NAIROBI, October 21 – AFC Leopards hopes of clinching silverware this season were ruthlessly ended in a 4-0 humiliation at the batons of Ulinzi Stars in their belated GOtv Shield Round of 16 clash at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium.
Ulinzi now face SportPesa premier League side, Bandari, in the quarters finals as limping Ingwe were left staring at the latest shameful act in a nightmare season they cannot wait for its end.
Enos Ochieng fired the hosts ahead in the 11th minute when he headed past keeper, Lucas Indeche from a Brian Birgen cross to set up a torrid afternoon for the stuttering giants whose financial woes and management shambles have embarrassed the proud football institution this term.
Evans Amuoka who had missed a couple of chances, then made amends on the stroke of half time to double the lead when he nodded a free header from another Birgen cross from the right to see the soldiers lead 2-0 at the breather.
Ulinzi could have nicked in six goals in the lop-sided opening half, but Amuoka and Ochieng failed to get past Indeche against an obliging, almost non-existence Leopards’ defence that missed right back, Edwin Wafula who was suspended after picking a red card in their 2-1 win over Wazito FC in the previous round.
Ingwe’s only shot on target came in the 42nd but Birgen denied them the equaliser when he cleared Michael Khamati’s goal bound effort off the line after the striker skipped past keeper Francis Ochieng.
Boniface Onyango extended Ulinzi’s lead the lead barely two minutes after the restart when he picked up Ochieng’s back heel to uncork a devastating finish into the far corner from range.
Former Leopard’s boss, Robert Matano soldiers, perhaps in an act of mercy, opted to sit back as Ochieng parried away Duncan Otieno’s 18-yards strike.
The tactician nick-named ‘Lion’ then threw his top scorer and former Nairobi City Stars striker, John Makwata, to the fray and he duly hammered the final nail in Ingwe’s GOTv Shield coffin when he blasted home from Ochieng’s assist as the man of the match intercepted a week defensive pass to set up the substitute.
The skies opened up towards the end of the match in another telling sign from the elements of a washed up season for the Kenyan titans who left the pitch drenched and shamed.
The 2013 GOTv Shield winners will now fight to finish Top 8 in the league that will guarantee them a place at next year’s knock out tournament in perhaps their final act of saving grace in a wretched campaign.