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Matano vows to push Gor to the wall for title

Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano shouts instructions during a training session at the Ruaraka Sports Club. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 24 – Since 2013, only Tusker FC has broken Gor Mahia’s dominance of the Kenyan Premier League title race, clinching the diadem in 2016 after edging out the record champions at the death.

This season, Tusker and Kakamega Homeboyz look like the real deal to stop Gor’s dominance again, with the brewers placed third in the standings with a six point gap and a match at hand while Homeboyz are second with a four point gap from the holders.

Tusker head coach Robert Matano who won the crown with the brewers in 2012 believes that his side has the pedigree to stop Gor Mahia this season and has vowed his side will push on till the final day in search of a 12th crown.

“We will fight till the end. The league is a marathon and not a 100m race. We are still there and we will fight strongly. We will do it. We are there with our minds, heart and blood and we are feeling the urge to win,” Matano said.

The brewers were pegged back after drawing 1-1 with Wazito FC at their Ruaraka backyard on Sunday afternoon, but Matano says that drop in points will not deter their race.

Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano watches on at the touchline during his side’s Kenyan Premier League match at the Ruaraka Sports Club on February 23, 2020. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

He was displeased at the manner his side lost, especially conceding a late goal in the dying minutes of the game and a red cardr which according to him was avoidable.

Left back Sammy Mejja was shown his second yellow of the afternoon after pulling back Mungai Kiongera’s legs and from the freekick, the former Gor and AFC Leopards man nodded home for a late equalizer.

“If you are a Premier League player like him with so many years of experience, you should not do something like that. Where was the danger for him to get a card? He is a defender and he has to play the ball and not make a tackle. You are on the line, why tackle? Just kick the ball out! It was a bad decision that cost us, but we need to keep on working,” a furious Matano stated.

The tactician says he hopes his charges can make improvements in the next few matches as he looks to regain the hold on the leaders, saying he wants to ensure the gap remains as small as possible.

Tusker FC forward Timothy Otieno celebrates his goal with Namanda Luke against Kisumu All-Stars. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

In their title hunt, April will be a monster month and a moment of reckoning for Tusker as they will have several important matches to look forward to. They play second placed Homeboyz on April 5 at Ruaraka before hosting fourth placed KCB two weeks later.

Their final match of the season will be against Gor Mahia on May 24 and this will potentially be a blockbuster if they can win their match at hand and hope Gor faulter in at least one more game.

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