Matano: Man with the Midas touch; Why AFC Leopards coach is not your ordinary football tactician

Ulinzi Stars coach Robert Matano on the touchline their KPL match against Sofapaka FC at City Stadium on May 31, 2015.PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO

Former Tusker and Sofapaka coach delivers in his first match in charge at the den.

Fondly referred to as the 'Lion', Robert Matano is known to have a specialty in turning around struggling football sides.

When Tusker needed to turn around their league fortunes in 2012, they called on him and won the league at the end of the season.

Recently when Ulinzi Stars were struggling, Matano came to their rescue and the soldiers regained their footing.

The 'Lion' has now landed at the miserable AFC Leopards' den and turned their misery into joy when he won his first match as their head coach. They defeated Bandari 1-0.

On the surface, it may pass as just any other win. However, when one considers that this was Leopards' first win in eight matches, then the importance of it cannot be overemphasised.

Before Saturday's win, the last time Leopards won a league match was on April 23 when they beat struggling Thika United 2-1.

While Matano sought to downplay the win, he nonetheless admitted it was an important victory for the team.

"That is done and now we must look ahead. It was very important that we win this match considering the long winless streak the team had suffered.

"The players, fans and officials are all delighted," he said.

As Leopards woke up from their slumber, promoted sides continue to do well in the league. On Sunday, Zoo Kericho picked an impressive 2-0 win over Chemelil Sugar at home.

For a team that had been denied promotion to the top league twice before, not much was expected of the Kericho-based side.

Indeed, they lost their first five matches but have recovered and are now chasing Kariobangi Sharks, who remain the shining light of the four promoted sides. Sharks are fifth place on the log.

Saturday's barren draw against Kakamega Homeboyz denied them an opportunity to dethrone leaders Ulinzi Stars, who beat Nakumatt 2-1.

Mathare United are last in the league standings.

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