Kisumu All Stars lost at home for the first time this season courtesy of a rampant Nairobi City Stars in a National Super League (NSL) week 16 clash hosted at the Moi Stadium on Saturday 12. Coming on the back of controversial away loss to Kangemi All Stars, the Nickanor Aketch-coached side could have done with a point at home but fluffed that opportunity.
Aketch's assistant- Paul Ogai, says nothing worked for the team right from the start. With the visitors taking a quick 2-0 lead by the break, All Stars's defensive strength as evidenced in previous matches had finally been breached.
''It was a bad match for us. We were all down and it didn't work out the way we thought it should have especially in the first half,'' says Ogai whose side had only conceded 10 goals before the City Stars match.
Their week 15 Kangemi match had been marred with protests on dubious officiating as the home side sailed 1-0 past Kisumu All Stars through a penalty kick- the very source of the protests. This could have played a role in his players' morale heading back home for the City Stars tie.
''We had trained well, knew how City Stars have a culture of knocking the ball around but we just were never tactically disciplined on the day. There wre some positives though. Billy Agai came on in the second half, settled the game but it was too late to stage a comeback,'' he adds.
The two losses sees All Stars drop to ninth on the 19-team NSL log with 25 points from 16 matches. they have now scored just as much as they have conceded and stay one point above their recent opposition City Stars. Ogai feels the need to work on his players' mental strength before things get out of hand.
''Losing two matches back to back is never a good sign that's why we are focusing on bringing back the players' self-esteem back to the top because confidence levels are bound to drop with such a form,'' he concludes.
All Stars next head back to Nairobi for a dicey date with a resurgent Kibera Black Stars who- a stark contrast to All Stars- have won their last two matches. They play at Jericho's Camp Toyoyo Grounds on May 18 from 3 pm Kenyan time.