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Football

Tusker looking to punch continental experience in FKF PL

Tusker FC players line up before their match against CS Sfaxien in Tunisia

Tusker FC will be back to the local action on Sunday evening when they will face high flying Sofapaka at the Ruaraka Complex, looking to add their experience from continental football to the FKF Premier League title defense.

Tusker play their first match since their elimination from the CAF Confederation Cup where they lost 1-0 to Tunisian side CS Sfaxien away last weekend.

Coach Robert Matano says he wants the team to play with the confidence and swagger shown when they went down to Sfax by a contested penalty, saying the performance gave him hope that the team is in the right track.

“We played good football and we performed like champions. We played as an organized team and I was really impressed with the performance,” the tactician said.

He added; “This was one of the most superb matches I have seen since I joined Tusker. I saw maturity and composure, a well organized team both in attack and defense, we had calm minds and played our hearts out. We should stick to that and now we have the rhythm. We should maintain that same spirit.”

Tusker FC coach Robert Matano issues instructions during a training session

The coach further said; “We are going to defend our title and we will be back into the league with our heads held high and with a lit of confidence.”

Tusker face Sofapaka at Ruaraka, Tusker’s Premier League start has been tough, losing three of their first five games of the campaign and winning two; against Wazito FC and Kenya Police.

Captain Eugene Asike says he and his teammates know only too well what is required of them and having tasted continental football are chuffed to try and go back there next year.

“The boys are motivated and chuffed to be back again next year and the only way to do that is win a trophy and talking to the boys, we know what is needed of us,” Asike says.

He added; “We haven’t started the season well but again last season as well, we had a slow start. But we know the league is tougher this season because teams have really recruited well. However, we are determined and up to the task.”

Tusker FC players all smiles after a training session

They come up against a Sofapaka side that is firing from all cylinders and have won their last three matches. They have beaten AFC Leopards, Kenya Police and Wazito FC to climb to eighth in the standings.

Batoto ba Mungu didn’t start the season well but now seem to have picked up their momentum. Coach Ken Odhiambo will be keen to bank victory against a side they last beat in March 2018.

Overall in terms of head to head record, Sofapaka has a slight edge over Tusker, having won nine times in the 25 meetings they have had and lost six, with the remaining 10 being draws.

Tusker are desperately searching victory to put their Premier League campaign back on track. They will however need to be sharper than they have been over the last six matches. Since beating Kenya Police 2-1 at Kasarani, Tusker have not scored a goal in the last five matches.

Sofapaka on the other hand have had a good backline, conceding only once in the last three matches.

Also, Read: Olympics Kenya boss Paul Tergat re-elected into IOC board

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