All Stars win evokes mixed reactions from Salim Ali

Mathare United’s first away win of the season has evoked mixed reactions from head coach Salim Ali who is pleased and at the same time worried by his side’s display.

United defeated league debutants Kisumu All Stars 2-1 in a round 6 KPL fixture played at the Moi Stadium on Saturday 19 October and aside from it being their first away win of the season, it also maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign.

“I thank my players for securing the win. Those are three invaluable points which keep us in the direction that we want to go,” head coach Salim Ali is quoted as saying on the club’s portal about the win that was achieved thanks to goals from Kevin Kimani and Clifford Alwanga.

Not impressed

“But aside from that I was not particularly impressed with our display. We were lethargic and did not play to our strengths. Credit to All Stars though for making it difficult for us,” the former Ulinzi Stars coach added.

The win also continued a particular trend that has been witnessed in now two of United’s six games thus far, where they have come back to secure a point or a win after conceding first as they did after Gershon Arabe’s opener on Saturday.

They did it against Tusker in the 1-1 draw on matchday 2 and an almost similar scenario came to unfold against Ulinzi Stars on matchday 3 where after conceding an equalizer, Salim’s men rallied and secured their first win of the season thanks to a late winner from Alwanga.

Positive and negative

Their ability to come back in matches has Salim pleased and at the same time excited. He Said, “The comebacks can be analyzed in two ways, either positive or negative. The positive is that we have the character to respond after conceding first. The negative aspect is that we are only responding after we have gone down in matches. It’s a worrying situation but one I believe we will tackle in our subsequent matches.” 

Alongside league leaders Gor Mahia and Western Stima, United are currently one of three teams yet to have tasted defeat this season. They lie 7th on the log with 10 points and will next up face off with Posta Rangers in a fortnight after round 7’s clash against Gor Mahia, that was scheduled for next weekend, was postponed due to the latter’s continental engagements.