AFC Leopards needed a late goal to edge out Mwatate FC and reach FKF Shield quarters on Wednesday.
The match was clearly headed for a penalty shootout after Eugene Mukangula brought Ingwe back into the game with a second-half equalizer, only for Ezekiel Odera to squeeze a late winner for the defending champions.
Little known Mwatate United took the lead early in the game when John Musyoka fired past Ezekiel Owade in the eighth minute as Ingwe took time to settle in the game.
While AFC Leopards by all standards were superior, on paper than Mwatate, who plays three divisions below the cup holders, the FKF Division One side went to the fixture with a better record of three wins from the last three games, scoring a total of five goals and conceding none in the process.
The Coastal side held to the slim lead until the break but former Thika United star Mukangula levelled things up with a fine volley just two minutes after the restart.
Despite AFC Leopards dominating the second stanza, Mwatate United held on and never allowed the ‘Big Cat’ to pull off until the final last piece of the action when Odera fired home the match winner in the 90th minute.
AFC Leopards will now take on Kenya Police FC in the quarter-finals.
AFC Leopards XI: Ezekiel Owade, Yusuf Mainge, Marcus Abwao, Mike Kibwage, Duncan Otieno, Said Tsuma, Marvin Omondi, Clyde Navade, Baker Lukooya, Ezekiel Odera and Jaffary Odeny.
Reserves: Denis Sikhayi, Jairus Adira, Salim Abdallah, Victor Majid, Whyvonne Isuza, Eugene Mukangula and Vincent Ouma.