NAIROBI, Kenya-Yusuf Chippo has allayed fears of a goalkeeping crisis at Mathare United FC ahead of their crunch SportPesa Premier League (SPL) match against Muhoroni Youth FC to be played at the Ruaraka Stadium on Saturday.
The Slum Boys will be without regular custodian Levis Opiyo for this encounter due to suspension after he picked a booking in their last outing against Nzoia Sugar FC to accumulate five yellow cards.
With Wycliffe Kasaya still out injured, rookie Mark Kioko will start in between the sticks on Saturday.
Kioko, who is yet to make his debut for the club, joined the Slum Boys in January after impressing in a talent search organized by a bookmaker last year that saw the youngster travel to English Premier League side, West Ham United FC.
Speaking to SportPesa News, Chippo- who was in the panel of coaches that conducted the talent search-is confident that the budding custodian will give a good account of himself on his debut.
“He has what it takes because the panel that picked him was formidable. We had experienced scouts from West Ham and they agreed that he fits the bill.
“In fact he has the potential to become one of the best goalkeepers in the country in the near future,” Chippo maintained.
With Muhoroni already relegated, Francis Kimanzi’s charges need maximum points to enhance their chances of SPL survival.
Despite the pressure surrounding the encounter, Chippo believes Kioko has come of age having been Opiyo’s understudy for most of the second leg of the SPL.
“Such opportunities come in such an environment. It is now up to him to stand strong and prove himself. I don’t have any doubt in his capability,” the former Harambee Stars assistant head coach added.
A win for the 2008 SPL title winner will take their tally to 38 points and closer to safety.
The first leg ended in a barren draw and with nothing to lose, the danger for Mathare is facing a Muhoroni side that is determined not to go down alone.