AFC Leopards defeated Football Kenya Federation Premier League champions Tusker 1-0 in their season-opening game at Thika Stadium on Sunday.
South Sudan international Musa Saad scored the goal that separated the two sides in the first half.
The local giants had to do with a largely different squad as up to 17 left and were not able to sign any new stars given the Fifa transfer ban in place. On the other hand, Tusker - who progressed to the second preliminary round of the Caf Champions League - paraded a team with very experienced stars.
AFC Leopards could have gone ahead in the eighth minute when they surged forward with a quick counter-attack, but Caleb Olilo was unable to find the target in the end as his shot hit the side netting.
Ingwe were again able to find Tusker on the wrong foot in the 12th minute with a quick counter-attack, but Peter Thiong'o shot off target with the final ball from the left wing.
Leopards registered a deserved lead in the 16th minute when Saad scored after a few minutes of dominance.
Clyde Senaji - signed by Tusker from AFC Leopards in the transfer window - could have restored parity, but he ended up missing the target after Eric Zakayo had clearly set him through on goal with a low cross.
Coach Robert Matano - after naming an unchanged backline from the Gor Mahia game - made three substitutions as the second half began, with Kevin Monyi, Rodgers Ouma, and Jackon Macharia coming on as Shami Kibwana, John Njuguna, and Zakayo were rested.
Tusker wasted a chance to equalize in the 62nd minute when they won a penalty after Lewis Bandi brought down Muchiri, but the Harambee Star rose to take the spot-kick but ended up shooting wide.
Maxwell Mulili - who got a start after operating in the shadows of Benjamin Ochan and Joseph Oyemba last season - made a great diving save to deny Tusker's Muchiri in the 75th minute. Although the Brewers looked re-energised in the last 20 minutes, they were unable to score against Ingwe, who defended deep to eventually pick up three points.
Just like last season, Ingwe opened the new campaign with a win against the Ruaraka club, who are the holders of the Shield Cup and the league defending champions.
AFC Leopards XI: Maxwell Mulili, Lewis Bandi, Washington Munene, Robert Mudenyu, Isaac Kipyegon, Brian Wanyama, Dan Sunguti, Peter Thiong'o, Marvin Nabwire, Musa Saad, Caleb Olilo.
Subs: Lameck Moendi, Omar Somobwana, Collins Shivachi, Boniface Mukhkhe, Zachary Ochieng, Mose Giovani, Erick Mbithi, Maxwell Otieno.
Tusker XI: Brian Bwire, Daniel Sakari, Jimmy Mbugua, Kalos Kirenge, Chris Oruchum, Clyde Senaji, Eric Zakayo, Apollo Otieno, John Njuguna, Shami Kibwana, Boniface Muchiri.
Subs: Patrick Matasi, Kevin Monyi, Vincent Ngesa, Humphrey Mieno, Rodgers Ouma.