An 85th minute penalty converted by Alexis Kitenge was all AFC Leopards needed to get past a tough Vihiga United on Saturday September 24 at the Afraha Stadium and consequently book a date with Kariobangi Sharks in the finals of this year's Gotv Shield tournament.
In a match that Vihiga were the better side, Clyde Nevade had the first chance for thema in the 2nd minute just outside the box but his uncalculated shot went wide off target. Dennis Simiyu then saw his header saved by keeper Ian Otieno in the 17th minute after he had risen the highest to connect with Nevada's cross.
The best chance for the National Super League leaders came in the 21st minute from a counter attack, Kevin Ichiami flinging a through ball to Rashid Kyambadde but once again Ian Otieno reacted the quickest to prevent his side from going down.
Vihiga keeper Barnabas Tiema then followed the footsteps of his equal opponent ten minutes with a brilliant save to deny Alexis Kitenge who had taken a shot at goal.
In the second half, Leopards coach Robert Matano decided to introduce Keziron Kizito and Marcelus Ingotsi for Vincent Oburu and Whyvonne Isuza respectively in a bid to spice up his attack.
Substitute Kizito almost made an impact in the 77th minute following Samuel Ndungús pass but saw his shot fail to find the target.
Just as the match seemed to be headed into post-match penalties, Leopards were awarded a penalty five minutes from time following defender Edwin Otieno's apparent hand ball inside the box. Burundian international Alexis Kitenge stepped up to take the resulting penalty, burying the ball to the far left corner to earn his team a hard fought 1-0 win over Vihiga.
Ingwe will now clash with fellow league competitors Kariobangi Sharks in the finals of the competition. Sharks eased past SoNy Sugar 2-0 in the first semifinal.
Leopards Starting XI: Ian Otieno, Michael Kibwage, Dennis Shikhayi, Abdallah Salim, Robinson Kamura, Samwel Ndungu, Musa Mudde, Duncan Otieno, Alexis Kitenge, Whyvonne Isuza, Vincent Oburu
Reserves: Mukolwe, Nyakha, Kizito, Majid, Wanami, Ingotsi, Yakubu
Vihiga Starting XI: 1.Tiema Barnabas (GK), 2. Edwin Mukoya , 3. Dennis Ombeva , 4. Liuva Mophat , 5. Ochieng Bernard , 6. Imbalabala Martin (C), 7. Christopher Masinza , 8. Kevin Muhanji , 9. Rashid Kyambade , 10. Clyde Senaji , 11.Dennis Wafula
Subs: Frank Mwenda (GK), David Kavaji , Soita Silicho , Okulo Patrick , Airo Godfrey , Dennis Lugalia, Gideon Abucheri