NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League champions Tusker FC will look to pick a win at home against Djiboutian counterparts Arta Solar 7 and progress to the first round of the CAF Champions League.
The brewers played to a 1-1 draw against a star-studded Arta in the first leg in Djibouti last weekend and they believe that the single away goal will enhance their confidence heading to the return tie at home on Saturday.
“I believe it was a good result for us away from home and we are looking forward to do better in Nairobi. We have trained well as a team this week and everyone is focused and looking forward to a good result,” said captain Eugene Asike.
He adds; “We know we are going to play against a very good team and not individuals. They have a very good squad and we saw how they played in the first leg. It will be easier for us because we know what to expect. In the first leg we didn’t know much about them.”
Tusker will need a win at home or in the least, a 0-0 draw to progress to the next round where they are set to meet Egyptian giants Zamalek. A 1-1 draw will take the game to penalties while a high scoring draw will give Solar a ticket to the next round.
Meanwhile, head coach Robert Matano is confident the team has what it takes to win at home.
“In the first leg, we had so much fatigue because of a difficult journey. But now we have trained well as a team and the players are also well rested. We also have more options in the team because we travelled to Djibouti with a lean squad. Now we have a bit more variety and we are hopeful for the best,” said the coach.
Matano adds that he has a better game plan to tackle the Djiboutian moneybags and remains hopeful his team will carry the day at home.
Tusker are looking to do better in continental football than their last sojourn where they bowed out in the preliminary round during the CAF Champions League in 2017.
They come into the tie with confidence especially after sweeping the awards at the FKF Awards Gala last Tuesday. The club has also been trying to find a possibility to field striker Henry Meja who is set to join Swedish top tier side AIK in January.