The veteran tactician explains why the Brewers could not march Ingwe in the season opener staged at Kasarani
Tusker coach Robert Matano has blamed lack of training for the team’s 2-1 defeat against AFC Leopards in the FKF Premier League opener played on Saturday.
The Brewers took a deserved lead through David Majak but goals from captain Robinson Kamura and striker Elvis Rupia, who converted from the penalty spot, was enough to hand Ingwe maximum points in the match played at Kasarani Stadium.
The veteran Matano has now said his side was not a match for Ingwe since they have not trained together for a long time owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Unlike our opponents [AFC Leopards] who have been in camp for a while now, we have not been training together, we only trained a few days for this match and so I don’t think we could have marched them,” Matano told Goal after the match.
Goal 50 Revealed: The best 50 players in the world
“Leopards started their preparations for the league months ago, they have been in camp together but look at my team, we only assembled to train for this, we came knowing we can get a win but we have lost.
“However, we can have some lessons to learn from the fixture and it will help us to prepare the team for the next assignment, I now know the areas which will need to be improved.”
The match marked the return of football to Kenya after nine months in the cold, as the league was suspended prematurely in mid-March after the outbreak of the coronavirus.
With fans banned from watching matches, AFC Leopards were the first to arrive at the match venue with Tusker following, and in hand to receive the teams was FKF president Nick Mwendwa, who was happy to see the return of football.
“I am happy for the players and the teams, now they can play and do what they like doing most, playing football, and now they can earn from the sport,” Mwendwa told Goal.
It was Sudanese important Majak who grabbed the first goal of the new campaign, after he took advantage of a misunderstanding between AFC Leopards defenders, to stab home from close range.
However, the lead was short-lived as Ingwe drew level courtesy of captain Kamura, who drilled home a low foot effort before Rupia made sure they left the pitch with maximum points after sending the Tusker keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.
In other matches played on Saturday, Kakamega Homeboyz edged out promoted side Vihiga United 1-0 while Bandari beat Sofapaka by the same margin.