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Tusker FC bank on history in KPL

PULSE
By | April 19th 2012

By Gilbert Wandera

Tusker coach Sammy Omollo believes history will be on his side as he faces league leaders AFC Leopards on Saturday in Mombasa.

The Kenyan Premier League champions have won all their recent matches against the Leopards and Omollo is certain it will have a psychological bearing in the brewers favour when the two sides clash in a top of the table match.

Tuskerfs Paul Were is tackled by KCBfs Benjamin Chaka during a KPL match. Tusker play AFC Leopards in Mombasa Saturday April 21. [Photo: Stafford Ondego/Standard]

"This is a match that we have been looking forward to and we go into it on the back of victories against Leopards, which gives us an advantage to win," said Omollo.

The Tusker coach insists that his side has traditionally won against Leopards and Saturday will be no different.

Last season, Tusker beat AFC Leopards home and away in their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match. The brewers won the first leg 2-0 with veteran striker Dennis Mukaisi netting a brace and also prevailed in the second leg 2-1.

But since then a rejuvenated Leopards have gone more than 20 matches unbeaten but the Tusker coach says the record counts for nothing.

"At Tusker we thrive during big matches and this is just one of those opportunities for us to get all three points in the bag. Ifm glad that Mukaisi is coming back after a long lay-off because he knows how to destroy Leopards," said Omollo.

Mukaisi formerly played for Leopards two years ago before moving to the Brewers but has struggled with injury for a better part of this season.

Mounting pressure

Tusker coach admits they are under pressure to close the gap on Leopards who are six points clear at the top of the standings after second placed Sofapaka went down 1-0 against Gor Mahia.

"Our ambitions to win the league is still intact and we know that getting a win over Leopards will help us achieve it," he said.

Despite being held to a 2-2 tie by Mathare United last weekend, Omollo says it is now behind them and will have no bearing on their performance on Saturday. He pointed an accusing finger to complacency, saying they were let down by laxity, which he has already addressed in their dressroom.

"There was an element of laxity when Mathare United came from behind and equalised the two goals. We were also punished by a poor judgement when defending set pieces, which is always our strength. We have talked about it as a team and are confident it has been dealt with," said Omollo.

The match is being played in Mombasa at the request of AFC Leopards, who want to build the teamfs fan base in a season they have so far gone nine matches unbeaten.

Leopards won 2-1 against Thika United last weekend stretching their unbeaten run since last year to 23 matches.

Tusker, the KPL defending champions, have not had the same start they had last season, which propelled them to win the league. This has left them facing a herculean task of making history by clinching the league on a back-to-back basis.

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