NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 29 – Mathare United head coach Francis Kimanzi subtly criticized Posta Rangers’ style of play during their 2-1 victory at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, saying they were forced to defend too many long balls and long throws.
The Slum Boys had scored twice through Kevin Kimani and Cliff Nyakeya in either half before Posta made for a nervous end in the final 15 minutes with a goal from Dennis Ongeri.
Posta attacked with balls dipped into the Mathare area and long throws delivered from Wesley Onguso which sometimes brought in some nerves, but Kimanzi’s men managed to hold on.
“It was a tough game because the opponent plays in a difficult way defensively. When you have a team that plays every ball in the air it becomes very difficult to defend but I am lucky we were more composed showed some maturity and more important got the three points,” Kimanzi told Capital Sport after the match.
He added; “In such a scrappy game you expect to get opportunities through set pieces and kill the game and if you have players with that quality you use everything that is in your possession. We were prepared to attack and also defend set pieces,”
“As you saw we were comfortable defending some throw balls I haven’t seen before. We were articulate in our own set pieces. We had few and from two of them we scored.”
Nonetheless, the tactician was pleased with the three points that kept them unbeaten this season.
“It’s a good progression especially this win coming in the festive period and it is some new environment that we are adapting to. I think it’s a good job from the players and they deserve to win. This is a Christmas present for all of us,” Kimanzi opined.
With the victory, Mathare moved top of the standings with 10 points, same as Western Stima who are also unbeaten but have scored fewer goals. The slum boys have won thrice and drawn once in their opening four games of the campaign.
The slum boys have replicated the start they had last season when they started the season strong, but one lesson Kimanzi picked up is to ensure they don’t let their feet off the gas pedals.
“You have to analyze on where it went wrong; whether technical or tactical but we know it is more of a mental issue and we have to push more,” the tactician opined.
One figure that has been at the centre of the side’s brilliant start is midfielder Kevin Kimani who made a return to Mathare after a short stint with Sofapaka.
Kimani skippered Mathare in the 2011 season when he was named player of the year with his impressive stats and he seems to be rolling back the years on his return to the side with two goals and three assists under his belt so far.
He scored the first for Mathare against Posta and played a role in the second with another delivery off a freekick.
Kimanzi has admitted that the pint-sized attacking midfielder has added some spice into his side and has tipped him to do more.
“Offensively he brings in a lot and sometimes you need clever players who are quick and they bring with them some good statistics. Last season he didn’t play many matches but he had 10 assists and five goals so he is already building on that. That’s one of the reasons we brought him plus he also brings in some committed experience,” Kimanzi further noted.
The Slum Boys hope to further continue with their impressive start when they take on winless KCB at the Kasarani Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.