The lads surrendered a two goal lead to fall 4-3 to AFC Leopards in an intriguing Round 6 league match played at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Saturday.
Cliff Nyakeya's brace and Francis Omondi's penalty ensured we went into the break leading 3-2 with the visitors getting their goals through Duncan Otieno and Brian Marita.
At the restart, a forced reorganization of our defence following David Owino's injury proved costly as Ingwe shot ahead through Ezekiel Odera and a wonder goal from Marvin Omondi that ultimately proved to be the winner.
Nyakeya, the hero last time out against Thika United, picked from where he left stealing possession from Yusuf Mainge before racing into the area to slot past Jairus Adira. It was the reward the hosts truly deserved only eight minutes into the game after their regime of high pressing had caused a scare to AFC Leopards fans early on.
Under Dennis Kitambi, Ingwe have tried to build up from the back and after faltering in the early exchanges they finally got it right. Brian Marita was the beneficiary as the men in blue worked the ball to the right. With one touch, he skipped past David Owino before producing a spectacular effort off his weak foot that cannoned off the bar on its way in.
With both sides having settled into the match, the lead was up for the taking and it was Nyakeya who tipped the impetus to the direction of his side. Isaac Oduro had a clumsy challenge on the winger as he waited to tap in a low cross from Daniel Mwaura on the left and Mathare United were awarded a penalty.
Francis Omondi, who has scored twice from the spot this season, maintained his perfect record from 12 yards out sending Adira the wrong way.
Double for Nyakeya
Nyakeya, a constant menace on the right, made his contribution count once more with another assured finish past Adira. It was more of a solo move having seen his initial shot blocked by Salim Abdallah, he picked the rebound rode another challenge from Oduro before beating Adira at his near post with a risning shot.
At this time even the most passionate of AFC Leopards fans could not have envisioned a way back for Leopards. But Duncan Otieno, the skipper, produced a smidgeon of hope with a neat placing past Robert Mboya after Jaffery Owiti had picked him out with a cutback at the edge of the box.
If that moment had soured Francis Kimanzi’s mood heading to the break, the forced withdrawal of David Owino through injury just before half time threw his game plan into a limbo.
In came Lennox Ogutu at right back as Samuel Olwande shifted position to left back. That change proved to be the Achilles heel as Kitambi’s charges piled pressure through Owiti and it paid. Otieno dispossessed Nyakeya at the middle of the park as he looked to initiate a counter attack. With every yellow shirt joining the attack, Otieno picked out Owiti who raced past Ogutu and his cross reached the back post where Ezekiel Odera pounced with a glancing header.
Having watched his two goal lead slip, Kimanzi sought attacking inspiration from Alphonce Ndonye and Derrick Onyango in a bid to go ahead. Kitambi replied sending Eric Bekoe and Baker Lukoye into the fray.
Leopards looked dangerous in attack and the reorganization in the Mathare defence made things easier for them. With barely ten minutes to play, Marvin Omondi crowned their ascendancy in unprecedented fashion.
Omondi wonder goal
The teenager intercepted a headed pass from Johnstone Omurwa intended for Ndonye. Spotting Mboya out of his line, he took a touch and looped the ball over the goalkeeper from 40 yards to give AFC Leopards the lead when it mattered most.
The loss leaves us second on the log with 11 points, two behind Gor Mahia who play Nzoia Sugar on Sunday.
Starting XI: 1. Robert Mboya (GK) 16. David Owino 25. Samuel Olwande 6. George Owino (C) 19. Johnstone Omurwa 5. Francis Omondi 4. Edward Seda (60' 8. Alphonce Ndonye) 29. Chrispin Oduor 2. Daniel Mwaura (73' 14. Derrick Onyango) 11. Cliff Nyakeya 21. Clifford Alwanga
Unused subs: 18.Wycliffe Kasaya (GK) 28. Gilbert Osonga 22. Roy Okal 9. Chris Ochieng’ 15. Ronald Reagan