Leopards’ eyes on GOtv semis, not finals – Matano
AFC Leopards Head Coach Robert Matano said he will not allow the side to get carried away by their thumping 7-1 victory over Wazito FC in the GOtv Shield quarter-finals on Sunday.
The resounding win saw them complete the last of four slots in the Cup competition, joining Vihiga United, Sony Sugar and Kariobangi Sharks and the Leopards are now heavy favourites to go on and clinch the trophy.
Despite the exit of holders Tusker who were knocked out 2-0 by second-tier side Vihiga, Matano deflected suggestions that the trophy is now theirs for the taking and instead emphasised they will tackle each game at a time.
“One thing I don’t deal with is history, now we are focusing on the semi final and when we reach the finals we will talk about that.
“Of course we are confident after this and you could see that from the well executed goals from my players which also show good planning in the game,” Matano said.
A hattrick of converted penalties from Burundian striker Alexis Kitenge, and a pair of braces from Marcellus Ingotsi and substitute Samuel Ndungu sealed the win for Leopards as Dennis Gicheru scored the consolation goal from the spot.
His opposite number Frank Ouna conceded their opponents played better and pointed to their weaker financial muscle for the defeat.
“We were playing against such a big team and it took a lot of time for my players to settle in the game which shows that probably some players went into the game feeling a bit uncomfortable with the stage,” Ouna stated.
Tusker’s hopes of repeating the league and Cup double were dashed by an unlikely opposition as veteran midfielder Charles Okwemba and Dennis Lugalia struck to lead the National Super League (NSL) leaders into the semis.
Vihiga will now face the Leopards on September 23 with Sony Sugar and Sharks battling it out for a finals spot in the other semis clash.
GOtv Shield Quarterfinals Results
Vihiga United 2-0 Tusker FC
Wazito FC 1-7 AFC Leopards
Kariobangi Sharks 5-0 Eldoret Youth
Bandari 1-3 Sony Sugar
-Report by Gilbert Kiprotich.
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