Nakuru Hockey Club head coach Tony Agesa has attributed Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Butali to the attitude shown by his players during the match.
Nakuru, who had not lost their last three games at the Greensteds International School grounds, seemed very much inferior to their opponents for the entire sixty minutes and were lucky not absorb more goals than the two they conceded.
Butali got off to a bright start with numerous attacks in the first two quarters but were unproductive in the unfamiliar grassy field as all attempts failed to find the back of the net. The hosts had meanwhile recognized the impending danger and resorted to defense, leaving only Dolcan Mugaisi up field to make full use of the cleared balls.
After a rather unsuccessful first half, Butali’s immense efforts finally paid off just three minutes into the third quarter when Zack Aura capitalized on Denis Mageto’s lose clearance to give his side the opening goal. Frank Wanangwe then put the game out of reach for Nakuru in the 56th minute when he calmly beat keeper Mageto to finish into an empty net. Despite staging improved displays in the last quarter of the match, the hosts were unable to break down Butali’s defense with the tie ending 2-0.
Speaking after the match, Tony Agesa noted that they lost the match purely on the attitude shown by his players on the pitch. He was referring to the many instances where Nakuru players kept on having exchange of words with the umpires while the game was on, which in the long run led to frustrations.
“The losing of heads is what cost us this game. In the first half, we were taking everything to the umpire and before we realized that we might lose the game, it was too late,’’ said Agesa.
“We have made several steps forward in the last few matches but in this one we have made a step backward….and it is not in the game itself because when you look keenly we have conceded from two mistakes. It is the attitude and we need to go back to the basics of assertiveness; how to approach a match and how to approach umpires.’’
“You know as a coach it becomes hard when you start dealing with ways to cool down the tempers of your players instead of focusing on the real issues of the game. But they knew they were up against probably one of the best team in the league with very good players and hence the need to prove something. We will however sit down and talk about our temperaments and characters so that we don’t repeat that in the next match,’’ added the tactician.
Following the defeat, Nakuru drop to tenth on the league table with eight points from similar number of matches and next face Western Jaguars on Saturday July 21, 22018 in Kakamega.
The result meanwhile sees Butali back to winning ways following a frustrating 3-0 loss to rivals Kenya Police. The sugar millers are now just three points shy of the law enforcers with a game in hand and up next for them is a tie against Wazalendo on Sunday July 22, 2018.