'Bleeding' Leopards eye FKF Cup glory amidst season woes

'Bleeding' Leopards eye FKF Cup glory amidst season woes

Festus Chuma 13:00 - 25.04.2024

AFC Leopards aim for FKF Cup victory to salvage their season and secure a spot in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Ten-time FKF Cup champions AFC Leopards are setting their sights on a triumphant redemption in the quarter-finals of the FKF Cup this weekend seeking to console their fanbase after recent disappointments in the league and the Mashemeji derby. 

With their hopes of winning the Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) title dwindling, as they currently trail leaders Gor Mahia by 19 points, Leopards are channeling their focus towards clinching the FKF Cup, a title that carries not just national glory but a ticket to the prestigious CAFC Confederation Cup.

Leopard's journey to redemption follows a bitter pill swallowed last Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium, where their arch-rivals Gor Mahia edged them out with a narrow 1-0 victory, thanks to a decisive goal from Austin Odhiambo. 

The loss, which was a repeat of the first-leg encounter that ended 2-0 in favor of Gor Mahia, prompted AFC Leopards' coach Tomas Trucha to extend a heartfelt apology to the supporters.

"After the match, everyone was extremely disappointed. I told them we still have something to play for, and it is a big one," Trucha remarked as per Nation. 

The gaffer emphasized the importance of the FKF Cup not only as a redemption but as a path to the continental stage. 

"It is not only about winning the cup, but also about reaching the CAFC Confederation Cup. We need to learn from this match," Trucha added, aiming to galvanize his squad.

The entire quarter-finals will unfold at the Dandora Stadium, with the Leopards pitted against Compel, a relatively unknown team that has risen through the ranks to challenge the ten-time winners. 

Earlier in the tournament, Ingwe demonstrated their capabilities by defeating underdogs PAC University 3-0 in the round of 32 and securing a 1-0 victory over Shabana in the round of 16. 

Arthur Gitego, Leopards' Rwandese striker, who had previously netted a hat-trick against PAC University, is hoped to return to his scoring form in the upcoming match against Compel.

Compel, on their part, have already shown they are no pushovers by upsetting NSL side Mara Sugar 2-0 in the round of 16.

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