What you need to know:
- Bienvenue Shaka scored on 58 minutes to cancel out Michael Owino's first-half strike.
- In the 88th minute, Leopards were awarded a penalty after Hansel Ochieng was fouled inside the box by Maurice Ojwang and Rupia made no mistake
- The victory saw Leopards, who are chasing for their 14th FKF-PL title, leapfrog Gor Mahia into third position on 40 points, after the defending champions lost 2-1 to troubled Western Stima
AFC Leopards Saturday rallied to beat Wazito 2-1 in a Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) match at Utalii grounds in Nairobi.
Substitute Elvis Rupia sealed Leopards' victory from the spot two minutes to time. Bienvenue Shaka had scored on 58 minutes to cancel out Michael Owino's first-half strike.
The victory saw Leopards, who are chasing for their 14th FKF-PL title, leapfrog Gor Mahia into third position on 40 points, after the defending champions lost 2-1 to troubled Western Stima at Thika Sub County Stadium. Wazito drop to 10th on 27 points.
"It is a very good performance. We were just punished by an individual mistake in the first half and I instructed my boys to keep playing. We created a lot of opportunities and deserved to win," said Leopards coach Patrick Aussems.
His Wazito counterpart Francis Kimanzi declined a post-match interview.
With Leopards top scorer Rupia starting from the bench, Bienvenue Shaka and Austin Odhiambo led Ingwe's attack with Harrison Mwendwa and Caleb Olilo supplying them from the flanks. Owino started upfront for Wazito.
Leopards should have taken the lead on 10 minutes but Odhiambo's shot after beating his markers inside Wazito's box came off the upright and the hosts cleared.
There was little time for the host's backline to rest, as the speedy Mwendwa forced Wazito's goalkeeper Fredrick Odhiambo to a decent save from the right, before Odhiambo wasted another glorious opportunity.
Odhiambo, who is among the players who have been instrumental in Leopards' campaign this season, again beat his marker inside Wazito's danger area but instead of shooting at goal, he opted to find Shaka, his pass being intercepted.
Owino made Leopards rue the several missed chances, as he capitalised on goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan's howler to fire Wazito ahead in the 33rd minute.
The Ugandan goalie spilled Kevin Kimani's free-kick and Wazito defender Johnstone Omurwa squared for Owino who scored into an empty net.
Leopards sought for an immediate response but Isaac Kipyegon's free-kick from the corner-area was cleared on the line amidst a melee at Wazito's box.
Leopards introduced Rupia at the restart, alongside Clyde Senaji for Austin Odhiambo and Kipyegon respectively.
Rupia almost levelled the score three minutes after the restart but his header from a Wazito clearance was high.
Shaka equalised with a close range finish on 58 minutes after goalkeeper Odhiambo spilled the ball infront of him.
Musa Masika then rounded his marker the other end but his shot fell into the waiting hands of Ochan.
Leopards added more fresh legs, with Peter Thiong'o and Marvin Nabwire replacing Olilo and Eugene Mukangula respectively.
Wazito responded in the 74th minute, resting Joseph Odhiambo and Amos Asembeka for Dennis Ng'ang'a for Eric Otieno respectively.
In the 88th minute, Leopards were awarded a penalty after Hansel Ochieng was fouled inside the box by Maurice Ojwang and Rupia made no mistake, sending goalkeeper Odhiambo the wrong way.
This was Rupia's 14th goal of the season, one behind leading scorer Erick Kapaito of Kariobangi Sharks.