Thirteen-time Kenyan Premier League champions AFC Leopards will be out to preserve their hopes of winning the GOtv Shield tournament when they play National Super League side Bidco United on Wednesday afternoon at Thika Municipal Stadium.
The 2013 domestic cup holders play a Bidco side currently sitting third from bottom in the National Super League standings.
This will be the last of the round of 16 matches in the tournament. The match had been postponed from Saturday because three of Ingwe’s players were away on a tour of Spain with the SportPesa All Stars.
The job of ensuring the team achieves victory in Wednesday’s knock-out match weighs heavily on shoulders of Leopards’ new coach Robert Matano, who has already passed his first test by guiding the team to a 1-0 win over Bandari a fortnight ago, their first win in 10 games.
Matano, who was appointed two weeks ago to take over from Romanian Dorian Marin, will be assisted by Alex Kitambi who is also serving a two-month notice before departing the club.
“We are not badly off at the moment. Even in the league we are just 10 points below the leaders and nothing is impossible,” Matano said on Tuesday.
“This is a knock out tournament and we can win or lose, but we aren’t going to Thika with the thought of losing. Nobody has been announced champion yet so we shall push hard to ensure we remain in contention,” he said. Matano will however do without injured Ghanaian striker Gilbert Fiamenyo, and youthful forward Marcellus Ingotsi who is ailing.
Bidco have won just two of their 18 games so far, but coach Anthony Akhulia has faith that his players can upset the big cats.