NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 24 – Kariobangi Sharks head coach William Muluya believes the team has what it takes to go all the way to the finals of the GOtv Shield this year and probably fight for the title after seeing his side blow away Sofapaka in the round of 16 on Sunday.
Sharks ran off 3-1 winners over Batoto ba Mungu in a decent performance despite missing three key players and Muluya believes if they sustain the same tempo, they will surpass their mark last season when they limped off in the semis.
“I am positive we can go all the way to the final if we can keep up with this tempo. We played really well (against Sofapaka) and under no pressure and I think that is why we won. The confidence is high but first we need to go a step at a time and look at the quarter finals,” Muluya said after his team booked a slot for the last eight.
The tactician also praised his side’s players for their performance, especially noting three key first team stars were missing. Patillah Omotto and Ovellah Ochieng were away in Spain with the KPL All-Star team while Bolton Omwenga is out injured.
“I think they proved themselves today and it showed that in the team we have quite some depth. We played against a strong Sofapaka side and the players who came in did not show any signs of weakness. We had Kamau (Paul) who came in, scored and had an assist. I think we have a strong team,” the tactician added.
Sharks will battle out with Eldoret Youth who continued their rollercoaster ride in the Shield with a 3-2 win over Savannah in Eldoret’s Kipchoge Keino Stadium.
If they skip the hurdle put up by the third tier side, Sharks will head to the semis where they will face either Bandari or Sony Sugar. Bandari beat Nakumatt 3-2 in a hotly contested tie in Mombasa while Sony edged out Bungoma based Nzoia Sugar by a solitary goal.
Bandari’s Paul Nkata still retains the dream of being the first coach to win the title twice consecutively with two different teams. The Dockers who face Nzoia in the quarters are looking for their second title after winning the title in 2015.
“It was a very tough match but I thank my boys for working hard and winning. We are just focusing on a match at a time,” Nkata said after his side’s conquest in Mombasa.
Meanwhile, his former employers Tusker whom he led to their first Shield title in 23 years last season continued with their impressive run, beating third tier side Butterfly FC 4-1 to sail to the last eight where they will meet Vihiga United.
Tusker boss George Nsimbe was elated with the performance of his players at their Kinoru base in Meru saying it was the best he has seen this season.
“We played to plan and our passing and game progression was great. I am happy with what the boys gave and step by step, I know we will achieve our target,” Nsimbe roared after his side’s performance.
In the other quarter finals match, on-form National Super League side Wazito FC will face the winner between AFC Leopards and Bidco with this match set for Wednesday afternoon at the Thika Sub-County Stadium.
GOtv Shield Quarter final pairing
Wazito v AFC Leopards/Bidco FC
Vihiga United v Tusker FC
Bandari v Sony Sugar
Eldoret Youth v Kariobangi Sharks.