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Tusker to give 100 percent in Cup chase

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Tusker
Tusker FC players during training in Ukunda.
  • Tusker face Regional side Bumbani Stars in Ukunda
  • They reached the final of the Cup last year
  • Tusker beat Vihiga in a midweek friendly match

Tusker FC forward Eric Zakayo says they are taking Bumbani Stars FC with utmost seriousness, as they prepare to face the Kwale-based lower tier team in the round of 32 of the MozzartBet FKF Cup on Sunday afternoon in Ukunda.

Zakayo says they have prepared with utmost seriousness, and will tackle the match just like they would a Premier League side, saying underrating an opponent would be akin to committing tournament suicide.

“In football, there is no small or big opponent. Every opponent is wortrhy and for us we are taking every game seriously, whether or not we have knowledge of the opponent. We are ready to face them and fight for a win because that is the most important thing,” Zakayo says, speaking to the club’s official website.

He notes that the team has prepared well, and are focused on getting the job done especially with confidence picked from back to back wins in the Premier League.

He says they cannot afford to snooze in the Cup.

“This is a knockout game and every match is a final. If you lose you are out. We can’t afford to go light,” Zakayo says.

Tusker have prepared well

Tusker

Tusker FC coach Robert Matano passes on instructions during a training session in Ukunda.

He adds; “We have prepared well and this is a serious game for us because as Tusker, every Cup ahead of us, we must go on and win it. This is a winning team and we have to give 100percent in every tournament we go into.”

He also adds; “This year, the target is simple; to win the Cup.”

The team went all the way to the final of last year’s MozzartBet FKF Cup, losing to Kakamega Homeboyz, and they want to make amends this year and go one better.

Zakayo also says winning the Cup is a shorter route to playing Continental football and as players that is one big motivating factor.

“We have a very good team with good players and we all want to be tested at the Continental Stage. We want to play Continental football and that is why for us this tournament is very serious,” he concludes.

Tusker are 10 points behind league leaders Gor Mahia with 12 rounds of matches left, and the Cup looks like their best plan for Continental football next season.

They come into the Cup tie in good form, having beaten KCB 2-0 last weekend in the league, and Shabana 4-0 the week before, and they hope they can ride on that to see off an unpredictable Bumbani side in the Cup.

The brewers warmed up for the weekend match with a well worked 4-0 victory over National Super League side Vihiga Bullets in a friendly match on Thursday, before they travelled to Ukunda.

Coach Matano uses different teams

Tusker

Tusker FC striker Eric Kapaito in action during the friendly match against Vihiga.

Coach Robert Matano used two different sets of teams in either half, as he seeks to ensure everyone is match fit ahead of the run in of the FKF Premier League and the Mozzartbet FKF Cup.

Eric Otieno broke the deadlock in the seventh minute of the match, scoring from the rebound after his initial penalty was saved by the Vihiga keeper. John Njuguna then added the second in the 16th minute, his ball curling straight into the net from a corner.

On the other end, Edwin Simiyu didn’t have much to do but made a brilliant save halfway through the half from a snapshot inside the box.

In the second half, with a new set of players introduced, the dominance continued. Collins Otieno added the third in the 68th minute with a ferocious shot from the edge of the box after a quick touch took him off three of his markers.

Eric Kapaito then made it 4-0 nine minutes to time when he reacted quickest inside the box to slap the ball home after the keeper had spilled Eric Zakayo’s shot. Kapaito should have actually had a hatrick, but his two shots late on came off the bench.

First, his header from a Zakayo cross bounced off the crossbar while minutes later, a volley inside the box also came off the woodwork.

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