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Gor Mahia and Mathare set for catch up matches as KPL takes a Christmas break

FOOTBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi | December 18th 2019
Tusker FC's Coach Robert Matano during KPL match against Sofapaka FC at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos, April 5, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Just after Tusker missed a chance to open a three-point gap at the summit of the Kenyan Premier League table following a barren draw against AFC Leopards on Sunday, head coach Robert Matano has vowed to beef up his squad in the upcoming January transfer window.

The 11-time champions huffed and puffed throughout the game, but failed to breakdown their dogged opponents, who are enduring a financial crisis.

Though Tusker are still at the top of the table with 28 points  (one point more than joint-second placed Western Stima and Kakamega Homeboyz) ahead of the Christmas break (December 22-January 12 2020), they are likely to be dislodged by fifth placed Gor Mahia (25 points).

The record champions, who have four games in hand, are expected to return to action this Sunday with a tie against Kisumu All Stars, two days after the Cecafa Senior Challenge finals in Kampala,Uganda.

K’Ogalo will then clash with Posta Rangers on December 29 before making a trip to Kisumu against Western Stima on January 8.

KPL postponed matches involving Gor Mahia and Mathare United to allow their players feature for national team Harambee Stars in the regional tournament.

But having watched his side struggle to break down Ingwe’s defence in Machakos, Matano is keen to strengthen his squad.  

“Of course, I have to do something during the break.   We’ve to bring in a few players in January to help us especially upfront,” said Matano.

In reference to the Leopards draw, the veteran coach said: “We didn’t play well as a team. We started off very low in the first half and we didn’t coordinate well, but improved in the second half and managed to get a point.

“We created a number of chances, but unfortunately we were not clinical in front of goal. We didn’t have our usual speed and urgency in attack.”

While Matano was bemoaning on the two dropped points, his AFC Leopards counterpart Cassa Mbungo refused to be drawn in reports that he is considering to leave the den over unpaid salaries.

“We have financial problems and the players are not training. So, getting a point against a team like Tusker was really motivating.  I am still around, we have a game against Mathare United on Sunday before going home for Christmas and then come back,” said Mbungo, who has given Leopards a two week ultimatum.

“I think we should have won the game, but we failed to convert our chances into goal. As you all saw, we were tactically superior to Tusker but we were just unlucky. We have a strong team, the only problem we have is lack a financial muscle to push the boys.”

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