Kenya: Sofapaka, Ulinzi Out, Leopards On the Prowl

SportPesa Premier League teams Ulinzi Stars and Sofapaka stumbled out of the SportPesa Shield round of 32 matches played in different venues countrywide at the weekend.

Whereas Gor Mahia play Mombasa-based Kenpoly at Kasarani on Wednesday, Tusker has opted out of the tournament.

Ulinzi Stars and Sofapaka suffered identical 5-4 losses in post-match penalties against SS Assad and SuperStars respectively.

But former holders AFC Leopards, who are on a rich vein of form under Rwandan coach Cassa Mbungo, had no such problems, beating Kitale-based Transfoc FC 4-0 at Bukhungu Stadium on Saturday to qualify for the quarter-finals alongside Bandari, Western Stima and KCB. The last eight matches will be played next month.

Season's target

Knowing that this might be the only silverware within their reach courtesy of their poor start to the league this year, Leopards have left nothing to chance, with Mbungo making the tournament his priority so as to play in 2019/2020 Caf Confederation Cup.

"To us, this is a tournament that we are very serious about. There is a lot at stake, and the players want to play in African tournaments, so we are all working towards winning it," Mbungo said on Monday.

Leopards scored through Isaac Oduro, Brian Marita, Vincent Oburu and Marcel Kaheza in the competition whose winner will take home Sh2 million, and a chance to represent Kenya in Africa's second-tier competition.

Holders Kariobangi Sharks who made their debut in the Confederation Cup last December, thrashed Kitale's Elim FC 5-0 on Saturday, as KCB beat Sindo United 1-0 at Moi Stadium in Kisumu to stay alive.

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