Sunday, February 25 – 3pm local time – Thika Stadium, Kiambu County
AFC Leopards will have little time to reel over their elimination in the CAF Confederation Cup, as they return to domestic action on Sunday with an acid test against Ulinzi Stars.
Ingwe registered a stale 0-0 draw with Fosa Juniors at the Rabemananjara Stadium on Wednesday, and ineluctably got knocked out of the continental showpiece.
The Malagasy side, which vividly benefitted from the away goal rule having drawn 1-1 during the first leg held at the Bukhungu Stadium nearly a fortnight ago, advanced into the second round of the CAF Confederation cup where they are set to face AS Port-Louis from Mauritius.
The elimination of AFC Leopards, who qualified for the second tier continental tournament by winning the Gotv Shield trophy, leaves Gor Mahia as Kenya’s only representative on the African stage.
Although Gor have advanced into the first round of the CAF Champions League, the results on the continental stage have, for the umpteenth time, raised more questions than answers over the country’s performance against the rest of Africa, despite receiving financial patronage from both SportPesa and the national government.
AFC have their work cut out with considerable ground to cover, having only played one Premier League match thus far, as consequence of championing for their ill-fated cause on the continental front.
Whether it is an arm around the shoulder or a kick on the backside, Ingwe are in dire need of a boost. The Leopards have yet to win a single competitive match since the dawn of the new campaign, and could only salvage a 1-1 draw with Posta Rangers on the opening day, which all the more makes them vulnerable against Ulinzi.
The Soldiers however aren’t exactly soaring either, as they have had a string of mixed results with a win, loss and a draw in their first three KPL matches.
The results thus have Ulinzi seventh on the log with four points while AFC are a staggering fifteenth with a single point, albeit with a fighting chance taking into account they still have two games in hand.
Enosh Ochieng remains a doubt for Ulinzi after sustaining a metatarsal injury during the 4-2 win over Zoo Kericho on the opening day, while AFC will be looking to return back to winning ways with a full strength side.
Leopards vs. Stars KPL match prediction
The goals have invariably dried up for Ulinzi in the last two matches, a move that prompted head coach Nyaudo to convene a midweek friendly in which the Soldiers trounced Nairobi County League side, Embakasi All-Stars 5-0.
It may have helped build a head of steam but the match won’t exactly have you glued on the edge of your seat.
Prediction: Match to end in a draw
AFC Leopards vs Ulinzi Stars recent results
Ulinzi Stars 0-1 AFC Leopards (October 17, 2017)
Whyvonne Isuza 64′
AFC Leopards 0-0 Ulinzi Stars (April 5, 2017)
Ulinzi Stars 2-2 AFC Leopards (October 14, 2016)
Daniel Waweru 8′
Daniel Waweru 45’+3 (P)
Kepha Aswani 43′
Paul Mungai 85′
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