NAKURU, Kenya, Jun 5- Hopes of a Mashemeji Derby in the semi finals of the SportPesa Super Cup were dashed when Tanzanian outfit Singida United beat AFC Leopards 4-2 on post match penalties in the quarter finals on Tuesday evening.
The game was forced to penalties after a barren draw in regulation time and AFC will have only themselves to blame after missing a penalty in regulation time, Whyvonne Isuza seeing his 68th minute kick saved by Singida keeper Peter Manyika.
Singida have now booked a date against defending champions Gor Mahia, the game set to Thursday at 3pm.
On penalties, only Ally Kenny missed for Singida with Shafik Batambuze, Adam Miraji, Danny Lyanga and Sumbi Elynyesia scoring.
AFC missed two of their four kicks with Baker Lukooya hitting the crossbar while Moses Mburu struck his effort wide. Robinson Kamura and Isuza scored AFC’s efforts.
The light afternoon showers at the Afraha Stadium made the playing conditions difficult with the ground becoming slippery and players finding it tough to have their feet on the ground.
It almost cost Singida the opener within the opening three minutes when Salum Kipaga slipped as he tried to pass the ball back to his keeper, but good for him AFC forward Ray Omondi was not fast enough to the ball allowing Kennedy Juma to race back and block his effort at stealing the ball.
Singida were doing all they can to pass the ball around despite the tough conditions of the Afraha pitch and they had a good chance in the sixth minute when Danny Lyanga’s header from a John Tibar cross was well handled by Ezekiel Owade in the AFC goal.
Ingwe didn’t look organized in the opening minutes and they kept spraying stray passes with Singida picking them up and attempting to build up play.
Amidst the confusion, Ingwe almost had the opener in the 22nd minute when Dennis Sikhayi’s dipping cross from the right headed on target, but Singida keeper Peter Manyika backtracked to turn the ball behind for a corner.
Ingwe had an even better opportunity two minutes later when Brian Marita raced away from his markers on the right before slicing in a cross back, but Whyvone Isuza and Omondi clashed going for the same ball.
The cross fell on Jaffary Owiti at the backpost but the youngster’s shot at goal was well handled by Manyika.
On the other end, Owade almost gifted Singida the opener when he punched Deus Kaseke’s cross right into Habib Kyombo’s path, but the Tanzanian’s shot went wide.
Owade made the same mistake in the 28th minute this time spilling Tibar’s shot from distance but the keeper dodged a bullet once again when Kyombo’s effort from the rebound unmarked inside the six yard box went wide.
In the final seven minutes of the opening half, Ingwe had chances to break the deadlock.
First Omondi’s connection from a Marita cross being saved by Manyika while in the second instance three minutes to half time the custodian parried away a stinging freekick from Robinson Kamura.
The second half turned out to be a Peter Manyika show, the Tanzanian keeper standing tall in the Singida goal making crucial saves.
Three minutes after the restart, Manyika pulled a brilliant double save, first acrobatically tipping behind a Kamura freekick for a corner and from the resultant set piece made a full stretch save to his left to punch away a ferocious shot from Victor Majid who picked the ball on the right.
In the 65th minute, the custodian was once again well placed to pick out a stinging freekick from Marita.
His AFC had a golden chance to break the deadlock just three minutes later when Owiti was hacked down inside the box by Salum Kipaga, but nothing could beat Manyika.
The custodian made a brilliant leap to save Whyvonne Isuza’s penalty before bouncing back up to save Ray Omondi’s rebound.
The ball fell kindly to Omondi once again from the save, but the forward who lacked sharpness on the day shot high over the bar.
With 15 minutes left and Singida’s confidence increased by Manyika’s saves, AFC head coach Rodolfo Zapata made two changes, the ineffective Omondi coming off for Vincent Oburu while Baker Lukooya replaced Brian Marita.
Nonetheless, nothing the two sides did could change the score-line.