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Champions League

AFC Leopards lacked attitude to ‘squeeze’ Gor Mahia – Okwemba

K’Ogalo defeated their rivals in the Mashemeji Derby to get a ticket to play in the Caf Confederation Cup

AFC Leopards legend Charles Okwemba believes the club wasted a massive opportunity to reclaim their bragging rights by failing to ‘squeeze’ their sworn rivals Gor Mahia in the Football Kenya Federation Shield Cup final last Sunday.

After a goalless draw in regulation time, K’Ogalo went on to defeat Ingwe 4-2 in penalties to claim Mashemeji Derby bragging rights. Sydney Ochieng, Kenneth Muguna, Samuel Onyango, and Clifton Miheso scored for Gor Mahia while Washington Munene scored the only goal for AFC Leopards after Isaac Kipyegon and Said Tsuma were unable to convert their penalties.

But the former midfielder was left irked with Leopards’ failure to defeat their sworn rivals to get an automatic ticket for the Caf Confederation Cup competition next season.

Where did it go wrong for Leopards?

“Positive attitude in matches is really important and it is what the players missed,” Okwemba told Goal on Tuesday.

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“The Mashemeji Derbies were a platform for me to make my name, and I grabbed the opportunity. This was a massive opportunity for the players to double their effort and squeeze Gor Mahia.

“They made chances, lots of them, but failed to use them. They would have continued pushing harder and ensure¬†they get that chance of winning the trophy, the bragging rights, and ticket to play in the continentals.”

AFC Leopards SC captain Robinson Kamura and Gor Mahia.

Is everything lost for Leopards?

After Sunday’s loss, it means Ingwe have absolutely no chance of playing in the continental competitions this season.

Tusker will represent the country in the Caf Champions League after finishing top of the Football Kenya Federation Premier League by June 30, which was the deadline.

“Yes, Tusker and Gor Mahia have the tickets to represent the country but it does not mean Leopards have been left with nothing to fight for,” Okwemba continued.

“They still have the league title; Tusker got the ticket and not the league title. So Ingwe can give their best and win the league. The players must have hunger and determination to go all the way and win the league.

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“It will be the best way possible to end the league.”

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