Shield: Leopards edge battling Vihiga for first finals in four years

AfC Leopards have secured a Shield Cup finals berth for the first time in four years after edging Vihiga United 1-0 in the second semifinal clash played this Sunday 24 September at Afraha.

Unlike their previous round cruise against an NSL opponent, Ingwe was forced to dig from deep and left it late to end the battling NSL outfit via Alexis Kitenge's penalty in the 84th minute.

Ingwe will now face Kariobangi Sharks in the 2017 finals, four years since they last graced and won the tourney in 2013.

First half

The tie kicked off a direct approach as both sides made early intent of grasping the remaining final berth at stake.

It's Vihiga who looked more dangerous from opening half by creating the clear cut scoring chances.

Ugandan import Rashid Kyambadde to launch a threat but Ian Otieno proved vigilant at goal.

His chance was followed by Martin Imbalambala and Dennis Wafula,  both who failed to find an early breach of Leopards' rear guard.

Robert Matano's side had their moment of bared claws in few chances that they nonetheless spurned.

Oburu marked/Tiema scare

A potent Vincent Oburu in past Shield games will however post little threat to Vihiga back line manned by Mofat Liuva and  Bernard Ochieng. Keziron Kizito was send on in Ingwe first change to replace Oburu as balanced encounter opened up he final half.

Tiema almost beat Ian mideay in the final haf fromna direct free but the off-position custodian was quick to gain grounds back to his line to avert the danger. Despite their probing display, Vihiga were left to rue a costly handling error late as  Leopards stormed to late lead from the mishap.

KPL affair in final

Kitenge stepped up to dispatch his strike past Tiema to send Ingwe fans to a frenzy as the visitors hearts sunk.

Ingwe win sees a repeat of 2016 final where KPL sides lasted the mile to grace the final.

Starting XI: Ian Otieno, Dennis Shikhayi, Michael Kibwage, Robinson Kamura, Musa Mudde, Samuel Ndung'u, Robinson Kamura, Alexis Kitenge, Duncan Otieno, Whyvonne Isuza,(Marcellus Ongotsi 80') Vincent Oburu(Alexis Kitenge 45')

Unused Subs: Mukolwe, Harun Nyakha, Victor Majid, Wanami,Ramadhan Yakubu.

Vihiga Starting XI: 1.Tiema Barnabas (GK) 2. Edwin Mukoya 3. Dennis Ombeva 4. Liuva Mophat  5. Ochieng Bernard  6. Imbalabala Martin (C) 7. Christopher Masinza  8. Kevin Muhanji  9. Rashid Kyambade  10. Clyde Senaji  11.Dennis Wafula 

Subs: Frank Mwenda (GK) David Kavaji  Soita Silicho  Okulo Patrick  Airo Godfrey  Dennis Lugalia Gideon Abucheri