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AFC exit Confed Cup despite Fosa draw

Fosa Juniors skipper Andriamirado Aro Hasina attempts to stop a header from AFC Leopards’ Prince Arkoh during their CAF Confederations Cup match against AFC Leopards on February 11, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 21- AFC Leopards will rue the single away goal conceded to Madagascar’s FOSA Juniors in the first leg as they exited the CAF Confederation Cup despite holding the Madagascar side to a 0-0 draw in the return fixture in Mahajanga on Wednesday.

Ingwe were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg 10 days ago at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega and the team will rue that slight defensive lapse that saw Fosa equalise and earn an away goal.

FOSA which is making its debut on continental football will now progress to the first round where they will play Mauritian opponents AS Port Louis 2000 who beat Comoros side Ngazi Sport 5-2 on Tuesday.

AFC Leopards head coach Robert Matano made good his intention of making drastic changes from the team that played in the first leg.

AFC Leopards will be seeking at least a 1-0 win to progress to the first round.

Gabriel Andika dropped to the bench with new signing Jairus Adira starting between the sticks while there was a two-fold change in the defence.

Dennis Sikhayi started at right back ahead of youngster Yussuf Mainge who scored in the first leg while Mike Kibwage started in defence at the expense of Robinson Kamura who dropped to the bench.

Joseph Kuria also came into the starting 11 partnering Victor Majjid in midfield with Collins Okoth missing. Jaffery Owiti and Brian Marita were also thrown into the starting team with Ezekiel Odera spearheading the attack in the absence of the injured Prince Arkoh.

Fosa Juniors players line up before their CAF Confederations Cup match against AFC Leopards on February 11, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The hosts, buoyed by a sea of orange on the stands pushed AFC from the first whistle as they tried to break the deadlock and put their feet firmly in the tie.

Playing on an artificial turf, the home side found it easy to play their swift passing game but Matano’s charges were disciplined and guarded their rear with caution.

Despite increased tempo in the second half, nothing could separate the two sides.

Ingwe will now jet back home with focus tied on their Kenyan Premier League fixture against Ulinzi Stars in Thika on Sunday.