Nsimbe verdict: We have underperformed this season

By alex wafula
Oct 11, 2017
  • Tusker FC defender Collins Shivachi tackles Kariobangi Sharks forward Masoud Juma in a KPL match on Wednesday. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

George Nsimbe, the Tusker FC coach admitted his team has underperformed this season.

They were eliminated from the GOtv Shield in the quarter finals and their charge to retain the Kenyan Premier League title went up in flames.

On Wednesday, Tusker FC drew 0-0 with Kariobangi Sharks at their Ruaraka base in Nairobi. As a result, they are now 20 points off leaders Gor Mahia with seven matches to play.

The result virtually blows away their title hopes. Gor needs just a point on Sunday against Mathare United to erase any slim arithmetic hope for Tusker FC to retain the title.

“This year we have not done well and our biggest problem has been scoring. We started the season badly and that is why we are where we are today. Hopefully next season we can do things better and get good results,” Nsimbe said after the match on Wednesday.

The tactician believes that the team’s management still has faith in him, despite an underperforming season. “It is out of my hands, but I know that they will have faith in me for next season,” the tactician stated.

Tusker's struggle to score goals this season was evident in the mid-week fixture against Kariobangi Sharks.

Both teams had scoring opportunities in the opening half but were not clinical. Brian Osumba's 12th minute shot from range went wide.

One minute later, skipper James Situma made a decisive shield to block away Calvin Odongo who was racing in from the blind side to meet an Elli Asieche low cross which had beaten keeper Duncan Ochieng.

Frantic start

It was a frantic start to the match with each side throwing in hammer and tong to break the deadlock.

Kariobangi Sharks chose to build up from the back tapping the ball upfield, while Tusker FC relied on breaks from Noah Wafula and Danson Kago on either wing.

Odongo tried his luck with another go at goal in the 14th minute, this time rifling in a left footer from the edge of the box but was unsuccessful.

In the 19th minute, Tusker FC had the best chance of the game when Wafula did well to shake off his marker and found space for himself to meet up a corner from Kago, but headed straight at keeper John Oyemba from close range.

Tusker FC had shouts for a penalty drowned two minutes later after Mike Khamati seemed to have been nudged from the back on his way into the box.

The forward had managed to maintain some balance before toe poking the ball goalward, Oyemba saving with his knees.

There was growing frustration especially from Tusker FC because of their inability to convert chances which irked assistant coach Francis Baraza.

Humphrey Mieno who had been deployed in a deep lying role had a shot from the edge of the box come off the upright in Tusker’s closest knock to a goal.

In the second half, Tusker kept attacking and in the 57th minute, Oyemba came to Kariobangi Sharks rescue again, palming away Khamati’s header from a Kago cross.

Glorious opportunity

In the 66th minute, Collins Shivachi had a glorious opportunity with a lone header from Eugene Asike freekick but the effort went wide.

The pace slowed down with both teams appearing fatigued after coming off tough weekend ties. In the final 10 minutes, Kariobangi Sharks briefly sparkled.

In the 83rd minute, Masoud Juma broke away from the left but his shot came off the upright.

Three minutes to time, Eugene Asike threw his body down bravely to block a goal-bound effort from substitute Ebrimah Sanneh who had broken into the box. Another substitute Ovellah Ochieng twice had shots go wide.

In other fixtures on Wednesday, Western Stima’s fight to avoid relegation came off an obstacle as they drew 1-1 with Nakumatt in Kisumu.

The powermen were headed for a slim hard fought 1-0 win but Boniface AKenga struck late to ensure the two sides share spoils.

In Kericho, hosts Zoo Kericho came from a goal down to draw 2-2 with Nzoia Sugar.

KPL midweek results: Tusker FC 0 Kariobangi Sharks 0 (Ruaraka), Western Stima 1 Nakumatt 1 (Moi Stadium, Kisumu), Zoo Kericho 2 Nzoia Sugar 2 (Kericho Green Stadium).