Strathmore students tread on infested Sharks' territory

By ronnie evans
Jun 08, 2017
  • Meshack Senge comes up against his former team-mate Ben Owaga. They have different roles as coaches of opposing teams. (SNA. File Photo)

  • Green Sharks coach Ben Owaga looking forward to capitalizing on Strathmore's shaky performance in the Premier League. (SNA. File Photo)

Green Sharks coach Ben Owaga aims to capitalize on defending champions Strathmore University’s slump in form this season as the pair clash in a Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match at the City Park Stadium on Saturday.

Owaga believes that the students have been destabilized by the lengthy winless run and their struggles to put in a decent shift will give his side a mental advantage.

“They have struggled this season as the champions and we are going to turn that in our favour. I believe that it is going to be a tight match but at the same time confident that we will be beat them,” he said.

He has identified quick counter attacks and set pieces as their focal point for goals hunting. Strathmore University has failed to live up to the lofty expectations that saw the team defy the form book and crowned champions.

In this campaign, they have just managed one win in nine matches and lie in 12th position on the 15 team log on seven points. This form has given confidence to the ‘smaller’ teams as seen in their 2-5 loss to Wazalendo two weeks ago.

Green Sharks in contrast are high flyers in the league. They are second, eight points behind leaders Kenya Police on 23 points.

“As I said before we knew that we would get a chance once the leaders dropped points and we want to close that gap,” Owaga added.

Offensive trio

Green Sharks will rely heavily on the offensive trio of Alex Kubasu, Chris Wokila and danger man Chris Muchwanju who has scored five goals this season.

Victor Osiche is expected to offer more options in attack from his deep lying midfield role.

Strathmore University first choice goalkeeper Peter Okinda could be overlooked again after being dropped in the last match against Kenya Police.

Simon Odhiambo stepped up in that match as they narrowly lost 0-1. Captain Francis Kariuki and Festus Onyango will be the key men up front for the students.

Meanwhile Wazalendo coach Fidhelis Kimanzi is buoyed by their formidable display against Kenya Police in their enthralling 3-3 draw on Wednesday.

He said that his side is fired up for the next assignment against Western Jaguars on Sunday.

Although the two sides are on the opposite ends of the table, he insists that they will take no chances and maintain their tactical discipline.

“They defend in numbers and are very capable of causing an upset. We want to maintain the seriousness we have shown before. This is a match that we should win,” he stressed.

Weekend Fixtures

Saturday: United States International University-Africa v Multimedia University (10 a.m.) - Premier League Women; Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology v Kabarak University (12 p.m.), Multimedia University v Dedan Kimathi University (2 p.m.), Mombasa Sports Club v Mombasa West (3 p.m, Mombasa) - National League; Technical University of Kenya v Western Jaguars (4 p.m.), Strathmore University v Green Sharks (6 p.m.) - Premier League Men.

Sunday: Wazalendo v Western Jaguars (9 a.m.), Kenyatta University v Parklands Sports Club (5 p.m.) - Premier League Men; Karate Axiom v Kabarak University (11 a.m.), Multimedia University v University of Nairobi (3 p.m.), Bay Club v Youngstars (10 a.m, Kisumu) - National League; Vikings v University of Nairobi (1 p.m.) - Premier League Women.