Olaba pleased by spirit, not result
AFC Leopards head coach Tom Olaba was unhappy with his side’s opening result of the 2013 Kenyan Premier League but nonetheless praised his players’ spirit.
Leopards were held to a 1-1 draw by Chemelil Sugar at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani, on Sunday.
It was up to new signing Noah Abich to salvage a point for Leopards with a late penalty after Jared Omwenga had given Chemelil an early lead.
Olaba, who saw his side play with ten men for over half an hour in the second half after Mike Baraza was sent off, was categorical that he wanted a win, but believes his players earned their money on the day.
“It is disappointing because we wanted to start with a win. We want to win all our matches here at AFC Leopards so when we do not we are unhappy. On the other hand, the players did well especially when we went down to 10 men. They (Chemelil) had frustrated us to that point so to go down to 10 men was a blow for us.
“But we fought hard and deserved a point for our display and maybe could have won in the end. A draw is not the best result but I have to pay tribute to the players who worked ever so hard.”
For a second consecutive season, Chemelil have stolen a point off Leopards on the opening day of the season and Olaba insists it is not by chance.
“They have always been a solid side and will always frustrate teams. Chemelil have a system of play that is hard to break down so many teams will struggle against them. They showed that they are no pushovers and will do the same to many other sides this season. It shows what to expect this season in the league,” he added.