Wounded Leopards, hungry Sharks, plot Cup rematch after tame weekend


AFC Leopards SC striker Marcelus Ingotsi (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Wazito FC ...
AFC Leopards SC striker Marcelus Ingotsi (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Wazito FC during their quarter finals match played at Nyayo national stadium in Nairobi on August 20, 2017. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

AFC Leopards and Kariobangi Sharks gave a dull rehearsal to the GOtv-Shield final set for October 20 after playing to a dour barren draw in a highlight league match at the weekend.

The big cats and the Sharks are expected to collide, this time in the most spectacular of fashions, in the domestic cup final in less than two weeks in the chase for the only possible silverware route for both of them.

While Leopards have been limping; a stark contrast to what is expected of a giant,  Sharks, impressive in debut season in the top flight, had vowed to pile onto their misery ahead of last weekend’s clash only to fire blanks.

Their weekend meeting failed to keep fans on the edge of their seats in what was supposed to be a tantalizing clash, only managing a 0-0 score.

But even as their respective fans vouch for a spectacular clash in the Cup final, each coach still has a lot of work to do if they are to entertain and perhaps claim the crown.

Muluya wants his charges to give their best against a free-falling Leopards and also keep the defence very tight.
Muluya wants his charges to give their best against a free-falling Leopards and also keep the defence very tight.

Sharks coach, the youthful William Muluya, who has so far had a good run in the top flight, is cagey.

“We can’t say we left much in store for the final but definitely we must be better that day. This was a league match and that will be a Cup final, hence the approach must be different.

“We missed our best striker (Masoud Juma) and when you can’t score a goal in such a match you can’t avoid asking what if he was there,” Muluya lamented.

The rematch will be keenly followed as Ingwe aims to appease their long suffering fans. Muluya, on the other hand, will bid to make a name in the top flight.

But even as Sharks coach bemoaned the lack of his key duo, his opposite number Matano was also left ruing the missed services of Robinson Kamura and Dennis Shikhayi in a day that  Vincent Oburu and Marcelus Ingotsi limped off, leaving Matano with no option but to parade a makeshift team, handing rookies Lewis Wanami and Mike Kibwage slots in defence.

The absence of the big shots left the fiery Matano seething.”Their absence affected us .We need to win every match bearing in mind our position (12) on the log. I would love to have a full house,” Matano said.

AFC Leopards SC coach Robert Matano instructs Victor Majid during their Semi- Finals of the GOTV Shield Tournament match against Vihiga United FC at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru September 24, 2017. AFC Leopards won 1-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
AFC Leopards SC coach Robert Matano instructs Victor Majid during their Semi- Finals of the GOTV Shield Tournament match against Vihiga United FC at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru September 24, 2017. AFC Leopards won 1-0. Photo/Sportpicha.

While a top five prospect is within reach for the Sharks, Leopards, the 12-time champions, are still fighting for safety.

Meanwhile, Nakumatt FC and Zoo Kericho returned to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) with mixed results after a fortnight of suspension.

While Zoo overcame second placed Kakamega Homeboyz with a solitary goal, Nakumatt succumbed to a 4-3 defeat to struggling Muhoroni Youth, who are last on the log

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