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AFC Leopards moved into the top four on the SportPesa Premier League log following a 2-0 win over Thika United at the Thika Sub-County Stadium on Sunday.

Whyvonne Isuza opened the scoring with a well taken penalty on 61st minute, before Ezekiel Odera put the game to bed with a fine finish from close range six minutes later.

After an evenly balanced start to the game,Thika had the first chance of the afternoon when a mistake in the visitors’ defence in the 13th minute allowed Shami Kibwana to tee up Clement Masakidi, who should have scored from 15 yards out but instead blazed the ball over the bar.

Thika were to take control of the match and only a tight off-side call kept the score-line at 0-0 after Collins Okumu had poked a cross in from close range on 20 minutes.

Baker Lukooya tested the goal of Eliud Emase with a stroke from outside the box but found the Thika’s number one alert as he deflected the effort for a Leopards corner.

Dennis Odhiambo struck a free kick towards the Leopards goal but saw his set piece deflect and unsettle Ezekiel Owade. The keeper however managed to readjust his position and made a good clearance off the line.

Robinson Kamura tried a long range effort as well which demanded Emase’s attention. The ball bounced in front of the stopper and was again repelled away from danger.

On the stroke of halftime, Michael Mutinda’s set piece failed to hit the target as the midfielder targeted Owade’s far post.

Upon their return from the tunnel, the Leopards nearly scored when Duncan Otieno’s effort was cleared on the line by Zak Matasi.

Good football from the hosts after the hour mark on the far left saw them break down the visiting defence, but a cross failed to reach the penalty area.

The breakthrough came in the 62th minute from the penalty spot. Baraka Badi fouled Ezekiel Odera in the area, a penalty was awarded and Whyvonne Isuza cooly slotted home with Thika’s goalkeeper well beaten.

Ingwe had chances to extend their lead, but Brian Marita was marginally off-target with a shot from 25-yards before Salim Abdallah skied an effort over the bar from well inside the box.

Thika United were on the ascendency and were looking for an equaliser on 65th minute.Shami Kibwana struck a free kick just outside the box and the slippery ball was spilled Owade and cleared away by Moses Mburu.

After being pinned back and having to defend their lead, Ingwe doubled their lead five minutes later through Whyvonne Isuza who fired his shot towards goal via a deflection past Emase.

From then on, Leopards had no trouble in holding on for the win, neither goalkeeper tested in the final 25 minutes as their coach Rodolfo Zapata recorded a first victory in his third game in charge as Thika moved up Ingwe into the fourth position on the league table.

How they lined-up:

Thika Utd Starting XI:  Emase Eliud, Baraka Badi, Matasi Zak,Kassim Mwinyi, Okumu Collins, Odhiambo Dennis(Capt),Mutinda Michael, Orundu James,Mukangula Eugene, Shami Kibwana and Masakidi Clement.

Leopards Starting XI: Ezekiel Owade, Dennis Sikhayi, Moses Mburu, Salim Abdallah, Robinson Kamura, Duncan Otieno, Marvin Omondi, Whyvonne Isuza (90′ Victor Majid), Baker Lukooya (62′ Brian Marita), Jaffari Odenyi, Ezekiel Omulo

A lover of African football who boasts experience in journalism, having previously worked at Brand Agenda Publications, East Africa University News and University Post in Uganda before moving to Soka25east.com. On Twitter @fgchuma

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