NAIROBI, July 15 – Kenya Premier League champions Tusker FC will be looking to continue with their good form when they take on Vital’O from Burundi in their second Group A match of the East and Central Africa Club Championship in Dar es Salaam Wednesday.,
The brewers started their campaign on a perfect note when they edged out local boys Simba SC 3-2 and a win against Vital’O will guarantee them a place in the quarterfinals.
Tusker takes on a side that lost 2-1 loss to underdogs Benadir from Somalia in their opening match on Monday.The Burundi side will thus be keen to make amends, knowing that another loss will surely lock them out of the tournament.
They played Benadir only a couple of hours after arriving in Dar es Salaam after a long and tiring bus journey from Bujumbura.
Tusker tactician, Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee is wary of the Burundians, “They are bleeding from their first defeat so they will be desperate for a win so we have to approach them with a lot of care.”
Mulee is expected to keep faith with the side that did the job against Simba.
Captain Joseph Ruto will thus start between the posts with Ibrahim Shikanda, towering Joseph Shikokoti, John Njoroge and Humprey Okoti in defence.
Veteran Jeff Oyando and Osborne Monday are key players in midfield so should be able to keep their places.
It is upfront that the former Kenya national team coach will have to make tough decisions on who to field from the start.
Simon Mburu, John Keo and Oscar Kadenge were on target against Simba but the later two were substituted after running out of steam.
But ‘Ghost’ may start them hoping that the men he introduced late in the match; Edward Kauka, Justus Anene and Hassan Aden will provide the magic that they displayed as substitutes against Simba.
Vital’O coach Younde Kagabo has promised a different Vital’O from the side that lost to Benadir.
“We really wanted to play against Benadir but the heart was not there after the many problems we had on the way here,” he said Tuesday.
“You can rest assured that against Tusker we shall have the heart and will to snatch maximum points,” he added.
The most experienced player in the Vital’O side is Erasto Nyoni who made a name for himself with Rayon of Rwanda.
Other players the Vital’O tactician will rely on are goalkeeper Nzokira Jeff, defenders Nziyimana Muhsin, Harizimana Belinda an Eric Gatoto.
His midfielders will be Tanzania trialist Stanley Minzi, and Kabungulu Nimubona and Ndizeye Akanakimana.
Upfront he has Nkundwa Nabake Cadeau, Henri Mbazumutimba, Jumapili Jaffer and Nyoni.