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Matano relieved as Tusker stage comeback to progress into FKF Cup quarters

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Eric Otieno celebrates his late goal against Rainbow FC
  • Tusker trailed 2-0 at halftime to third tier side Rainbow
  • They scored thrice in the second half including an 89th minute winner
  • Ulinzi Stars also beat Kenya Police to progress

Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano said he was delighted to see his side come from two goals down to beat National Division One side Rainbow FC 3-2 and progress to the quarter finals of the FKF Cup.

The reigning league champions had trailed 2-0 at halftime to the Stanley Okumbi-coached side, but they rallied in the second 45 to win and earn a ticket to the last eight.

“It was a good comeback and also a wake up call to the team. It was as if we had underrated them and we conceded. At halftime I told them we have to get serious and I would not make changes until they levelled the scores,” said the coach.

“The most important thing is that we are through to the next round and the players have learned some tough lessons,” noted the tactician.

Tusker had gone 2-0 down inside the opening 12 minutes. The brewers scored through Stewart Omondi and Shaphan Oyugi to level scores before substitute Eric Otieno headed home in the 89th minute.

Rainbow lead 2-0 after 12 minutes

Tusker FC

Action between Tusker FC and Rainbow FC

The National Division One side had gone into a 2-0 lead within the opening quarter of an hour through Edward Omondi and Salim Murunga.

Omondi broke the deadlock after just five minutes, coming to the end of a team move that had started way back from the goalkeeper. Omondi stormed into the box from the left and shot home from a tight angle.

Murunga then doubled the tally after 12 minutes with a shot from almost 45 yards out after noticing keeper Michael Wanjala yards off his line and went for an audacious effort that paid dividends.

The brewers tried to battle back and they went close twice. Skipper Jackson Macharia first saw his header from a Daniel Sakari long throw fly inches over the bar and had a second attempt from similar play come off the crossbar.

In the second half, Tusker came back a changed side, much thanks to the halftime rage from coach Matano.

On the hour mark, they were given a way back into the match from the penalty spot after a handball inside the box. Omondi stepped up and despite seeing his kick saved by the keeper, he managed to pounce on the rebound and smack home.

Shaphan draws Tusker level 

Stewart Omondi

Stewart Omondi races past a Rainbow FC player

They drew level nine minutes later when Shaphan glanced home a header, rushing ahead of his marker to meet a well weighted cross from Levin Odhiambo.

After the goal, they made changes, Humphrey Mieno, Otieno and Shami Kibwana coming on for Macharia, Eric Zakayo and David Odoyo.

The changes brought some calm into the Tusker midfield and they were a bigger threat.

They were rewarded in the 89th minute when Otieno thumped home a header ffrom inside the six yard box off Mike Oduor’s corner.

They managed to guard the result and avoid the drama of penalties.

Meanwhile in other matches, Sofapaka beat Darajani Gogo 2-1 to make it to the last eight while Ulinzi Stars beat Kenya Police 2-1.

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