Jackson Macharia scored in the 38th minute to put the George ‘Best’ Nsimbe coached side in the lead before getting into a cagey battle thereafter.
Development of the eventual winner started from Michael Khamati through Humphrey Mieno to find Macharia whose header beat Gabriel Andika between the posts.
Before the goal, Allan Wanga and Marcellus Ingotsi had troubled defenders James Situma and Marlon Tangauzi, seeing Situma into the referee’s book for a foul.
AFC Leopards’ attempt to cut through the heavily packed Tusker’s defense had also seen Ghanaian striker Gilbert Fiamenyo being yellow-carded.
This was reportedly the last match for Coach Stewart Hall and it could have been a perfect send-off if Ingwe secured a win against the defending champions but the dream was blown in the air.
Even his adjustment of the squad which earned youngster Marcellus Ingotsi a starting berth and benched Allan Kateregga never bore fruit in the end.
He (Stewart) almost smiled in the 44th minute but Fiamenyo’s goal was nullified for offside; a situation which killed AFC Leopards’ morale as was witnessed in the second-half. They were forced to run behind the commanding Tusker players for a notable share of the stanza.
Tusker keeper Duncan Ochieng’ never received many threats between the posts in the second-half, save for the 82nd minute when Dennis Sikhayi forced him into action from a free-kick whose end-result could have been a goal for the visitors.
Tusker: Duncan Ochieng’, Collins Shivachi, James Situma, Marlon Tangauzi, Shafik Batambuze, Hashim Sempala, Humphrey Mieno, Jackson Macharia, George Mandela, Khamati Michael and Allan Wanga.
Subs: David Okello, Eugene Asike, Martin Kizza, Clifford Alwanga, Abdul Hassan, Anthony Ndolo and Moses Ndawula.
AFC Leopards: Gabriel Andika, Dennis Sikhayi, Samuel Ndung'u, Salim Abdallah, Robinson Kamura, Joshua Mawira, Bernard Mang'oli, Duncan Otieno, Whyvonne Isuzza, Gilbert Fiamenyo, Marcelus Ingotsi.
Subs: Ian Otieno, Mike Kibwage, Allan Katerrega, Marcus Abwao, Haroun Nyakha, Jackson Juma, Ramadhan Yakub.