful sleep in the den with the second half winner.

Should Chemelil Sugar get all three points at home to Kakamega Homeboyz this afternoon, Ingwe will find themselves in the dreaded bottom three. In a worse than ideal scenario, Mbugo's first match on the bench is likely to be this weekend when Leopards go toe-to-toe with their traditional rivals in a match up that has since been christened the 'Mashemeji derby' against K'Ogalo.

Champions Gor Mahia by their very high a standards in the domestic scene have endured an under whelming start to their second successive KPL title defence but all that is now water under the bridge, according to assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno after they battled to a 1-0 victory away at Vihiga United.

'We don't pay much attention to what is said elsewhere. As a team, we know our capabilities and objectives and we remain on course as our recent results have shown,' he said. Nicholas Kipkirui, who is proving an instant hit with the record league winners, struck the winner in first half stoppage time to lift Hassan Oktays charges up to third on the table with 19 points. The former Zoo man was preferred in attack, leading goals scorer Jacques Tuyisenge and age-less goal getter Dennis Oliech and that move proved to be master stroke from Oktay as Kipkirui came up with the goods when he was needed most as Vihiga looked to frustrate them.

K'Og'alo with one game in hand are now five points off top spot.

Meanwhile, Western Stima celebrated the coronation of their coach Paul Ogal as the first recipient of this season's Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month award with a 1-0 victory at home to Zoo Kericho. John Mwita scored the lone goal that took Stima to fourth behind Gor on goal difference.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Feb 7, 2019
Words:492
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