Tag Archives: Allan Wanga

AFC to claw Ethiopians: Nandwa admits it will not be easy against Defence today

Will AFC Leopards make it to the next round of the Confederations Cup this time around? AFC Leopards players train inside the National Stadium in Addis Ababa, yesterday. They play Defence of Ethiopia today. PHOTO: BONIFACE OKENDO / STANDARD This is the big question as Leopards take on Defence of Ethiopia at the National Stadium here today. Though the Kenyan club carry a 2-0 advantage from the first leg, it is not a done deal yet considering that just four years ago, Leopards surrendered a 3-1 first leg win against another Ethiopian club, Banks, to bow out after losing 3-0 in the reverse fixture as they crashed out 4-3. It is something coach James Nandwa is well aware of and is not taking any chances to ensure his club defend their first leg win. “Despite the first-leg win, we still want to score more goals here. We are seeing an interesting situation in that the more we score, the more they will have to score to lock us out and so we will go all out and get more goals to ensure our qualification,”  he said in an interview at the team’s hotel yesterday. Nandwa admitted that he may have to re-organise his squad in the absence of influential midfielder Paul Were. “He was part of our plan from the beginning and is very strong on the flanks and his absence certainly denies us this. It means we have to re-organise the squad but I am glad we have the players to do it. “We have Mike Khamati and Allan Wanga is also available. They give us options in the absence of Were,” said the coach. He remains wary of their opponents’ possessive prowess, but insists his experienced defence is able to deal with any such threats

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Leopards coach blames bad turf for players injuries

AFC Leopards head coach James Nandwa has blamed injuries picked by a section of his players on a “bad playing turf” in Zanzibar. The “big cats” were not only bundled out of the annual Mapinduzi Cup competition at the group phase, but also suffered a double tragedy of losing key players to injuries. Those affected include lead striker Allan Wanga, who picked a knock on his troublesome left knee, and defender Jackson Saleh. Anthony Kimani will also be out with a knee injury. Others who sustained injuries are Joseph Shikokoti and Martin Musalia, who are nursing groin and knee injuries respectively. According to the team doctor’s report as quoted on the club’s website, both Shikokoti and Musalia are expected to get well in less than two weeks while Jacob Keli was to undergo assessment to ascertain the extent of his injury. This comes as bad news for AFC Leopards especially as they are preparing for the first leg of the CAF Confederations Cup competition against Ethiopia’s Defence in Nairobi early in February. Source Tanzania Daily News

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Derby Pressure: Egos will be bruised as AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia clash in GOtv final

The gloves are off as the country’s most supported teams AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia clash in their third ‘Mashemeji’ derby in the GOtv Shield final at Nyayo Stadium. AFC Leopards playing against Gor Mahia at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. The two teams meet today in GOtv Shield finals. PHOTO: BONIFACE OKENDO/STANDARD Unlike the two previous meetings however, today’s fixture is rather low with litle at stake. With the exception of the Sh2 million prize money on offer, both teams are assured of continental football taking away the tension from this fixture. Gor lifted the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title, albeit after 18 years, and lack the motivation to win the GOtv Shield considering they already have their ticket to continental football next season. Last year, when Gor won the domestic cup competition by edging out Sofapaka in the final, it elicited a lot of celebrations at the club who had lost out in the league title battle to former champions Tusker. Winning the domestic cup was therefore a big deal for Gor. However, the stakes have changed this time with all the celebration directed to their historical achievement of winning breaking an18-year jinx. This has left today’s derby a potentially dull affair. However, coach Bobby Williamson insists that they want to win the trophy because its is what the fans expect. “This is a big club and whenever they get onto the pitch, the expectation is always to win. This doesn’t change on today. We still expect to win and we are going for a win,” said Williamson. More pressure The Scott admits the derby puts his side even under more pressure as the expectation goes a little higher. “Derbies all over the world are a big deal and this is no different. It adds a little pressure to the fixture, which is good to motive our players,” he said. It is expected that Gor Mahia players will settle down from the excitement of winning the league and stage a formidable challenge. The team lacked the fighting spirit during their second last match against KCB at the Moi International Sports Centre,  Kasarani losing 2-0, on the same day they were presented the trophy. One man who will be happy to come up against Leopards once again is striker Dan Sserunkuma. The Ugandan has scored in all fixtures against Leopards in the last two years and he is one man Williamson will want to employ upfront. AFC Leoprds coach James Nandwa is a relaxed man going into the fixture after he helped his side finish runners-up on the KPL log. “The most important thing is that we will play at the continental stage next year by virtue of being in the GOtv final. This in itself takes away the pressure from this match and we are therefore relaxed and just looking to enjoy ourselves,” he said. Leopards will however be under pressure to beat their arch-rivals who spoiled the party in the second leg of their KPL match by coming from two goals down to draw 2-2

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AFC Leopards take on Sony Sugar at City Stadium

