NAIROBI, Kenya, July 7 – Tusker may want to reclaim the Kenya Premier league (KPL) title from Mathare United but on Wednesday night they have to prevent the same team from denying them the chance of defending their Council of East and Central Africa (CECAFA) Club Challenge cup.El-Merreikh stadium will be the setting for what is bound to be one of the matches of the tournament as both sides battle in the quarter final for the most coveted club prize in regional football.
The match also pits former Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi up his against his former assistant James Nandwa.
Both sides had chequered paths towards this stage of the competition that saw them finish second in both their pools respectively.
United won their first two matches against Kartileh and Rwandan side Atraco 3-0 and 2-1 respectively before losing 1-0 to El Merreikh that saw them end up in the runners up position in Pool A.
Tusker on the other hand have won once, lost one match and drew another qualifying for the knockout stages due to a superior goal difference.
They drew their first match one all against Hay Al Arab, thrashed Miembeni 6-0 before losing 2-1 to Inter Stars.
If form is anything to by, Kimanzi’s charges should have the edge over the defending champions.
Striker Kevin Oliech was in imperious form in his side 2-1 over Atraco and will be relying on midfielders Titus Mulama, Kevin Opondo and Innocent Mutiso to put him in the clear.
All eyes will also be on United new recruit Andrew Tololwa who marked his debut for the club with a goal against Kartileh.
The Tusker strike force of Joseph Emeka and Augustine Etemesi will have to find a their way past the much vaunted Mathare defence that includes Edgar ‘Fighter’ Ochieng, Anthony Wanjohi and Lloyd Wahome.
In the other quarter finals, El Mereikh play Inter Stars, Hay Al Arab face TP Mazembe and Kampala City Council meet Atraco.