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Daily Nation : February 10th 2014
52 | Sport INGWE DEN | Peter Leftie This club is explicitly a thoroughbred edition of the then Africa Cup Winners Cup, later renamed the Nelson Mandela Cup. That is how far we at the den have to I look back to savor some fond memories of Ingwe’s exploits on the continental scene. In between, we have been forced to make do with some not so convincing performances on the continental scene. The year 1985 will always remain etched in the memories of the Ingwe nation. It is one year AFC Leopards should have won every trophy on offer, yet it is also the year that brought so much heartbreak to the fans. Take that year’s regional club cham- pionship hosted by Sudan for instance. Having literally swept aside every opposition during the group stages to the semi-final, nobody would have prepared Ingwe for the heartbreak in the final. That Ingwe dominated the entire match only to fall to two fortuitous strikes from our very prodigal son William Obwaka made the pain even more unbearable. That golden generation quickly put the defeat behind them and staged one of the most memorable continental campaigns in Ingwe’s history. The 4-1 aggregate victory over Su- dan’s El Mereikh in the first round set the stage for a titanic battle against Zambia powerhouse, Mufulira Wanderers led by one of the best footballers Africa has ever produced, the legendary Kalusha Bwalya. With our own Wilberforce Mulamba suspended for the return leg in Nairobi and left fullback Patrick Shilasi out injured, it took man of the match displays from goalkeeper Mahmoud Abbas, skipper JJ Masiga and defenders Peter Lichungu and Aineah Isabwa for Ingwe to emerge victorious 5-3 on post match penalties. With Mufulira out of the way, Ingwe was handed an even tougher opponent in Ghana’s Asante Kotoko, captained by the legendary sweeper Adai Kyenkechene in the quarter final. In Kumasi, Ingwe went down 2-0 after a pulsating ninety minutes, thanks to Abbas’ exploits in goal including a penalty save. This left them with a mountain to climb in the return leg and so the news that Masiga would not play in the return leg following an injury left even the most diehard Leopard doubting our chances of overturning the result. The onus fell on Mulamba to take the armband and lead from the front, engineering a 2-0 victory in 120 minutes to send the match to post match penalties which Ingwe won. The heartbreak came in the semi- final against Nigerian side Leventis United when Ingwe went down 1-2 on aggregate, a defeat blamed on a disallowed goal by, was it Justus Wekesa? It is this resilience, this fighting spirit, quality and team work coach James Nandwa’s side must produce in this year’s campaign. must thank colleague Dave Kwalimwa for reminding the world about Ingwe’s fairy tale run in the 1985 DAILY NATION Monday February 10, 2014 CONFEDERATION CUP | Captain Imbalambala and deadly Keli strike once each for Ingwe Leopards break Defence twice as MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION VICTORY DANCE: AFC Leopards players celebrate Jacob Keli’s goal during their Confederation Cup match against Ethiopia’s Defence at Nyayo Stadium yesterday. Leopards won 2-0. Below: AFC Leopards’ flying winger Paul Were leaves his Ethiopian marker for dead. Were set up both goals scored by Leopards. Sparkling winger Were dazzles Ethiopian visitors to set up both goals at Nyayo BY DAVID KWALIMWA @kwalimwadavid firstname.lastname@example.org A FC Leopards yesterday collected a crucial first leg advantage over Defence of Ethiopia after winning 2-0 in their Confederation Cup preliminary round tie at the Nyayo Stadium. Captain Martin Imbalambala and new signing Jacob Keli notched both goals in the first half, with dribbling wizard Paul Were the architect of both strikes. Imbalambala nodded in a Were cross delivered from the tightest of angles on 18 minutes to open the s c o r e s before an alert Keli p o k e d h o m e another cross from the former Tusker forward on the stroke of half time. “This result puts us in a good position. We have some work to do because it’s only half done. “But I am confident we will qual- ify,” Leopards coach James Nandwa said after the game. “I am disappointed because my team let in some very soft goals. We are in a difficult position but still in with a chance. “I will prepare them for a real fight back in Addis,” Nandwa’s counterpart Gebremedin Hiyle said. The return led with be held in the Ethiopian capital city this weekend. Leopards, who missed the serv- ices of key forward Allan Wanga, should have won this tie by a bigger margin if not for the wastefulness of Were, midfielder Edwin Seda and This result puts us in a good position. We have some work to do because it’s only half done. But I am confident we will qualify, James Nandwa, AFC Leopards coach forward Oscar Kadenge. Defence meanwhile, entertained the crowd with some quick passing and deft touches but failed to find a solution to Leopards physical play and aerial balls for long spells. The return leg is set to be contested at the 35,000 capacity Ato Emanuel Fentahun Stadium located in the Ethiopian capital with the aggregate winner booking a date against South African club Supersport in the first round of the competition. Leopards search for an early goal intensified towards the 10-minute mark, with mercurial midfielder Peter ‘Pinchez’ Opiyo letting fly a long range shot that, however, failed to trouble custodian Yedenkachow Kidane. Keli was then flagged offside while through on goal moments later, before James Situma had Kidane working overtime to parry away a fierce free kick from 25 metres out. Then Leopards struck. Edward Seda sent the impressive Were down the right flank with a slide rule pass, and the Kenya international did well to beat his marker before squaring a delicious chip into the box. Lurking Imbalambala showed composure for his young age to cooly nod the ball into an empty net to send the fans wild with celebrations. Keli’s strike was pure opportunism.
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