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FKF Premier League

Matano: Tusker gave Posta Rangers ‘a gift goal but we will not give up’

18:16 BST 15/06/2021
Tusker coach Robert Matano.
The veteran tactician was left gutted by the goal they conceded against the Mailmen but maintains the race for the title is not over yet

Tusker coach Robert Matano has admitted the team’s shock 1-0 defeat against struggling Posta Rangers has slowed the Brewers down in their quest to clinch the FKF Premier League title.

The Brewers knew ahead of the fixture they needed to win to move five points clear ahead of second-placed KCB, but despite dominating the home clash they failed to take their chances and they were punished in the 79th minute when Josephat Lopaga scored for the Mailmen.

The veteran Matano has now blamed his players for giving their opponents a “gift goal”.

What has been said?

“It was a gift goal, we gave out a gift goal and there is nothing we could do, so we are going back to the drawing board to work hard again to see how we can respond in our next match,” Matano told Goal after the game.

Asked about their chances to be at the top of the 18-team table by the end of June 30, Matano explained: “We are going to fight, we still have some three matches to go, we will fight on, we will not give up, we will fight on.”

On the defeat against Rangers, Matano admitted it had slowed down their progress and plans but maintained there was nothing permanent and what matters is how they will respond in their next assignment.

“The defeat has slowed down our progress, that is for sure, but now nothing is permanent and we have to move on, all we want to see is a good response in our next match.

“It was unfortunate we could not score [against Rangers] and that is why we didn’t win, but we are going to work on that and bounce back in a better way.”

Okumbi happy to earn revenge

On his part, Rangers coach Stanley Okumbi said he was happy to earn revenge against the side that beat them 4-1 in the first-round meeting.

“It is a fair share because they beat us in the first round meeting and we have earned revenge, it was my first game when I signed for Rangers and so they beat us, so I am happy now we have revenged,” Okumbi told Goal.

“When they beat us last time out, we were still struggling I was yet to get to know my players but today [Tuesday] our plans worked well, I am happy my players got it right and I am happy they also managed a clean sheet against the league leaders, it shows there is a great improvement in the squad.”

Okumbi continued: “We have also struggled to score goals even when we dominate matches but today we managed one which is a positive sign, and also the most important thing keeping a clean sheet, and it is something we have really been working on.”

After all the missed chances, the Brewers were punished in the 79th minute after sloppy defending saw Lopaga make a good solo run with the ball and fire it into the bottom left corner for maximum points.

Tusker will remain on top with 36 points from 19 matches but AFC Leopards have a chance to overtake them to 39 points if they beat Sofapaka in another top-flight match at Wundanyi Stadium on Wednesday.