In other results, Chemelil Sugar stunned Western Stima 2-0 to move out of relegation zone, sitting 13th on 17 points while at the Kasarani Stadium, Eric Kapaito scored in the 20th minute to hand Kariobangi Sharks 1-0 win over visiting Nzoia Sugar.The game served up some drama towards the end when some of the AFC Leopards backroom staff members sent a ball-boy to ‘steal’ keeper Justin Ndikumana’s towel at the side of the goal with the Burundian keeper snatching it away from the kid as he raced away.On the pitch though, it was a full throttle contest.Harambee Stars Under-23 forward Avire who had been a constant menace to the AFC backline glanced his team ahead at the stroke of halftime, rising high unmarked inside the box to head in from a well delivered outer foot Umaru Kassumba cross from the right.While the entire AFC defense keenly watched the Ugandan who has scored eight times for Batoto ba Mungu this season, Avire found space and was running in behind the defense at every opportune moment.Sofapaka took charge of the opening half and had their first chance inside five minutes when Brian Magonya picked out Piston Mutamba with a through pass inside the box but the striker’s effort at cutting back the ball was blocked.Sofapaka FC defender George Maelo vies for the ball with AFC Leopards winger Vincent Oburu during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on March 13, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluOn the other end, AFC’s first opening at goal came in the seventh minute through Victor Majid who cited space ahead of him and went for a shot, but keeper Justin Ndikumana saw it early and gathered.In the 18th minute, Batoto ba Mungu came ever so close when Stephen Waruru rose highest inside the box off an Elli Asieche corner, but his glancing header went over.It turned out to be a half of set pieces, each side trying their luck on the dead ball and AFC had their go close in the 33rd minute when Robinson Kamura arrowed a fierce one from the left but Ndikumana fisted the ball away.Sofapaka thought they had the lead nine minutes to half time when Mutamba headed home after George Maelo had arrowed the ball back to the edge of the box, but the ref cancelled the goal for an infringement on Whyvonne Isuza.Nonetheless, Sofapaka ensured they went to the breather one up when against the run of play, Kassumba cited Avire’s run and picked him out with a superb cross.Sofapaka FC defender George Maelo vies for the ball with AFC Leopards winger Vincent Oburu during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on March 13, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluIn the second half AFC came back a better side and pushed Sofapaka to defend deep.Ten minutes after the restart, Ndikumana had to be alert inside the box to stick out a foot to cut out Mainge’s cross from the right with Asuza lurking waiting to pounce.While AFC threw bodies upfront, they were almost caught on their rear twice. In the 63rd minute, they conceded a goal off a counter and Asieche floated it in, Waruru heading it against the bar. Mutamba picked up the spills and shot goal-ward but the effort was blocked off the line.Almost immediately, another counter saw Asieche release Mutamba with a through pass but the Harambee Stars forward could not beat Jairus Adira one on one.AFC pushed and in the final quarter of an hour handed new signing David Ochieng his debut coming in to midfield while Aziz Okaka was also brought on for Vincent Oburu. However, they could not get the goal, to earn them in the least a point.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Sofapaka FC players celebrate their goal against AFC Leopards during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on March 13, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluKAKAMEGA, Kenya, Mar 13 – John Avire’s header at the stroke of half time was all Sofapaka needed to edge out AFC Leopards 1-0 in a charged clash at the Bukhungu Stadium to go top of the Kenyan Premier League.Avire glanced home an Umaru Kassumba cross to take the 2009 champions to 33 points, one ahead of previous leaders Bandari.