AFC Leopards boss defends Levis Opiyo, claims howler was not the reason they lost to Gor Mahia

AFC Leopards boss defends Levis Opiyo, claims howler was not the reason they lost to Gor Mahia

Mark Kinyanjui 11:00 - 23.04.2024

AFC Leopards coach Tomas Trucha has jumped to the defence of Levis Opiyo after yet another howler made against Gor Mahia.

AFC Leopards head coach Tomas Trucha has come to the defense of goalkeeper Levis Opiyo following his costly mistake in the recent Mashemeji Derby against Gor Mahia.

Opiyo's error led to Austin Odhiambo's decisive goal, securing a 1-0 victory for Gor Mahia in the highly anticipated match at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.

The goal came after Opiyo was dispossessed while attempting to dribble past two Gor Mahia players, allowing Odhiambo, a former AFC Leopards player, to capitalize and score the winning goal. This incident adds to Opiyo's previous blunders in the Mashemeji Derby, making the fixture a recurring challenge for the goalkeeper.

Earlier this season, Opiyo's error led to Benson Omala scoring a goal during the first leg of the derby at Moi Kasarani Stadium. In another instance on June 2, 2022, Opiyo gifted Gor Mahia an equalizing goal during a match marking the 59th Madaraka Day celebrations, which Gor Mahia eventually won on penalties.

Following his latest mistake, Opiyo faced criticism from Ingwe fans, both at the stadium and online, with some calling for his departure when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Despite the backlash, Coach Trucha stood by his goalkeeper, acknowledging Opiyo's mistake but emphasizing that the team should have capitalized on their chances to come back into the game, especially after Gor Mahia was reduced to ten men.

“He knows it was not a good decision, but at the same time, Levis is not the reason we lost. We should have done more with the chances we got," Trucha commented.

Highlighting the unity within the team, Trucha referred to AFC Leopards as a family and expressed his support for Opiyo. “We are a family. I have one both at home and here. Everyone is my family member, and this is how we work, so when a goalkeeper makes a mistake, it is visible, when a goalkeeper makes a mistake, he just needs his chance,” he said.

Trucha's supportive stance underscores the importance of team cohesion and resilience, suggesting that despite individual errors, the team remains united and focused on improvement as they continue their season.