CL hopes dashed, Leopards focus now on CAF Cup


CL hopes dashed, Leopards focus now on CAF Cup
AFC Leopards coach Patrick Aussems confers with members of his technical bench. PHOTO/Courtesy/Leopards

In Summary

  • Until Wednesday, Leopards were in contention but with the missed target, head coach Patrick Aussems is now throwing all the weight to the July 4 FKF Cup final against Gor Mahia.
  • Leaders Tusker and KCB stand the highest chance while champions Gor could still steal the slot through a superior goal difference if the two fail in their remaining round before the deadline.

AFC Leopards are mathematically out of contention for the CAF Champions League ticket going by the FKF-PL June 30 deadline, after suffering a shock 0-1 loss to bottom-placed Mathare United at Ruaraka Grounds on Wednesday.

Leaders Tusker and KCB stand the highest chance while champions Gor could still steal the slot through a superior goal difference if the two fail in their remaining round before the deadline.

The brewers have 44 points after 21 outings, while KCB and Gor are second and third respectively with 42 and 38 in that sequence – although the latter two have played 20 matches.

Tusker will play one more, Gor and KCB two more before the ticket winner is handed to CAF.

Traditionally, CAF Champions League ticket automatically goes to the league winner at the end of the season, but with the disrupted league calendar owing to Covid-19 pandemic, the Confederation of African Football set June 30 as the deadline for the member associations to enter their representatives in the elite interclub competitions.

Until Wednesday, Leopards have been in contention but with the missed target, head coach Patrick Aussems is now throwing all the weight to the July 4 FKF Cup final against Gor Mahia, to clinch the only remaining continental ticket – the CAF Cup.

“To be honest we have a game on Saturday, we have another one on Wednesday and so this means that from now and the July 4 final (FKF Cup final) it’s only 10 days within which we have three games to play before it. I think we must make a sharp turnover so as to be much ready for the July 4 final,” Aussems offered.

But according to the Belgian, Leopards should be crowned league champions because they were leading in the 17-team league by the time 50 percent of the entire season was done.

“For the league title I am aware that we were leading the rest of the teams at 50 percent of the games for the entire season, and so we should have been declared the champions, let’s see what will happen.

Leopards’ focus now shifts to their Saturday clash against Wazito, who held champions Gor Mahia to a barren draw at Thika Stadium yesterday.

Meanwhile, Mathare United head coach Frank Ouna is delighted to see his boys snatch what he calls a “big win” against Ingwe.

United posted only their second win of the season and their first ever since Ouna was appointed the head coach, to replace Salim Ali in May this year.

“Today I was told its 135 days since our last win and so it’s a big win as you can imagine. I think my boys had forgotten how to win a football match and so it’s a very, very big win for us.

“I thank God I’m through with a tough round of fixtures and I’m not saying it is going to be easy but in the last four – five matches we have fought title contenders. Playing AFC Leopards twice, KCB twice, Gor Mahia once, quite a task,” Ouna concluded.

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Story By Godfrey Ashiali
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