Instead, Sofapaka will now battle for a chance to represent Kenya at the continental stage when they take on Kariobangi Sharks in the final early in October. Sharks beat Ulinzi Stars 4-1 in the other semifinal.
Coach Rodolfo Zapata named his strongest possible squad that included Abdallah Salim in defense as well as Ezekiel Odera and Alex Orotomal in the attack.
Both sides started the match cautiously, avoiding to concede early. The lively Kevin Kimani was impressive in the first half, creating chances for his teams but was wasted by the likes of Kepha Aswani and Umaru Kasumba who lacked composure in front of the goal.
Edward Seda tried forcing things for the champions, coordinating well with Marvin Nabwire in the midfield, but again, nothing worked for Ingwe, who lacked the pace of Jaffari Owiti in the team.
A perfect chance of the first half fell to Dennis Odhiambo; the former champions conceded a free kick that was taken by Kimani, he managed to find the former Thika United man whose header came off the post.
Sofapaka came back stronger after the break and had early chances to hit the back of the net but it seemed that Aswani had forgot his scoring boots at home.
Duncan Otieno beautifully curled it in a freekick after Sofapaka conceded just outside their own box, but none of the Leopards players could capitalize on the begging chance.
The former champions missed good chances in the game, notably Ezekiel Odera, who was not in his best shape. Odera took time to make a decision and that came back to haunt the team with about ten minutes to go.
A perfect shot from Sofapaka hit the post and the ball fell to the Asieche, and the midfielder kept his cool to score.
The goal kick-started a series of attacks for Leopards. Orotomal header was cleared off the line with the goalkeeper beaten, and the post also came to the rescue of the John Baraza led side.
Sofapaka however, managed to hold on to the lead until the final whistle.
Sofapaka XI: 1. Mathias Kigonya (GK), 8. George Maelo, 7. Yussuf Mohamed, 15. Moussa Omar, 2. Dennis Odhiambo, 33. Kevin Kimani, 22. Stephen Waruru, 50. Kepha Aswani, 3. Willis Obayi, 9. Pistone Mutamba and 13. Umaru Kasumba.
AFC Leopards XI: Ezekiel Owade, Mike Kibwage, Salim Abdallah, Duncan Otieno, Baker Lukooya, Brian Marita, Eugene Mukangula, Ezekiel Seda, Whyvonne Isuza, Ezekiel Odera and Alex Orotomal.