After taming Leopards, Police train guns on KCB in Cup final

Police vs Leopards

Arthur Gitego of AFC Leopards runs into a wall of Kenya Police defence of Brian Okoth (left), Duncan Otieno (right) and Charles Ouma during the Mozzart Cup semi-finals match at Police Sacco Stadium on May 27, 2024.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Police reached the final of the Mozzart Bet Cup with a 1-0 win over AFC Leopards.
  • KCB booked their tickets with a 4-2 victory over Kariobangi Sharks post-match penalties.

They are not there yet, but Kenya Police coach Salim Babu believes his players have what it takes to shine in the Caf Confederation Cup should they clinch the sole berth to the continental showpiece.

Police qualified for the final of the Mozzart Bet Cup following their 1-0 win over 10-time winners AFC Leopards in the semi-final at Police Sacco Stadium on Monday. 

The law enforcers will face KCB in the final. The Football Kenya Federation Leagues and Competitions Committee is yet to announce the date of the final.

KCB booked a ticket to the final following their 4-2 win over Kariobangi Sharks post-match penalties after they battled to a 1-1 draw in regular time at the same venue on Sunday. 

Apart from pocketing Sh 2 million, the winner of the Mozzart Bet Cup represents the country in the Caf Confederation Cup. 

“Should we win this title (Caf Confederation Cup), I’m sure we will advance deep ( into the competition),” said Babu. 

Crowd trouble

“Most of my players are familiar with Caf competitions so it will not be very difficult for us,” added the soft-spoken coach.

The match resumed from the hour-mark where it was abandoned on Sunday following crowd trouble. It was played behind closed doors and under tight security. 

Despite not having warmed up enough for the match following their late arrival on the pitch, Leopards were still the better side. 

Midfielder Kayci Odhiambo forced Police’s goalkeeper Patrick Matasi to a fingertip save from a free-kick in the 63rd minute, before Rwandese striker Authur Gitego side-netted four minutes later. 

Veteran midfielder Kevin Kimani forced Matasi to make a brilliant save at the stroke of regular time before a follow-up attempt by Ingwe from a corner-kick delivery hit the crossbar.

Captain Clifton Miheso rattled the foot of the goalpost at the stroke of the added eight minutes.

Tough final

Striker Tito Okello squandered Police’s best scoring chance at the stroke of regular time when he fired wide from close range. His seventh-minute goal on Sunday was all Police needed to reach the competition’s final. 

Babu admitted that Leopards were the better side on Monday. And while he anticipates a tough final, he is sure of lifting the cup.

“It has been tough but I thank God we have won.  Our target is to lift the cup. The match against KCB will be tough but I know this is our year,” he said.  

An infuriated Leopards coach Tomas Trucha did not address the press after the match.

Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda protested the decision by FKF Leagues and Competition Committee to have the match resume at the same venue.

He said they decided to play on Monday for the sake of avoiding a ban by FKF.

“It was annoying to be told at 10 pm (on Sunday) that we are playing today. We came to play today just for formality because they (FKF Leagues and Competitions Committee had bad intentions for us,” lamented Shikanda.