Soccer

‘It is like we lost to Wazito FC’ – Tusker coach Matano slams players after draw

The veteran tactician blames his goalkeeper for the mistake that allowed Wazito to pull a draw against the Brewers on Friday

Tusker coach Robert Matano has maintained his players gave away the FKF Premier League game against Wazito FC which ended in a 1-1 draw at Utalii grounds on Friday.

The Brewers took a deserved lead courtesy of Sammy Meja with only four minutes played after he curled in a free-kick from outside the box, but it took a wicked deflection and went into the net, giving Wazito goalkeeper Levis Opiyo no time to save it.

But Wazito leveled matters in the 20th minute when a blunder from Tusker custodian Emery Mvuyekure, who spilled the ball, allowed midfielder Kevin Kimani to score into an empty.

The veteran tactician has blamed his players especially the keeper for giving away the goal insisting they could have won 1-0 had they defended well and the keeper avoided the blunder.

“It is like we have lost the game, to me we have lost the game,” Matano told Goal after the match. “We have given away the match, we gave it away, one mistake from the goalkeeper and they scored the leveler.

“So we must go back to the drawing board and rectify the mistakes but also we have to work hard, we have to fight in every game and the players must also realise their mistakes because getting two draws in two straight matches is not what we want at Tusker, and it is not good for us.

“I also feel the break occasioned by the [lockdown] slowed our pace and we are yet to get our rhythm back but today [Friday] I saw a lot of improvement and that eagerness to search for the ball and also the fighting spirit is slowly coming back.

“They want to win but even in the second half, the referee came in a very changed man, not like the first half, the referee spoilt most of our advantages but all in all we are focusing on the next game.”

Asked if he feels pressure being at the top of the table, Matano said: “There is no pressure, it is part of the game and if you look we did not defend well and then that lapse from the goalkeeper cost us because you can win with one goal, had we not conceded that silly goal, and if we had defended well and if the keeper had also done his job well, we should have won but now that is part of the game, we are looking forward to another match.”

On his part, Wazito coach Francis Kimanzi praised his players for the resilient display they put in and insisted had they given 80 percent in the game, then they could have emerged victorious.

“First of all I have to thank the boys because we know where we are coming from and how the lockdown has pulled us down but if we have managed to get a point from a team that is top of the table, then it means we are also learning something from them,” Kimanzi told Goal.

“We are okay with the result, they created chances which I did not see but what I saw are the chances we created but all in all what matters for now is the end result and we are happy to take a point from the game.

“If my players had given me 80 percent fighting spirit, I think we should have won this game, because we managed to maintain the intensity of the first half, but had we wanted to play even better, we needed the movement of the ball and then cover a large volume of the venue and that is what we lacked and we could not maintain the same intensity we had in the first period to the second period.”

On conceding early goals in their matches, Kimanzi said: “I think we are a bit lucky on that because, yes we conceded early goals, but my players are also quick to reply at the other end.

“So I knew in the second half we will struggle but if we were 8 percent fit we could have picked a different result for sure because I think we are superior in the technical and tactical approach of the game, but then you need energy and spirit to complete the task.”

Despite the draw, the Brewers remained on top of the log with 35 points from 17 matches while KCB are second with 33 points from 16 matches.

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