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Ambitious Sharks sweating on Abuya fitness

Duke Abuya sat out of Saturday’s training session at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam ahead of the SportPesa Cup final against Bandari FC

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Jan 26 – Duke Abuya sat out of Kariobangi Sharks’ training session on Saturday at the Uhuru Stadium here in Dar es Salaam ahead of Sunday’s SportPesa Super Cup final having picked up an injury in their semis win over Mbao FC.

Abuya came off midway through the second half limping, throwing huge concern for Sharks especially after he failed to train on Saturday. However, that seems to be only a precaution as word from the Sharks camp is that the forward will be able to play on Sunday.

Abuya was key for Sharks during their 3-2 win over Yanga in the first round, scoring twice and assisting the other, but had a particularly off color day against Mbao until he limped out injured.

He was replaced by last year’s Kenyan Premier League player of the year and top scorer Eric Kapaito who himself is coming off injury. The fitness of the two will be key for William Muluya’s charge as he looks to clinch the title and Sh3mn cash prize that comes with it.

Kariobangi Sharks forward Eric Kapaito hydrates during a training session at the Uhur Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on January 26, 2019 ahead of the SportPesa Cup final.

Sharks are looking to bag their second major trophy after their Football Kenya Federation Shield triumph last season and with an opportunity to play Everton on the cards, the motivation of the side is at an all time high.

“We can obviously not think about Everton before playing the final but all in all once we get that opportunity, we will be ready for it. We want to make history by being the first African team to beat Everton,” assistant coach Collins Omondi stated at the pre-match presser on Saturday evening.

Sharks progressed to the final after a hard earned post-match penalties win over Tanzania’s Mbao FC and heading into the final, head coach William Muluya has only one target; clinching the title.

“It was a very tough semi-final because if you look at both teams, they are made up of youngsters. We knew there was a high possibility of going into penalties and we prepared well for it,” Muluya said.

William Muluya passes instructions on to his players during a training session at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on January 24, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

On facing Bandari at the final, the tactician stated; “It is good that we are two Kenyan teams in the final and both of us would want to carry the accolade back home. But whoever prepares better and makes less mistakes will carry the day. I have prepared well and I believe I will carry the day,” noted the tactician.

Sharks lost to Bandari for the first time in the second leg of last season, going down 3-0 in Mombasa having won all the previous meetings by a solitary goal.

However, the two sides do not expect history to count for anything.

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“This is a tournament and a different ball game altogether and things will be different. It will be tough but we are ready for it. Everyone is focused and I want to urge all Tanzanian fans to come out tomorrow and watch the game and support football. We promise a good match,” skipper Eric Juma commented.


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