THIKA, Kenya, Jul 26- AFC Leopards booked a slot in the quarter finals of the GOtv Shield with a 2-1 win over National Super League (NSL) side Bidco United courtesy of goals in either half from Samuel Ndung’u and substitute Keziron Kizito.
Robert Matano continued with his perfect start as the new Ingwe tactician, building on his first win, a 1-0 victory over Bandari in Mombasa last weekend with another maximum harvest, this time against his former employers.
David Juma scored late for Bidco from a Herritier Luvualu cross, but it was too late as the damage was long done. AFC Leopards will now face off with another NSL outfit Wazito FC in the quarter finals.
The 2013 GOtv Shield Champions needed only 13 minutes to get into the score-sheet with Ndung’u putting them ahead with a low shot from his weaker right foot.
The winger had been sighted by a well weighted pass from Duncan Otieno and he set himself up with the first touch before going hard and low with the second.
Just two minutes after going ahead, Alexis Kitenge on his starting debut came close to opening his Ingwe account when he brushed a header towards goal from an Otieno cross but the effort went wide.
The Burundian, on loan at AFC from Bujumbura based club Atletico Nacional, had earlier had an effort with a shot from a Musa Mudde pass go over from close range.
Mudde was playing curiously on the left side of defense despite being a right footed defensive midfielder. An error from the experienced Ugandan in the 19th minute almost gifted the hosts an equalizer.
Mudde misjudged the bounce of the ball at the bumpy Thika pitch and former AFC Leopards midfielder Augustine Etemesi, now skippering the National Super League side, picked up the ball on the right but his low shot was well collected by Keeper Gabriel Andika.
AFC Leopards was the dominant side and Otieno’s partnership with Whyvonne Isuza in the middle of the pack had completely denied Bidco an opportunity on the ball. They instead chose to play wide but still, they couldn’t get the master key to unlock the Ingwe defense.
Late in the half, AFC had more chances, first with a Robinson Kamura freekick from range which was deflected for a corner while four minutes from half time, Kitenge’s tap after miscommunication in the Bidco defense went wide.
The Bidco backline and their keeper had been horrendous in the entire opening 45, making schoolboy errors and easily gifting AFC of possession, but lucky for them they were not punished for their sins.
Bidco came off the break the better side and had a flurry of chances to draw level. But however, just like they did in the second round match against Forest Rangers, they were punished for wastage. Juma was the chief culprit.
Just a minute into the half, Juma picked the ball at the edge of the box but his effort at curling it into the far post went awry with Andika proving equal to the task. A minute later, the tall striker was thwarted by the bumpy pitch.
Edwin Walumoli did well to beat his marker on the right before slicing in a low cross, but the ball developed a mind of its own, bounced awkwardly infront of Juma before evading his waiting foot with a gaping goalmouth.
In the 53rd minute, Juma was bullied off the ball by Mudde when he was well positioned to score after breaking into the box from a Lazo Simba ball.
In the 57th minute again, the ball fell graciously on the striker’s path but his effort with a volley from a Lambert Oyuga long pass was wasteful as he completely missed the ball.
Matano sensing that his side was living dangerously immediately made two changes, Kizito coming into midfield for Harun Nyakha while Ray Omondi was brought into attack for Kitenge.
The changes paid dividends immediately with Ugandan Kizito scoring with barely 10 minutes on the pitch, powering the ball into the roof of the net from an Okaka cross.
Okaka immediately after the restart almost forced George Amayo into an own goal when he deflected a cross, but the keeper picked.
AFC Leopards will now face off with another National Super League outfit Wazito FC in the quarter finals.Bidco