August 2, 2021

Mathare United’s Ali explains why fatigue played part in draw against Western Stima

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The tactician has welcomed the league break which he believes will help his players gain fitness

Mathare United head coach Salim Ali believes fatigue is slowly creeping into his squad after back-to-back Football Kenya Federation Premier League matches in a span of a short period.

The recent outing for the Slum Boys was at Kasarani Stadium on Thursday where they settled to a 1-1 draw with Western Stima, having lost 1-0 to Tusker on Sunday.

The youthful coach has pointed out why his team looked off at times.

“It has not been easy for us because after every two or three days we have been playing,” Ali told Goal on Friday.

“Some of my players looked fatigued and at some point, they struggled to match their opponents. It played a part in our draw at home. But we appreciate the point that we managed to pick.”

After this weekend, the league takes a break and will resume after two weeks and the former Ulinzi Stars coach has expressed his relief.

“At least the break will give us some time to rest and restructure,” Ali stated.

“The players will get some time to get their energy back and ensure we have a better re-start on resumption. 

“We have at least managed to play together as a team and it has given me more insight of the players considering the fact that we did not have time for proper pre-season.”

On Thursday, the 2008 champions were the first to score courtesy of Daniel Otieno, but with seconds to go, Mukisa Junior replied.

The first half ended with neither of the two teams getting the ball into the back of the net.

It seemed the match would end goalless until the 85th minute. Substitute Khalid Jumaan picked out Otieno in a good area and the forward did not hesitate to hit the back of the net.

The former champions thought they had done enough to walk home with maximum points, but Stima had other ideas.

With seconds to go, Mukisa capitalised on a concentration lapse to ensure the spoils were shared.

“It was all about concentration lapses in the stoppages and we were punished,” Ali explained.

“We now have to take the lessons and ensure it does not happen again next time. In the top tier, you get punished if you sleep on the job.”