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Veteran tactician Robert Matano has his eyes firmly on KPL title

By James Magayi
Tuesday, January 14th, 2020
Tusker FC coach Robert Matano follows proceedings during a past match. Photo/SPORTPICHA

Veteran tactician Robert Matano has set his sights on the 2019/20 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title after guiding 11-time champions Tusker to the league summit on 37 points.

Matano has won the league twice before, in 2009 with promoted Sofapaka and in 2012 with Tusker.

With a one-point advantage over second-placed Kakamega Homeboyz and a growing distance between him and serial winners Gor Mahia, the fiery tactician is everyone’s bet to lift the title.

The defending champions’ vulnerability has in retrospect catalysed growing hope that either Tusker or Kakamega Homeboyz can wrestle the title from Gor’s three-season grip.

“We set out to win the league just like everyone and we are on course, going by what we have achieved so far.

It is one game at a time and so we cannot get carried away with the victory over Bandari.

I said the league is a marathon and only those who endure to the end will reap,” Matano said after Brain Marita’s 97th minute goal gifted Tusker three points at Mbaraki.

“It is very difficult when you are on top because you are the one every other team is looking at.

So we have to work even harder to stay where we are,” said the tactician who must carefully craft his way around the next 16 league games.

Expectations are also high in Kakamega following Homeboyz’s first victory over Gor on Sunday. 

Former Kenyan international Nicholas Muyoti has guided Homeboyz to second on the log and sit just a point shy of Tusker.

The youthful AFC Leopards legend believes he too has the chance of joining the list of title winning tacticians.

“It was coming, the victory over Gor Mahia. We prepared well for them and got the rewards.

Now there are 16 other opponents we need to beat to win the league because that is our target this season,” Muyoti said

The league is, however, far from a two-horse race as third-placed Ulinzi Stars, defending champions Gor Mahia and even fifth-placed KCB have a shout.

KCB under Zedekia Otieno have looked serious enough to compete for the title but inconsistencies have hampered their rise.

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