19 Oct, 07:00
Coach Robert Matano will be keen on guiding AFC Leopards to its first silverware since 2013 when Leopards takes on Kariobangi Sharks in the Shield Tournament final that will be staged at Moi International Sports Center Kasarani.
It's a trophy that Leopards won in 2013 under coach James Nandwa after beating Gor Mahia by a solitary goal in the final. The lone strike was bagged by Peter Opiyo after being set up by Noah Wafula, both players have since left the club, Ingwe has won the Shield Tournament title seven times and will be keen on adding an eighth on Friday.
Leopards has been on a downward trajectory for years now, this season in particular has been a torrid one of the once giants of Kenyan football, the team is not yet safe from relegation but Tuesday 17 October win over Ulinzi Stars boosted their chances of avoiding the drop and served as a huge confidence boost for the struggling giants ahead of the Shield Tournament final.
Leopards has already faced Sharks thrice this year losing twice and drawing once. The first time the two sides faced off was during a pre-season friendly match which Sharks won 2-1. The second time was during a first leg league match staged in Nakuru which Sharks won 2-0, the two teams faced off against a fortnight ago in Machakos in a league match that ended barren.
Path to the final
Leopards began its 2017 campaign with a 15-1 thumping of Dero United in the round of 64 before seeing off Nairobi Stima 2-0 in the round of 32. It then defeated Bidco United 2-1 in the round of 16 before thumping Wazito 7-1 in the quarters. The Robert Matano coached then beat Vihiga United by a solitary goal in the semis to set up a final clash against Kariobangi Sharks.
AFC Leopards probable line-up against Kariobangi Sharks
Starting XI: Ian Otieno, Dennis Sikhayi, Lewis Wanami, Abdallah Salim, Duncan Otieno, Victor Majid, Musa Mudde, Whyvonne Isuza, Aziz Okaka, Samwel Ndung'u, Vincent Oburu
Subs: Gabriel Andika, Michael Kibwage, Yakubu Rama, Harun Nyakham, Ray Omondi, Alexis Kitenge, Marsellus Ingotsi,