Leopards toss Tusker out of GOtv Shield

By nesta kizito
Sep 28, 2021

AFC Leopards staged arguably the greatest comeback of the season when they stormed the semifinals of the GOtv Shield tournament with a 3-2 victory over Tusker at City Stadium on Sunday.

Ingwe had boxed themselves into a tight corner after falling two goals behind the brewers at half time but some uncharacteristic complacency on the part of their opponents gifted them the most unlikely of victories.

“It was a weird game because we made many mistakes earlier on, but I’m relieved that we turned things around and won the match,” Leopards coach Pieter de Jongh said after the match.

The opening exchanges were all about Tusker who drew first blood in the fifth minute when Jesse Were struck a cracking shot after a swift move by the brewers caught Leopards on the back foot.

Leopards were second best for the reminder of the first half and Were’s second goal in the 35th minute appeared to have sealed their fate.

Leopards’ goalkeeper Patrick Matasi was at fault for dashing out of his line only to get lobbed by Were from an acute angle.

Even at the start of the second half De Jongh’s men appeared resigned to their fate until they benefited from a penalty awarded in the 64th minute when Lloyd Wahome handled the ball in the box.

Fight back

Nigerian striker Austin Ikenna stepped up to convert what sparked a stunning fight back from Leopards. Still, Leopards were made to wait until the 83rd minute to turn the game on its head.

The equalizing goal in itself came in a somewhat bizarre fashion. Matasi punted a big goal kick up field which Tusker’s Luke Ochieng unwittingly flicked backwards with his head and the ball arched over the back peddling Samuel Odhiambo between the sticks for the brewers.

Two minutes later, it was all over as Humphrey Mieno punished Tusker for their defenders’ dalliance with an opportunistic strike from the edge of the box.

Ingwe, who are the cup holders, will now meet Sofapaka in what should be a tough semifinals fixture.

Earlier on at the same venue, a first half brace from veteran striker John Baraza and a late goal from Collins Shivachi secured a 3-1 victory for Sofapaka over Administration Police.

The law enforcer’s scored their consolation goal late in the match when Robert Jagero robbed his markers of the ball and hit a sumptuous long distance strike to the top left corner.

On Saturday West Kenya and Rangers booked their places in the semis with identical 1-0 wins over Agrochemical and Bandari respectively at City Stadium.