Nairobi, Kenya: AFC Leopards intensify their battle for second place when they meet Sony Sugar in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match at City Stadium Wednesday. AFC players celebrating at the end of a game in a past match The match was moved to Nairobi after AFC Leopards expressed concern over insecurity at Awendo Green Stadium. AFC wrote to Football Kenya Federation last week protesting the decision by the league company to move the match to Awendo, which months earlier hosted an explosive match against Gor Mahia that was abandoned in the last minutes. As Leopards take to the pitch today, they will look back to a seven-match winning streak enjoyed since hiring stand-in coach James Nandwa. It is a result that has left them almost finishing as runners-up, which is one better than last season’s performance. Nandwa has had so much success at AFC since taking over two months ago that he helped the team qualify for the final of the GOtv Shield, which automatically gives them a place in the Confederations Cup next year. The other finalists, Gor Mahia, have already won the KPL title. Nandwa will most likely use the veteran players who have brought him success in the past. He will be particularly delighted by the form of top striker Allan Wanga who has scored consistently in all the past eight matches. Wanga helped Leopards get a crucial 1-0 win over Karuturi Sports last week and will be key today against Sony. He should receive support from veteran striker Mike Barasa, who has maintained top form despite his age. Veteran striker Marwa Chamberi will lead their attack for goals. Victory for Leopards today will push them to second spot on the log with 47 points as they overcome Sofapaka who are currently in this position. Despite being denied a home-ground advantage by having this match moved to City Stadium, Sony Sugar have no choice but to grab all three points. The team lies dangerously in the relegation zone and needs maximum points to ease the pressure on themselves. Sony go into this fixture less than two weeks after they were edged out of the GOtv Shield semi-final by Gor Mahia in a match that ended violently when some of their players were attacked.

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Fans maintain peace during thriller at Kasarani stadium

The Mashemeji Derby, pitting Gor Mahia against AFC Leopards, lived up to its billing as both teams took home a point a piece after a thrilling encounter at Moi Kasarani, which ended in a 2-2 draw. George Owino of Gor Mahia (right) and AFC Leopards’ Noah Wafula during tense moments at the KPL match at Moi Kasarani, yesterday. PHOTO: STAFFORD ONDEGO / STANDARD Despite the draw, the biggest positive to come from the match was the impressive performance of Noah Wafula, who kept his opponents on toes and the solid display from overlapping defender David Owino. As the two teams were engaged in a grueling battle on the pitch, chants, dancing and the noise from the terraces kept the derby alive and frenzied throughout. Fans from both teams turned out in large number donning their team colours. On the right side of the VIP seats, there were Gor fans wearing green jerseys while Leopards fans were on the left in their blue jerseys. One thing that stood out was the peaceful atmosphere that fans from both sides maintained. Mexican wave They occasionally taunted one another with the usual gesticulations, but the friendly mien, complete with Mexican wave, made the terraces fun to be in, rather than the danger zones that they have been in the past. Fans started ariving at Kasarani at 10am and many were seen in nearby restaurants, eateries and bars ‘preparing’ for the encounter. “We need a peaceful atmosphere in the local league,” said an elderly fan. Matchwise, the rivals displayed a thrilling game from the onset with Paul Kiongera’s close range strike hitting the wood-work in the opening minutes. The miss left K’Ogalo faithful in dismay as their Ingwe counterparts celebrated. Thorn in defence But as both teams tried to settle, Allan Wanga who was a thorn in Gor’s defence outpaced his marker in the 34th minute before executing a superb cross that landed on Noah Wafula’s foot, who made no mistake in tapping the ball home with Jerim Onyango well beaten. Paul Were doubled the lead in the 50th minute after a well-taken pass from Edward Seda. But the intensity of the fight-back and the quality of the football shown by the home team was something that couldn’t go unnoticed. Just after 10 minutes, Dan Sserenkuma proved his worthiness as he once again tormented the Leopards’ defence, pulling a goal back for Gor. As the Green Army continued to cheer their team, Ingwe failed to contain pressure and it was in the 85th minute that David Owino brought down the stadium with a splendid volley. By RODGERS ESHITEMI, The Standard

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Leopards dominate but lose to Sserunkuma goal in Nairobi derby

Nairobi, Kenya: Dan Sserunkuma scored for Gor Mahia in the 74th minute to ensure they picked all three points against AFC Leopards in a match punctuated by violence at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday. AFC Leopards’ Abbas Kiwalabye and Gor Mahia’s Ali Abondo during the Nairobi derby at Nyayo Stadium. (Photo:Standard) The match had to be stopped for almost ten minutes when a section of fans from both teams got involved in a scuffle after Salim had scored. However, even before the match kicked off, there was trouble on the terraces between the opposing fans and the police did not act quickly to avert a fall-out. By the time the law enforcers acted, trouble had escalated and they threw tear gas canisters on the pitch forcing the referee to stop the match as players and other officials scampered for safety. Scores of fans were injured and had to be treated by medics for minor injuries. It was an embarrassing scene witnessed by none other than Deputy President William Ruto who despite the fans’ misbehaviour still gave each team Sh500,000. Overall, Leopards were unlucky not to get anything from the match despite dominating proceedings. The Gor Mahia goal came from a counter-attack as Leopards were on the verge of getting their opener. Gor will have goalkeeper Jerim Onyango to thank for saving them on many occasions. In the 26th minute he blocked a Noah Wafula effort from long range. Gor first chance of the match to go ahead did not come until the 37th minute Shen Edwin Lavatsa found himself inside the Leopards half but shot wide. Other chances by Leopards came from Mike Barasa who was on top of his game and his free kick in the 41st minute was stopped by Jerim Onyango.

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