NAIROBI, Kenya- Twelve-time domestic league champions, AFC Leopards SC crashed out of the CAF Confederations Cup after a 0-0 draw away to Fosa Juniors FC at the Rabemananjara Stadium in Madagascar.
The 2017 GOtv Shield winners bowed out of the second-tier continental competition on the away goal rule after Fosa forced them to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the competition played at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.
Leopards left the country on Monday and Robert Matano’s charges were made to rue the missed chances they failed to convert in the home leg on their return to the competition for the first time since 2014.
The second leg witnessed chances come at a premium for Ingwe who are reeling from financial woes as they surrendered from the Confed Cup at the first time of asking.
Fosa fans turned out in large numbers to will their team that advanced to face AS Port Louis 2000 of Mauritius with Leopards returning home to focus on the KPL where they have also made a stuttering start to the domestic campaign.
Matano who has been under pressure at the Den elected to start Jairus Adira in goal in place of Gabriel Andika with new signings, Lukooya Baker and Jaffery Owiti leading the attack.
There was no place for the experienced midfield duo of Whyvonne Isuza and ex-Gor Mahia FC general, Collins ‘Gatuso’ Okoth as Matano opted for Joseph Kuria, Victor Majid, Ezekiel Odera and Brian Marita.
In the end, Ingwe simply did not have enough quality to get past the Madagascan side who completed the job in the first leg at the Kenyan giant’s own backyard.
“We step OUT of CAF Confederation Cup courtesy of the away goal rule,” was the wry message the club posted on their official Twitter handle after the early exit with the team returning home to lick their wounds.
They now turn attention to a tough test against Ulinzi Stars FC on Sunday in Thika on their return to the KPL as Fosa advance to take on Mauritian side, AS Port Louis who sailed through to the first round after a clinical 5-2 aggregate demolition of Ngazi from Comoros.