Assad targeting to upset Gor as FKF Shield kicks off
SS Assad head coach Ali Chitswa has issued a warning to reigning Kenyan Premier League champions (KPL) Gor Mahia, saying his boys can silence them in Sunday’s FKF Shield clash.
The match which was initially set for the June 1-3rd weekend will now be played on Sunday at the Mbaraki Sports Club, following the rescheduling of the KPL match between eternal rivals AFC Leopards and Gor.
Chitswa acknowledged Gor will be a hard nut to crack by the Football Kenya Federation Division One side, but underlined the burning desire to upset the 16-time KPL champions.
Assad draws inspiration from their coastal counterparts Bandari (of KPL) who edged Gor from the last year’s edition, despite their impressive league record reaming the only unbeaten side in the topflight.
“I know the odds are against us because Gor Mahia is probably the biggest club in Kenya but they should not underrate us. We can beat them; our aim is to make sure that we get something in the game despite coming into the match as underdogs,” charged Chitswa.
National stage set
The coach further offered his players a relishing the opportunity to lock horns with some of the finest players not only from Kenya but across East Africa and beyond, noting it is a motivation of its kind.
According to Chitswa, the match will be a platform for the players to showcase their ability against the ‘mighty K’Ogalo,’ currently cruising fairly in the CAF Confederations Cup.
“Our objective is also to make sure that we give opportunities to our young players so that they can get promotion. I will do that on Sunday, and something spectacular from probably the little known players could be the turning point for some of them. I have a fully fit squad hence Gor should be ready for a gruelling duel,” added the tactician.
On the other hand, Gor Chief Executive Officer Ludovick Aduda has disputed claims that his side may field a “second string,” squad in Sunday’s clash. Paradoxically, Aduda insisted the match will not be taken lightly and they will involve some key players.
“We wish to confirm that we are treating the upcoming Shield match against SS Assad with the seriousness it deserves. This is especially in consideration that the winner of the tournament will represent the country in an international competition (CAF Confederations) next year.
“In football there is no small team and anything can happen. If we can give a European club like Hull City a run for their money the same can happen against us here. It will be foolhardy to underrate Assad especially after we learnt a lesson two years ago,” observed Aduda.
K’Ogalo are looking to win the title for the first time in six years since winning it in 2012, when they defeated Sofapaka FC 3-0 on post match penalties after a barren stalemate in the regulation time.
Round 64 full fixtures:
Fortune Sacco vs Mwatate United
Berlin vs Bandari FC
Emmausians vs Leysa
Re-Union vs Sofapaka
Babadogo United vs Equity Bank
SS Assad vs Gor Mahia
Nanyuki Youth vs Kariobangi Sharks
Ligi Ndogo vs Talanta
Rain Forest vs Sony Sugar
Vegpro vs GFE 105
MKU Nakuru vs Kisumu All Stars
Nakuru West Combined vs Kenya Police
TransMillan vs Ulinzi Stars
Egerton University vs Western Stima
TransMara Sugar vs Posta Rangers
Bungoma Super Stars vs Timsales