Sports

Talanta Hela U19: Manoah reveals Vihiga scouted Homabay in Nyeri before nationals


NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 4 – Vihiga County head coach Edward Manoah has revealed that they had scouted Homabay County well, as they attended the national play-off tournament in Nyeri two weeks ago, hence their commanding victory in the opening match of the Talanta Hela National finals at the Nyayo Stadium on Sunday.

Homabay are seen as favorites for the title, but were stunned, losing 5-2 to Vihiga inb a thrilling duel.

“We went to Nyeri and watched them play and we knew they are very good technically. We strategized on getting them on fast breaks. We have players with speed and we got many of those moments and used them,” Manoah, a former coach of Vihiga United and Chemelil Sugar said.

Despite the huge win, Manoah still believes they can do better. “I am not very happy because they did not play to their potential. Our midfield is usually good but today Homabay were better than us. It is just that we had a good strategy and it worked. I believe that as the tournament progresses, we will get better.”

Action between Vihiga and Homabay County at the Talanta Hela U19 tournament. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu
Action between Vihiga and Homabay County at the Talanta Hela U19 tournament. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Meanwhile, Homabay coach George Ouma was left ruing luck and said his team did all but score goals and that was the biggest difference.

“It hardly happens that you have five counter attacks and four of them are goals. I don’t think they (Vihiga) played really well, but they scored. It goes with luck sometimes. It doesn’t matter how much you change formations and all. If luck is not on your side, you will not win,” said the tactician.

He adds; “We have learnt a lot from this first game. This is our first defeat in a very long time and we have to restructure and look at what we need to adjust ahead of the next game.”

The tactician says they will need to tighten on their defensive approach to ensure they are not leaking goals as they did against Vihiga.

Homabay players react during their Talanta Hela U19 tourney opener against Vihiga. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu
Homabay players react during their Talanta Hela U19 tourney opener against Vihiga. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Ouma believes that Homabay can still win the overall title and adds that the defeat has spurred more hunger in them.

They will play their next match on Tuesday against Kericho and victory will be key if they are to harbor quarter final hopes. Meanwhile, Vihiga play Garissa on the same day and victory will grant them a place in the quarters.

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