Mixed bag for teams as 2021/22 FKF PremierLeague got underway with champions Tusker faltering

Monday, September 27th, 2021 00:00 |
David Nshimirimana of Sofapaka (left) control the ball against Anthony ‘Muki’ Kimani of Nairobi City Stars during their FKF Premier League match at Wundanyi Stadium on Sunday. Photo/PD/EDWIN OTIENO

Things did not go according to plan for Tusker at the start of the 2021/22 Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League at the weekend although the team’s coach Robert Matano reckons that it should not be a yardstick to weigh their pedigree.

Tusker, the defending champions and Kenya’s emissaries in the CAF Champions League, appeared to have flattered to deceive when they were stunned 1-0 by AFC Leopards at Thika Stadium on Sunday.

But Matano has alluded that it is too early to judge Tusker who have a reputation to protect as the country’s football kings.

“We simply had a bad day in office and to me, it does not make sense to state that we are defeatists in the beautiful game.

There is always a chance of bouncing back and this is what I believe we shall do with precision going forward,’’ observed Matano.

To a layman, Tusker may have given leeway for Leopards to conjure up victory to avoid defeat in the face of the upcoming CAF Champions League second round clash against Egyptian giants Zamalek later next month but Matano begs to differ.

“I believe no team would like to take a match casually in order to avoid players sustaining injuries.

This was simply bad luck and I want to assure our faithful that we shall go back to the drawing board to address where we might have went wrong.’’

For Leopards’ deputy coach Tom Juma, the win gave them morale and especially given that they were fielding greenhorns, most of whom had not yet tasted big-time action.

“Most of these players were from the team’s under-20 team and for them to guide Ingwe to a win over a big team like Tusker was proof that they are ready to be counted on to make future starting line-ups.

This is encouraging and I just urge them to continue working hard,’’ said juma.

As Ingwe was purring, arch rivals Gor Mahia also made a strong statement of intent by whacking last year’s runner-up KCB 2-1, Benson Omalla scoring both K’Ogalo’s goals.

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