NAIROBI, Kenya, September 12- Tusker tactician, Robert Matano was left smarting after his strikers failed to fire the titleholders to victory over their crown rivals Sofapaka in their second barren stalemate inside a week on Wednesday night in Nairobi.
In his second match in charge of his Brewers, the Tusker Premier League (TPL) champions failed to overcome opponents a place below them in the log in a match Sofapaka played with ten men from the closing stages of the first half at Nyayo National Stadium.
“I’m not happy, we didn’t win, did not play well and failed to create the goals but this Sofapaka side was more clearly organised than us.
“Obviously, if you can’t score, you create chances but like (Joseph) Emeka did, how do you score when we can’t even play according to instructions! It’s the players to blame,” he stormed after the largely turgid 0-0 top of the table encounter against the team he won the title in 2009.
Tusker held league leaders AFC Leopards to a similar score line last Friday and their second stalemate on the trot left them stuck to third three points adrift of the chart-toppers with six left to play.
Sofapaka who will see Englishman Stewart Hall take charge of their next match against 2010 champions Ulinzi Stars remained fourth two off Tusker as yet another top clash failed to muster the hype.
The 2009 winners had no one to capitalise on the first scoring chance of the match when Tusker keeper Boniface Olouch, who was on occasion erratic, fumbled the ball in the opening exchanges.
With Hall watching from the stands opted to play at slow pace and managed to boss possession as they pressed for the opener.
Midfielder, Humphrey Meino lay a fine pass on the to Heritier Luvualu who’s cross to the box was cut out by Oluoch shy of the half hour mark.
Dennis Mukaisi then came close to get the Brewers ahead in the 35th but he handled the ball having beaten defender Edgar Ocheing on the edge of the box.
He was on the attack two minutes later, but his pass to Patrick Kagogo on the right was well read by Ochieng who cleared.
Three minutes to the breather, George Owino was red carded for a second bookable offence after he pulled down Nigerian striker Emeka on the edge of the box.
David Ouma in his last match in charge as head coach brought on Eugene Asike who replaced Luvualu to shore up his rearguard as he plotted to hold on to the spoils.
Sofapaka surprisingly managed to command most of the possession threatening the soid Tusker defence and came close top opening the scoring on the hour mark as Osborne Monday, back after a long layoff, fed Anthony Kimani who set up returning striker, Bob Mugalia but his shot failed to reap reward.
The Brewers tried to come back into the game with Fredrick Ajwang coming close in the 77th as he lashed a long range strike towards goal after he spotted Olouch off his goal line but he only managed to find the top netting.
TPL top scorer, John Baraza, who was quiet throughout the tie, finally sparked to life five minutes to time when he picked a Mugalia pass at the edge of the box but his finish drew the save from Oluoch.
Sofapaka sprung pushed for a goal in the dying embers and almost fashioned one with Asike but his header from a last gasp corner hit by the post much to the relief of the Brewers.
“We played a good game, had several chances and even hit the post, we maintained our composure even with the red card but the defender did well to stop their striker from scoring.
“It’s still a long way to go to the end of the league, we are surely motivated by holding Tusker which is second,” said Ouma.