When two-time CAF Champions League winners Asante Kotoko of Ghana meet Kariobangi Sharks in the second round first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup on Saturday at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, the memory of their Africa Cup Winners’ Cup encounter against AFC Leopards in 1985 still lingers in the of many cub fans.
The Porcupine Warriors had beaten Leopards 2-0 in the first leg of their quarterfinal encounter in Kumasi. Not even the Ghanaian press could give them a chance of beating Leopards in Nairobi.
The Sunday Sketch reported: Call it victory without celebrations and you are not far from right; that is the substandard performance put up by Ghana’s Asante Kotoko against the fighting and roaring Leopards of Kenya.
Wilberforce Mulamba showed the true form he will display when the two teams meet in the return leg in Kenya’s capital. The prediction came to pass; Mulamba scored two goals as Leopards beat Kotoko 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in regulation time.
Mulamba had scored a goal in normal time before scoring again in the penalty shootout. Other scorers were Mickey Weche, Ben Musuku, Patrick Shilasi and Henry Omondi. JJ Masiga had scored in normal time.
Sharks are making their maiden participation in the CAF Confederation Cup. A win against Kotoko will see them a match away from qualifying for the lucrative phase of the tournament.
Only Gor Mahia won the Cup in 1987 when they beat Esperance of Tunisia in 1987. Leopards’ best performance was in 1985 when they reached the semis before losing to Super Sport of South Africa.
Kenya Breweries came close to emulating Gor Mahia in 1994 when they reached the finals before losing DC Motema Pembe of the DR Congo. Kotoko last won continental glory in 2002.