Matasi’s brave decision that paid off handsomely for Kenya Police FC

Kenya Police Football Club Captain Musa Mohammed leads teammates in celebration with FKF League Mozzart Trophy on June 29, 2024 at Ulinzi Sports Complex.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

A brave decision by Kenya Police Football Club’s experienced goalkeeper, Patrick Matasi, has paid off big time, earning the team a chance to play in the 2024/2025 Caf Confederation Cup.

On Sunday, the shot-stopper took the decisive spot-kick that earned his team victory in an evenly-contested final match of Mozzart Bet Cup (Football Kenya Federation Cup) at Ulinzi Sports Complex in Nairobi.

Patrick Matasi

Patrick Matasi saves a shot.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

Afterwards, Matasi said he was certain of scoring, hence his decision to take the last spot-kick in his team’s 8-7 win over KCB.

The match was decided in penalties after the two teams had battled to a barren draw in both regular and extra time.

It is the first major title that Kenya Police FC have won since their promotion to the Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) in September 2021. Apart from pocketing Sh2 million in prize money, the law enforcers have also booked a ticket to next season’s Caf Confederation Cup.

Ten-time champions AFC Leopards finished third following a 2-1 win over Kariobangi Sharks in the third-place play-off earlier at the same venue.

There was palpable tension inside the 7,500-seater stadium during penalty shootouts between Police and KCB, with every fan who graced the action-packed match on the edge of his seat. After giving his side an advantage by saving Shadrack Simiyu’s spot-kick on the ninth penalty for the bankers, Matasi stepped up to send his opposite number Farouk Shikalo the wrong way, setting off wild celebration among the team’s fans.

He then wheeled away in celebration,  the entire Kenya Police brigade, including coach Salim Babu, giving a chase.

Patrick Matasi

Patrick Matasi.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

“I was expecting us to score all the first four penalties then I take the decider. Unfortunately, that did not happen and so when he had the advantage, I was very sure of scoring. I was under no pressure at all,” the Harambee Stars first-choice goalkeeper said. He was named man-of-the-match.

Heading to yesterday’s final match, Matasi had urged his team mates to defend well, as he was sure of coming to the rescue of Kenya Police in penalty kicks.

“Such a tournament needs good defending and goalkeeping. Because I have played in many tournaments like this, I have the necessary experience. I told my team mates that if we cannot score, then we must play well and avoid conceding a goal in the extra 30 minutes as I was sure of saving the penalties,” he said.

The Kenya international has tipped the vastly-experienced Kenya Police squad to perform well in the Caf Confederation Cup.

Patrick Matasi

Patrick Matasi.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

“Our squad has seven national team players and I believe we are capable of performing well in the tournament. We will take the challenge positively as long as we have good preparations,” he said.

To reach the final, Police defeated Leopards 1-0 in the semi-finals. They had beaten Sofapaka 4-0 in he quarter-finals.

For KCB, the loss means their long wait for a major silverware continues. The bankers have never won the FKF-PL nor the FKF Cup.