Back-to-back KPL Top 8 champions Tusker begin their post-Francis Kimanzi era with a tough battle against also favorites, Gor Mahia, who continue their pursuit for a season clean sweep at the Afraha Stadium, Saturday afternoon.
Tusker this week parted ways with boss Kimanzi who ‘stepped aside’ just days after seeing his now former side crush out of the GOtv Shield competition at the hands of a less-fancied Nzoia United. Kimanzi replaced Robert Matano as the Brewers boss at the beginning of last season and went on to win the KPL Top 8 title, his only triumph at the club. Leonard Odipo will be in charge of this and the remaining matches this season.
He was on the touchline as Tusker thumped AFC Leopards 4-2 in the quarters to set a date with Ingwe’s Mashemeji rivals Gor Mahia, indubitably the best club in the country this and the past two seasons if their three consecutive league titles is anything to go by.
Kogalo on the other hand easily brushed aside Muhoroni Youth 3-0 thanks to goals from Meddie Kagere, Michael Olunga and George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo and were this past week triumphant in the GOtv Shield against Palos FC, winning 4-2.
Tusker wrestled the title from Gor Mahia, 2012 champions, with the Brewers winning the last two editions in 2013 and 2014. On both occasions, they bundled Gor Mahia out in the semifinal stages. They beat Kogalo 1-0 then battled for a barren draw in the return leg to win 1-0 on aggregate in 2013 where they beat Thika United 5-3 in the final.
Last year, they won the first leg 1-0 then drew the return leg 1-1 to book a date with AFC Leopards in the final which they won 2-1.
Frank Nuttall’s men will be aiming to end this semi-final jinx in the first of three matches to come against the Brewers who they play in the return leg as well as in the league before the season wraps up. Kogalo won 1-0 when the duo met in the league in June, Kagere with the solitary strike.
Match tickets for the 415pm kick off will be going for Kshs. 300 for the terraces and twice as much for the VIP. This clash will be preceded by Sofapaka and Sony Sugar’s battle at the same venue.
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