Butali Sugar Warriors coach Godfrey Wakachunga has urged his charges to show more fighting spirit ahead of Saturday’s Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League crunch match against leaders Kenya Police.
Wakachunga saw his side reduce the deficit between them and Police to five points after their hard-fought 2-1 win over Chase Sailors in a mid-week match played on Wednesday evening at City Park Stadium, Nairobi.
The tactician however admits they will need to do better against a red-hot Police side that has won 11 out 12 games so far this season.
“The win against Sailors gives us confidence going into the Police match but we have still got to iron out some few things so that we can approach the game at 100 percent,” he told Nation Sport.
Goals from Constance Wakhura and Vincent Odhiambo sealed the three points for the 2015 league winners, a result that saw Butali leapfrog Greensharks to second spot after their ninth win from 11 matches.
The Kisumu-based are on 29 points setting the stage for an epic clash between the two nemeses in Saturday evening’s top-of-the-table clash. And Wakachunga has set his sights on stopping the runaway leaders.
“If we can show the same fighting spirit we did against Chase Sailors and stop their key players, we have great chance of winning the match,” he added.
Butali had a perfect start against Chase, taking the lead in the fourth minute after Frank Wanangwe’s pin-point short corner was finished off by former Strathmore University Gladiators defender Wakhura.
Butali missed a host of chances to kill of the game as the Bankers struggled to get back in the contest.
However, Butali’s inability to bury their chances saw them get punished as the Sailors hit back in the third quarter with Titus Ngoila poking home the equaliser through a field goal.
With the game evenly poised, both sides went in search of the winner, opening up spaces on both ends.
It is Butali who had the last laugh after well worked move saw Wanangwe tee up Derrick Kuloba, who replaced the injured Brian Musasia in midfield.
Kuloba rode off the challenge of two Sailors’ players before setting up Odhiambo, who lifted the ball past the onrushing Sailors keeper Collins Asimba.
Despite late pressure from Sailors, Butali held on for the win and the three points in the first clash between the two sides.