Homeboyz done, bring on Sharks, says Matano
Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano had no much time to celebrate his crucial away win at Kakamega Homeboyz on Sunday, immediately shifting focus to his next opponent in the FKF-PL, Kariobangi Sharks on Saturday.
While Tusker got a narrow 1-0 win in Kakamega, Sharks, under the tutelage of Harambee Stars assistant coach William Muluya staged the upset of round seven, beating champions Gor Mahia 4-3.
Going by the results and the performance so far which places Sharks second on the table behind leaders KCB who have amassed 18 out 18, Matano clearly knows it will be a tough battle lies ahead.
“We have picked up so well, and I hope we continue doing more of that in the future matches especially the Saturday one against Sharks. It will be a tough match but we are up to it. We are ready, we want to play the way we played today (against Homeboyz). If we keep the composure we showed, definitely we will achieve our goal,” said Matano.
Interestingly, Sharks have 15 points, just one above Tusker who are in third, underscoring why the fixture will be crucial for both sides.
Matano is reflecting on his mojo that has seen them overcome a slow start to the season marked by a loss then a draw, to a four-match winning streak only dented by Sofapaka’s draw in round six.
The veteran coach meanwhile has heaped praise on teenage sensation Henry Meja, whose solitary goal sealed three points at the Bukhungu Stadium.
“He is a good player, ready to play and willing to learn. We are gradually trying to integrate him into the team for 90 minutes. He is a player to watch, I’m confident he is going to do more.”
In the Sharks camp, Muluya was singing praise to his charges for what he described as ”teamwork magic” after slaying Gor at the Kasarani Stadium. This is probably the nut Matano will have to crack if he will gather anything from the impressive youthful side.
“The best thing about the win is that we are total teamwork, it’s not about a player or two. I have to congratulate my players for the mental strength they exhibited even when Gor came back quite stronger in the second half. This is what you need sometimes to make the difference,” told Muluya.
However, he is not flattered by the win ahead of the Tusker tie, having shipped in three goals in a single match.
“Those were many goals, seven in a match and three coming in the second half…” offered Muluya, in his characteristic brevity during interviews.
Tusker’s results 2020/21 season
AFC Leopards 2-1 Tusker FC
Tusker 0-0 Bandari FC
Western Stima 2-5 Tusker FC
Tusker FC 2-1 Gor Mahia
Tusker FC 1-0 Vihiga United
Tusker FC 1-1 Sofapaka
Homeboyz 0-1 Tusker FC
Sharks results 2020/21 season
Kariobangi Sharks 4-0 Wazito FC
Nzoia Sugar 0-0 Kariobangi Sharks
Kariobangi Sharks 2-2 Bidco United
Sofapaka 1-2 Kariobangi Sharks
Western Stima 1-2 Kariobangi Sharks
Kariobangi Sharks 0-0 Ulinzi Stars
Sharks 4-3 Gor Mahia