Brewers coach Matano says they are intent on reclaiming top tier league trophy
Despite getting the honours to represent Kenya in the CAF Champions League, Tusker have declared that they are not ready to put the ongoing Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Betking Premier League on the back-burner.
The team’s coach Robert Matano says they are intent on reclaiming the top tier league title which they last laid hands on in 2016 although he reckoned that the league is challenging.
“We cannot relax just because we are Kenya’s official emissaries in Africa’s top club competition.
All along, I have been encouraging the players to aspire to achieve more in one of the most challenging seasons,” said Matano.
After losing 2-1 to Gor Mahia in a midweek clash, the table-topping Tusker gave their fans the much needed respite by coming from behind to hold second-placed KCB to a 2-2 draw at Thika Stadium on Sunday.
The result all but confirmed that Matano is increasingly becoming “Mr Fix It” at Tusker even as he calls for caution ahead of the remaining matches.
“Our closest challengers are also thirsting for the title but we are not looking at how they are performing and we would rather play our game and take each fixture at a time.
The idea here is to instill requisite confidence in my players and the rest shall fall in place.”
Tusker are still on the driving seat of the league with a four-point advantage over second-placed KCB and their probability to win the title could have been well choreographed by the sentiments of Gor coach Manuel Vaz Pinto after his team lost to the Brewers in the controversial match
“We played well but lost. Honestly, it is quite difficult to catch up with nine matches remaining,” said Pinto who is set to go for a sabbatical after propelling K’Ogalo to the FKF Betway Cup glory.
In the meantime, three other teams - KCB (47 points), AFC Leopards (40 points) and Gor Mahia (46 points) - will be hoping to win their respective assignments and at the same time cash on any slip up by Tusker to win the coveted title.
For the crisis-hit Leopards, they boosted their chances by beating Bandari 2-0 with Gor also on the prowl following a 2-1 victory over Tusker.
Elsewhere in Thika, Bidco who had earlier fallen to Nzoia made amends by drawing 0-0 with Sofapaka.
Bidco coach Anthony Akhulia rued failure by his charges to conjure up a win at home but nonetheless expressed optimism of the team doing well in the remaining fixtures.
“It was not a fantastic result for us as the home team but I‘m glad that we fought the experienced side pound for pound.
What was evident was that we missed a litany of scoring chances particularly in the closing stages of the game, but we are still confident of winding up the league in a respectable position.
His Sofapaka counterpart Ken Odhiambo felt getting a point at the dreary hunting ground was a bonus of sorts for his team.
“It was a tactical game of two halves but I’m happy we managed to contain the pressure of Bidco who were intent on winning at home.”