We have no choice but to defend FKF Shield, says Leopards Otieno
AFC Leopards has no option but to successfully defend the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield regardless of the opponent, club captain Duncan Otieno has said.
But in order to do this, Otieno is acutely aware of the challenge that lies ahead and has rallied his team mates to beat Sofapaka in the semis if they are to win the gong.
Should Ingwe sail past Sofapaka in the semis, they’ll meet the winner between Ulinzi Stars and Kariobangi Sharks in the final.
“We have no excuse of not winning the Shield. I know it won’t be a walk in the park but with commitment and spirited attitude in both the playing unit and the technical bench, we have the capacity to hit the target,”Otieno said.
Ingwe’s perennial rivals Gor Mahia were bundled out of the competition at the weekend after losing 2-4 on penalties after a barren draw in the regular time against Kariobangi Sharks hence subverting any possibilities of a fourth ‘Mashemeji’ derby in a year.
In addition, Otieno has praised his comrades for the firepower on the pitch which he maintains propelled them to position three on the log under the tutelage of head coach Rodolfo Zapata who took over from Dennis Kitambi of Tanzania in April.
“We only need to fine tune the mid-field and striking so that players are able to allow the ball roll freely and accurately from the mid, wings and then to the strikers for execution.
“Our coach is a man of understanding who reads the weaknesses of the players and tries to find a solution to them,”Otieno explained.
The last time Leopards played Sofapaka FC was on June 13 where the former won 1-0. The Batoto ba Mungu have been inconsistent registering only one win in their last five league matches.
Leopards who are not new on the international platform have managed three wins in five league matches and with the executive pressure, Zapata has a Herculean task of ensuring that they defend the crown.