Matano: Never rule ‘Ingwe’ out

Wednesday February 14 2018

AFC Leopards fans celebrate their team’s goal during their Caf Confederation Cup match against FOSA Juniors of Madagascar which ended in a 1-1 draw at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega on February 11, 2018. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE |

AFC Leopards fans celebrate their team’s goal during their Caf Confederation Cup match against FOSA Juniors of Madagascar which ended in a 1-1 draw at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega on February 11, 2018. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOHN ASHIHUNDU
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AFC Leopards coach Robert Matano is confident his team can beat FOSA Juniors of Madagascar away in Antananarivo and advance to the second round of the Caf Confederation Cup.

The 13-time league champions face a tricky away trip after a 1-1 first leg draw with their opponents on Sunday in Kakamega.

But the coach has insisted that they have hopes of winning away when the meet on February 21.
Ingwe, who started their league campaign with a 1-1 draw with Posta Rangers, will, however, need a win of any kind or to settle for a scoring draw to stand a chance of facing the winner between Ngazi Sport of Mauritania and AS Port Louis of Mauritius who also drew 1-1 at the weekend.

“My players have promised to fight hard throughout the game and pile pressure in the return match. I have seen our opponents and I know what I will do in Madagascar,” he said.

Matano, who helped Ingwe clinch last year’s GOtv Shield before recording two wins against Ugandan champions KCCA and Sudan powerhouse Al Hilal, 2-1 and 4-1, respectively, in two preseason friendly matches, apologised to Ingwe fans who turned up in thousands to support the team.

“We conceded a very foolish goal, but I trust that we can do it. In my 32 years’ coaching life, I never give up and that is the same spirit my players have,” said Matano.

“We have enough time to prepare and plan well for the return leg,” added Matano, who has won local league titles with Sofapaka and Tusker FC.

“I want to build confidence and very soon this team will be there to surprise many.”

At Bukhungu, fans who included for Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Wilbur Ottichilo (Vihiga), Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma) and Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), among others politicians, criticised the players for their sluggish home display.