Vihiga brewing Tusker upset in GOtv Shield


Vihiga United FC players line-up against Mosca FC during their National Super League (NSL) match ...
Vihiga United FC players line-up against Mosca FC during their National Super League (NSL) match at the Camp Toyoyo stadium in Nairobi on May 31, 2017. Vihiga United FC won 3-1. Photo/Oliver Ananda/www.sportpicha.com

Vihiga United assistant coach Francis Xaviour says he is confident his charges will punch through Tusker FC into the Gotv Shield semis when the two sides clash over the weekend.

Vihiga, who currently sit top of the second-tier National Super League (NSL), edged top flight side Kakamega Homeboyz in the round of 16 in a pulsating nine-goal thriller but will need to summon all their powers to knock out defending champions Tusker.

The Brewers went through a smoother path on their way to the quarters after dismantling fourth-tier Butterfly FC 4-1 to advance.

“We are enjoying some great form and our target is to go for both the GOtv Shield Cup and the NSL. We have the right players to achieve this and I know they will perform on Sunday,” Xaviour told Citizen Digital.

The Edward Manoah coached side who train at the Kidundu Grounds in Vihiga County will hinge their hopes of such success on the more experienced players in their set up including Charles Okwemba and Martin Imbalambala.

Xaviour has said everyone in the squad is full fit and available for selection with a number of key players recovering just in time thanks to the break that was brought as a result of the August 8 General Elections.

“We had a number of players who were injured namely; Benard Ochieng, Okwemba and goalkeeper Franklin Mwenda but now we can say that they are all in good shape,” the former Wazito FC coach stated.

The tactician said their depth in squad has enabled the side remain largely injury free with the 30 players giving his technical bench enough room for rotation.

“We are planning to give other players chance to show their worth against Tusker and hopefully they can deliver since it’s this is a tournament we are taking seriously,” Xaviour added.

Vihiga lead the NSL standings on 47 points with 20 matches played with Nairobi Stima (43), Wazito (42), Ushuru FC (40) and KCB (39) leading the chasing pack.

In contrast, Tusker who are also the top flight are scrambling to hit the form that saw them end Gor Mahia FC’s three-year hold on the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions last year.

The Brewers were docked three points by the Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee (IDCC) for a breach in KPL rules as their woes piled on Thursday.

Thus, they sit sixth on the KPL log, eight points behind leaders Gor Mahia who have a game in hand to their advantage.

GOtv Shield Quarters Fixtures

Saturday

Kariobangi Sharks v Eldoret Youth

Bandari FC v Sony Sugar

Sunday

Vihiga United v Tusker FC

Wazito FC v AFC Leopards

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Story By Godfrey Ashiali
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