NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – John Mark Makwatta stepped from the bench to score a penalty five minutes from full time, scoring against his parent club as AFC Leopards drew 1-1 with Kenya Police FC in an FKF Premier League match at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Makwatta who is on loan at Leopards from Police had not played since making the move in January as his transfer was yet to be ratified, and he sure made his arrival felt, slotting home for a point, Leopards’ fourth in succession.
Makwatta had come in at the start of the second half alongside Cliff Nyakeya and Victor Omune, all who were January acquisitions.
Their arrival sparked a huge difference for Leopards and eventually paid off, with Nyakeya winning the penalty after David Owino’s high boot inside the box.
Police had picked the lead in the first half, also courtesy of a former player hunting his former side.
This time, it was Elvis Rupia who had scored for the uniformed forces against his former team Ingwe.
The striker who left Leopards for Saudi Arabia at the conclusion of last season before coming back home scored in the 37th minute with a simple side foot finish after being picked out by a cut back from Duke Abuya.
Police had dominated the opening half and Rupia had shown early intentions with a 20th minute header off another Abuya cross coming off the bar.
In the 27th minute, Clifton Miheso had a chance when he collected the ball from distance and went on a quick shot on the volley, but he struck the effort over under pressure from a Robert Mudenyu sliding tackle.
Leopards were restricted in most of the first half and the only shot on target they had was a minute to the break when Kaycie Odhiambo curled a freekick from the edge of the box, but it swirled straight into the keeper’s arms.
In the second half, AFC coach Patrick Aussems made changes, bringing in new signings John Mark Makwatta, Cliff Nyakeya and Victor Omune.
The three were playing for the first time this season after finally being given a go ahead following a transfer embargo that had been slapped on the club.
The introduction of the three changed the color of the game completely as Police were forced to play on the backfoot, Nyakeya and Makwatta constantly giving the backline stuff to think about.
Leopards had a glorious chance to draw level in the 70th minute when Collins Shichenje collected the ball behind the defense, but he blasted his shot on the volley over from close range, only keeper Job Ochieng at his mercy.
Minutes later, Makwatta perfectly read a backpass to the keeper and ran quick to intercept, but the shot stopper was quicker off his line, the two slamming the ball almost at the same time as it flew over the bar.
Leopards kept the pressure, and were finally rewarded when Makwatta slotted home the penalty.