FKF Cup: Heartbreak for AFC Leopards as Kenya Police hold their own to seal final against KCB

FKF Cup: Heartbreak for AFC Leopards as Kenya Police hold their own to seal final against KCB

Mark Kinyanjui 13:10 - 27.05.2024

AFC Leopards made to rue missed chances as Kenya Police seal maiden FKF Cup appearance place.

AFC Leopards huffed and puffed but could not find a way to restore parity as Kenya Police held their nerve to book a place in the finals of the 2023/2024 FKF Cup at the Police Sacco Stadium on Monday morning.

Tito Okello’s first half goal on Sunday would be enough to give Police the much needed win, and they are now just 90 minutes away from delivering their first ever trophy and qualification for next season’s CAF Confederation Cup.

After an even first two minutes, AFC Leopards threatened to restore parity after a freekick from deep by Kayci Odhiambo nearly caused Police all sorts of problems, which forced Patrick Matasi into making a frantic last-ditch tip over the bar.

Leopards continued to pile on the pressure and should have equalised again when  Jaffari Owiti found himself free on the edge of the box, but his right footed attempt went just wide  off target.

Trucha then decided to make four changes in the 70th minute as he went all gung-ho. In came Victor Omune, Brian Yakhama, Lewis Bandi and Kevin Kimani for Owiti, Randi Bakari, Hassan Beja and Boniface Munyendo. You could tell he was intent on trying to restore parity as soon as possible.

Police struggled to get going, and in the 75th minute, they created another good opportunity that involved Yakhama holding the ball up well with his back to goal before initiating a good link-up play move that resulted in Bandi unfortunately whipping in a wayward cross.

Trucha made the unusual decision of taking center back Kennedy Owino upfront as his charges took a direct approach, and a long ball whipped in from deep by Musa Oundo, who had become a makeshift center back. One scenario resulted in Patrick Matasi denying Kevin Kimani a good opportunity to equalise, making an excellent stop to deny him.

The referees would add eight minutes of stoppage time. Police got a chance to make it two after Owino fouled Tito Okello near the edge of the area, but David Okoth’s resultant delivery went just wide.

In the end, the lone Tito  Okello goal in the first half played on Sunday would be enough to give them the victory. They will now be facing KCB in the final of the cup.