Mathare at the summit as goal-drought mar weekend fixtures


Mathare at the summit as goal-drought mar weekend fixtures
(FILE)Mathare United FC players From Left; Ronald Okoth, Chrispin Oduor, Chris Ochieng, Alphonce Ndonye, Roy Okal, George Owino during their morning training session ahead of their 2017 season at Goan Institute grounds on February 14, 2017. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Mathare United sit at the summit of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) table after round three, which was characterised by five uninspiring barren stalemates of the seven matches played.
  • Meanwhile, newbies Wazito FC head coach Frank Ouna, whose side registered one of the five barren draws against Kakamega Homeboyz, has hailed his team for 'improved performances.'
  • Interestingly, only three goals were scored across the seven matches, underlining the striking bluntness in the league.

Mathare United sit at the summit of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) table after round three, which was characterised by five uninspiring barren stalemates of the seven matches played.

The 2008 champions leapt over champions Gor Mahia to the top with seven points, the latter having had a quiet weekend in preparation for CAF -Champions League return leg against Leones Vegetarianos of Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, only Sony Sugar and Nakumatt FC won their fixtures with identical narrow 1-0 margins against Zoo Kericho and Nzoia Sugar respectively.

Ulinzi Stars head coach Dunstan Nyaudo admitted it was difficult to hold Mathare, underscoring the technical ability of the Francis Kimanzi coached side.

“It was a very tight game and just like I expected. Mathare have very good coaches; some of the best in the country and when playing them you have to reorganize,” he said, adding:”That is why we played very cautiously in the first half but in the second half we pushed further up and played more attacking football. I’m happy with the mentality we had in the game and the movement.”

Nayaudo, however, laments his charges have not shown the sharpness they ought to have three weeks into the 2018 season, failing to score in their second match in a row.

“We agreed as a team we must avoid conceding easy goals and we did well defensively. However, we were not as good when it came to striking, which is a concern. We can score as many goals as possible while at the same time holding on to the defensive discipline we showed,” the tactician who took over from Benjamin Nyangweso in pre-season, said.

On their side, Mathare who are targeting a better season after finishing 13th last season, beat Vihiga United 2-1 away in Bukhungu, Kakamega before sinking Nzoia Sugar with an identical margin in their second match hence the seven points.

“We are showing the right attitude, we can count some gains from the hard work of the pre-season. Ulinzi fought hard to keep off our strikers, and the few unconverted clear chances meant sharing points,” said the Kimanzi.

Meanwhile, newbies Wazito FC head coach Frank Ouna, whose side registered one of the five barren draws against Kakamega Homeboyz, has hailed his team for ‘improved performances.’

“We are growing well into the league, we had better procession against a side that finished among the top five teams last season and we proved we could have won it. The most encouraging factor is the attitude of my players towards opponents who have been around for long.

“They are calm and confident, which must be maintained if we are to make a major mark in our debut season,” the former Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars assistant coach averred.

(FILES)Wazito FC coach Frank Ouna prays during their National Super League match against GFE FC at the Camp Toyoyo stadium,Nairobi on May 26, 2017. Wazito FC won 2-1. Photo/ Oliver Ananda/www/Sportpicha

Being their second KPL match, a draw preceded by a 1-0 win against Sony leaves the 2017 National Super League (NSL) runners-up eighth on the table with four points.

Homeboyz coach Mike Mururi drew positives from the result, noting a point away from home is a plus.

“Wazito is a very good team, technically and tactically. The idea we have is to win our home matches and ensure the worst we register away is a draw, that way our dream to lift the league is viable,” the seasoned tactician stated.

Interestingly, only three goals were scored across the seven matches, underlining the striking bluntness in the league.

Saturday

Chemelil Sugar FC 1-1 Kariobangi Sharks

Nzoia United 0-1 Nakumatt

Ulinzi Stars FC 0-0 Mathare United FC

Wazito FC 0-0 Kakamega Homeboyz

Sunday

Sony Sugar FC 1-0 Zoo Kericho

Thika United FC 0-0 Bandari FC

Vihiga United 0-0 Posta Rangers FC

 

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Story By Jacob Icia
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