Frustrated Matano plans Leopards overhaul to catch Gor


Frustrated Matano plans Leopards overhaul to catch Gor
(FILE) AFC Leopards SC coach Robert Matano instructs Victor Majid during their Semi- Finals of the GOTV Shield Tournament match against Vihiga United FC at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru September 24, 2017. AFC Leopards won 1-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

AFC Leopards Head Coach Robert Matano likened the club’s situation to that of a patient whose condition warrants surgical treatment but is only receiving first aid attention.

Matano acknowledged his side’s lack of cutting edge as they laboured to a 0-0 draw away at struggling Mathare United in their midweek Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clash at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

“We played well in the first half but our energy levels dropped in the second. Our players such as Kezron Kizito and Aziz Okaka came from injury and our captain Duncan Otieno has been sick so there has been a lack of consistency. You have to train as a team to find the right cohesion,” Matano said.

The veteran tactician also paid tribute to Gor Mahia FC who pulled eight points clear at the summit of the KPL following their 2-1 win over Sofapaka FC in Kisumu.

Matano said Gor’s huge lead over their KPL rivals is only a genuine indication of the gulf in class between the record champions and their closest assailants.

The veteran tactician suggested a massive clearout looms at the Den after vowing to recruit heavily over the next transfer window in order to give his side a chance to compete against the best in the league.

“Right now I’m only working with what is at my disposal but what will follow is going to be thorough, thorough reinforcement. We cannot play like we did today against Sofapaka whom we face in our next match.

“They’re an experienced team and know how to punish the kind of lapses in concentration we showed today,” the former Ulinzi Stars Coach warned.

Welcome relief

Roy Okal (L) of Mathare United contest for the ball with Whyvonne Isuza of AFC Leopards SC during their Sportpesa premier league match at the Kasarani Stadium in September 27, 2017. The match ended 0-0. Photo/Oliver Ananada/www.sportpicha.com
Roy Okal (L) of Mathare United contest for the ball with Whyvonne Isuza of AFC Leopards SC during their Sportpesa premier league match at the Kasarani Stadium in September 27, 2017. The match ended 0-0. Photo/Oliver Ananada/www.sportpicha.com

Following Wednesday’s barren stalemate, Ingwe remained rooted on position 12 on 25 points after 22 rounds in the amended 16-team KPL log.

For Mathare, the draw ended a run of three successive defeats and while Coach Francis Kimanzi said the result was a welcome relief, he asserted all the three points were there for the taking.

“Leopards is an experienced team and also in a better position than we are in the league so getting a point is good for us. We confronted them with young players and most of whom are new to league football.

“We deserved more than a point but all in all we’re satisfied with that. Getting a point after going three games without anything to bring home I think you just have to appreciate even if you played better or created the more chances,” Kimanzi underscored.

The Slum Boys, winners of the KPL in 2008, are staring at relegation but Kimanzi maintains they have no fears they might drop to the second and are instead focusing on a strong finish.

They are only one place away from the danger zone, two points above bottom table sides Thika United and Muhoroni Youth who have 19 points apiece from 23 matches.

Victory for Gor at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu lifted them inches closer to a record 16th KPL crown as their rivals continued to falter. Ulinzi Stars squandered the chance to close in on them after drawing 0-0 at home to Thika.

George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo and Meddie Kagere – the same pair that guided Gor to a 2-0 victory over champions Tusker FC on Sunday – were on target again against Sofapaka with Umar Kasumba scoring for the visitors.

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