•Mathare who have 26 points, a massive 18 off top spot occupied by Gor Mahia host Zoo Kericho at Kasarani on Saturday.
•Ali, despite frustrations of a second successive draw held up his defence as a show of improving form.
Mathare United coach Salim Ali has praised his defence in the wake of their 1-1 stalemate with Sofapaka over the weekend.
The Slum Boys, with their title hopes now going up in smoke, have the Kenyan Premier League seventh-best defence having conceded 20 goals in 18 matches.
Ali, despite frustrations of a second successive draw, held up his defence as a show of improving form.
“We had a lapse in concentration and allowed a late goal but we played well overall especially the defensive line which was a makeshift after the early injury setbacks,” he said on the Mathare's portal.
Ali added: “The result, of course, is not what we wanted as we had planned for the win and we were very close to securing it but that is football."
On loan acquisition, Swaleh Chacha made his debut from the bench with the resultant changes affecting the defensive rhythm of the team, according to Ali.
“I believe the players handled themselves really well up until Sofapaka’s goal. It is, howver, a disappointment that we could not manage to win and it feels as if we have lost. But we take the point and look towards making amends in our next game,” Ali concluded. Mathare, who have 26 points, a massive 18 off top spot occupied by Gor Mahia host Zoo Kericho at Kasarani on Saturday.