•Tusker squandered an opportunity to capitalize on home advantage and their numerical strength after settling for a barren draw with KCB in the first match of the day at the same venue.
•In other matches played on Saturday, Bidco shared spoils with hosts Bandari after holding them to a one-all draw at Mbaraki, Mombasa while Posta Rangers and Western Stima also played out to a 1-1 draw at Moi Stadium, Kisumu.
AFC Leopards head coach Patrick Aussems has expressed disappointment after his side squeezed out a slim 1-0 win over Nzoia Sugar in their Football Kenya Federation Premier League match at Ruaraka, Nairobi on Saturday.
Aussems lashed out at his charges, saying they pulled in their horns and chose to fall back and defend the solitary goal instead of piling pressure on their opponents for a wider margin. “We should have won today's encounter with a bigger margin because we created many chances which we didn't convert. That's actually my biggest disappointment today,” said Aussems.
“Instead of launching further attacks, we sat back to defend the solitary goal,” he added. Aussems, who linked up with the squad on Thursday after returning from Belgium to visit his family, said he didn't have enough time to sharpen his charges for today’s tie.
“It wasn't an easy encounter because it's like we are kicking off the season afresh after resting for almost two months since we played our last game.
“However, the most important thing is that we won the match and collected all three points. I came into today's match knowing too well the players won't be ready – especially physically, but in the end, we did the job.
Nzoia Sugar tactician Ibrahim Shikanda said they were punished for their laxity in the game, adding his players failed to adhere faithfully to the instructions.
“I’m not fully satisfied with the performance of my players in the match. AFC created chances and capitalized on one to net the goal that eventually won them the match.
“On the other hand, we created a lot of chances but failed to convert them and we got punished for that. We'll be going back to the drawing board to see how we can rectify our errors.
Shikanda attributed their lackadaisical performance to inadequate preparations.
“The long break occasioned by the outbreak of Covid-19 has compromised the quality of my players, and this was obvious in today's match. They are not as good as they were before the league was suspended.
Peter Thiong'o picked out Elvis Rupia in the penalty area with a fine cross from the left channel and the Harambee Stars striker nodded the ball behind him into the waiting feet of Caleb Olilo who swang the ball into the back of the net in the 38th minute.
Following the win, Leopards have now moved to second place on the log with 32 points, two shy of leaders Tusker who have a game more.
Tusker squandered an opportunity to capitalize on home advantage and their numerical strength after settling for a barren draw with KCB in the first match of the day at the same venue.
The bankers looked vulnerable in the second half after Curtis Wekesa was slapped with a straight red for rough play.
The Zedekiah Otieno charges, who had maintained a firm position in the top two since the beginning of the season, have now slumped to fourth where they are now rooted with 30 points.
In other matches played on Saturday, Bidco shared spoils with hosts Bandari after holding them to a one-all draw at Mbaraki, Mombasa while Posta Rangers and Western Stima also played out to a 1-1 draw at Moi Stadium, Kisumu.