Mathare United coach Ali impressed despite Sofapaka defeat

Salim Ali of Mathare United.
Mathare United.
The Slum Boys started their 2020/21 season on a faulty ground after they were unable to pick at least a point against Batoto ba Mungu

Mathare United head coach Salim Ali has stated he was impressed despite his side going down 4-2 against Sofapaka in a Football Kenya Federation Premier League match on Saturday in Wundanyi.

A hat-trick from Lawrence Juma and one goal from Nixon Omondi were enough to hand Sofapaka their second win of the season. Daniel Otieno and Chris Ochieng scored for Mathare United as they fell on their first hurdle in the season.

“I was very impressed with how my players performed,” Ali said was quoted by the club’s Facebook page.

“It was a difficult match given everything that has happened in the lead-up to our first game of the season and I cannot fault my players for the loss. They gave everything and as a coach that is what you want.”

The tactician said it would not be enough to judge Mathare United solely on the margin of loss since they had brilliant moments on the pitch against the 2009 Premier League champions.

“The scoreline looks as if we were played off the pitch but that just wasn’t the case,” the tactician added.

“We caused Sofapaka plenty of problems going forward, especially in the second half and we were almost close to sealing an incredible comeback with the score at 3-2, but sadly it never quite happened.”

Ali is now focused on the next games as they hope to catch up with the rest of the teams in the competition.

“We now have to recover quickly as we play again on Thursday. Saturday’s performance gives us immense confidence and motivation,” he concluded.

The next game for the Slum Boys will be an away tie against the reigning champions Gor Mahia. They will then face Zoo FC on January 18 and four days later they will host Bandari.

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Mathare United started the 2020/21 season late after they were expelled by the Football Kenya Federation due to their objection to the StarTimes broadcasting deal.

They, alongside Zoo, were reinstated by the Sports Disputes Tribunal pending the determination of the case the two clubs launched against the FKF.

Although the FKF accepted their reinstatement, federation president Nick Mwendwa said they would not enjoy the sponsorship grants from StarTimes.