FKF Premier league side Nairobi City Stars, has been dealt a major blow as they prepare to take on current league leaders Tusker FC, without the services of their influential midfielder Peter ‘Pinches’ Opiyo.
Opiyo, incidentally City Stars top scorer this season with four goals, was slapped with a fifth yellow card this season in the last game against AFC Leopards.
The card was earned in the 61st minute after a challenge on a Leopards’ player deep in the City Stars territory.
“That card really disturbed me. I didn’t expect to get one but hey, that’s the nature of the game. You have to be prepared to miss some matches.” said Opiyo
City Stars tactician Sanjin Alagic is scratching his head on Opiyo’s possible replacement against the Brewers who head into this match seeking to maintain their momentum at the top of the table.
He has however remained positive of a great outcome, saying the available players have prepared sufficiently well and his charges are ready for the tie.
“Absence of Pinchez in the match against Tusker, the leading team in table, it’s big blow for us, because he’s such an important player in our team. When you play against the best teams in the league definitely you need all your best players in the squad,”
“But I don’t want to whine about that, we will try to prepare ourselves in the best possible way and get ready for the match to achieve a positive result.” Sanjin stated.
So far Pinchez has clocked the full 90 minutes in all the 15 games into the season and, he emerged as City Stars most valuable Player in four games against Wazito, KCB, Ulinzi Stars and Kakamega Homeboyz.
He scored in three straight January games against Wazito, Posta Rangers and Ulinzi Stars, then added a fourth against Western Stima in March.
The 28-year-old much traveled former Kenya International joined Simba wa Nairobi, at the beginning of last year to end speculation over his next move amid intense interest from a host of local clubs, including his former employers Gor Mahia.
“Joining City Stars was a very easy decision to make. I loved the vision of the President (Jonathan Jackson), the quality of the coach (Sanjin Alagic) and the players that had joined the club. That sealed my decision. The club is professionally run just like some of those I turned out for abroad” he noted.