NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – Kariobangi Sharks head coach William Muluya has challenged his players to go on and win the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield title having grown in performance every season, reaching the final last year and losing 2-0 to AFC Leopards.
Sharks booked a slot in their third consecutive semi-final on Sunday after shocking favorites Gor Mahia with a 4-2 victory on post-match penalties after a barren stalemate in regulation time.
“We had a good intention going into this match and basically it’s a job they started which I think they should now go on and finish. We came third in the first attempt then last year we were second, now we should go ahead and clinch it,” the tactician told Capital Sport.
He has admitted that he had been worried that the team’s missed chances in the entire 90 minutes would come to haunt them in the shoot-out but has praised his players for keeping their composure and clinching a slot in the semis.
They will now square out with Ulinzi Stars, the same side that plucked them at a similar stage in their debut appearance in 2016 with a 4-1 blanking at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.
Meanwhile, three-time champions Sofapaka have their eyes fixed on a fourth crown especially having failed in their bid to clinch the Kenyan Premier League title.
-Baraza eyes history
John Baraza was at the heart of all their three titles as a player, banging in the goals to help them win, but is now on the opposite side of the fraction, leading the team as head coach.
Ahead of him, he stares at the potential history making feat of winning the title both as a coach and player and this is something he says he relishes and is pushing him to ensure the side qualify for another final.
“It is always good to have that history. I have season in leagues abroad coaches winning titles they won as players and it is always a good feeling. Look at Zidane winning the Champions League as a player and coach; I also want to have that achievement,” the young tactician says.
But biggest motivator he says is the prospect of playing continental football and increasing the opportunities for his players.
“I give them (players) a good example with Gor Mahia. Look at how they have put themselves on the African map so well by playing in the Confederations Cup. This is something that we can achieve as well. These players need to understand that playing out there increases your chances of growth. Walusimbi is now in South Africa and he was just here,” the coach said.
Batoto ba Mungu will now square it out with reigning champions AFC Leopards in what will be an epic semi-final clash.
-Matano blames lack of quality
Meanwhile, coach Robert Matano who led Ingwe to the title last season failed in his bid to reach a third consecutive final and become the first coach to win the title back to back with two different sides after his Tusker side lost 2-1 to Sofapaka.
Matano led Ulinzi Stars to the 2016 final where they lost 1-0 to Tusker before leading AFC to the crown last year. The tactician now says that his Tusker side didn’t have the requisite quality to battle Sofapaka, but notes they will regroup to challenge for the crown next season.
“We didn’t have the quality to match Sofapaka. Although we have the players to win matches, the real quality and how you can compete was missing. We don’t have that experience enough but they fought well,” Matano said after the game.
His focus now will be pegged on the league where he hopes to aid his side to a top three finish. They are currently sixth in the standings with 43 points.