Chemelil Sugar FC now eyes third place finish in the Kenyan Premier League according to head coach Francis Baraza.
Gor Mahia’s 2-1 win over Mathare United on Sunday shattered the miller’s hopes of a top two finish with their point tally now standing at 44, seven behind defending champions with two matches left to the end of the season.
“Defensive lapse cost us vital points in the past two matches and we are working on that ahead of our next game away to Thika United. Our target is to finish third in the league,” he said yesterday.
Two weeks ago, Chemelil had hopes of winning the league title but two identical one all draw against Posta Ranges and Western Stima thwarted their ambition.
Baraza attributed their ‘exit’ in the title run-in to injuries that plugged some of his dependable players in the team.
“I am glad we are almost at our level best with the return of Echesa (Hillary) and Jared Obwoge who I think will play an important role in making sure we remain at the top. Definitely the defense is one of the areas I am planning to reinforce in the remaining matches and after the season.”
He added: “To win matches you need your players to at their level best and sometimes balancing the squad has been difficult with the number of players off with injuries. We have been playing well in the first half but fall short in the closing minutes.”
Echesa who was nursing an injury had a full match in their 1-1 draw with Western Stima at Moi stadium same to club’s top scorer and Posta Rangers loanee Obwoge who had missed the encounter against his parent club a week earlier.
Part of their defensive problems has also been partly to the exit of their most priced youthful defender Joseph Okumu who left for South Africa’s top tier outfit Free State Stars.
After Thika United, Baraza’s men will wind up the 2016 KPL campaign against sixth placed Mathare United at Chemelil complex.