NAIROBI, July 16 – Kenya Premier League champions suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Burundi’s Vital’O in their second match of the ongoing East and Central Club championships in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.
Tusker went into the match as slight favourites after their 3-2 win over Simba SC in the opening match but they came up against a spirited Burundi side that was desperate to win after losing their opening match to Benadir of Somalia.
Eager to make things right, Vital’O took the lead in the 16th minute when Eric Gatoto scored the opener catching Tusker reserve goalkeeper Boniface Otieno on the wrong foot with a low shot.
They went further ahead in the 30th minute when Kabungulu Nimubona hit the target.
Tusker coach Jacob Mulee had seen enough and made his first change bringing on Kenneth Wendo for Oscar Kadenge as he sought to add pace to his attack.
But the victors would not let up and they made the game safe on 67 minutes when Stanley Minzi made it 3-1.
Though Tusker pulled one back in the 70th minute through Wendo and then hit the upright from six yards, they could not force a late comeback.
Vital’O coach Younde Kagabo was happy with the results saying they had no choice but to win the match.
“This one is over. The task ahead is bigger,” he said.
Mulee said Vital’O played a very tactical game and look like going all the way.
“We had good chances especially in the second half but wasted them and lost the match,” he added.
Thursday’s group A action will see Simba take on Benadir at the National Stadium.
In the day’s other match, Zanzibar’s Miembeni upset defending champions APR of Rwanda 2-1.
Miembeni snatched the lead in the 42nd minute through Amri Kiemba after Moulid Ibrahim disposed Mwemere Ngirishuti in the box. Ibrahim stretched the lead in the 71st minute with Mugiraneza Baptiste heading home APR’s lone goal in the 85th minute.
APR tactician Rene Feller from Holland said his side deserved to lose after playing badly.
“Miembeni played with many people in their areas, a situation that needed as to adjust accordingly. We did not and lost the match,” he said.
His Miembeni counterpart Tom Olaba of Kenya said he had watched the APR match against Yanga and knew exactly what he needed to do.
“We used the right tactics and look forward to our next match against Yanga,” he said.