Oktay: We deserved better in CECAFA

Gor Mahia tactician Hassan Oktay believes the quarter-final exit at this year’s CECAFA club cup did not reflect the club’s performance.

“We really do not deserve to come out of this tournament given how we played, we actually should not have come out. But we also missed international players like Francis Kahata and Jacques Tuyisenge together with national players (Otieno and Onyango). That means we came with young boys and so it was not going to be easy. But still we should have played in the semi-final or in the final given the quality we have and unfortunately, that will not happen.” he said to goal.com

The biggest issue at Gor Mahia currently is the lack of an established striker went on Oktay.

“Unfortunately, we were lacking the final touch and it is something I have seen before and talked about it so many times. When you leave key national players and come with some young boys this (defeat) happens. They need the experience to deal with this kind of football arena which is very very different.” he said.

Oktay also thinks his side may have under-estimated the Zambians.

“I was not pleased with the boys’ performance but I don’t think we deserved to leave the tournament. We underestimated Green Eagles and unfortunately, they punished us from our mistakes. We didn’t have enough quality in the final third,” said Oktay.

He seemed to imply that he has no input in the signing of players.

“Interestingly as the head coach, I have never signed a single player at Gor Mahia. I found them here. The defeat was a wake-up call to us and we now need to shift focus to the champions league and the premier league.”

Oktay: Gor Mahia will struggle this season

Coach Hassan Oktay believes the loss of quality players will cause the club to struggle during the 2019-2020 season.

“It is going to be a tough year for us if we don’t get the players who fit the qualities of the club. It will be tough, we will struggle.” he said to goal.com

Oktay believes the club must sign additional quality players before the transfer deadline.

“It depends, we need to sign the players, Gor Mahia need to sign about three quality players, we need them here now. “We have only signed players from the lower league, we signed youth team players and that is not enough, with such a squad, we will struggle, we need players. “If you ask me, we need two strikers and one winger, a very good wide player.” he continued.

Shakava prepared to play out contract

Gor Mahia defender Harun Shakava now says that he is willing to play through the rest of his contract which has six months left.

“It’s true I have received a number of offers within and outside the country, but I am not keen on leaving Gor Mahia now. I still have a running contract with the club and it would be important to see it out,” Shakava told Standard Sports. “I know in football, things happen so fast but let’s just wait for the contract to expire then see what follows. But if indeed the teams interested in me are serious, let them first engage my current club.” he told Standard Sports.

On the club’s loss to Green Eagles, Shakava said that defensive lapses and the loss of key players was costly.

“We worked hard and the commitment from the players was there, but two defensive mistakes cost us the match. All the same, this was a good pre-season tournament for the team ahead of the new season. “We clearly missed the experience of Kahata and Tuyisenge as well as the other regular players who were left back home. When you want to win such tournaments, you must have your best players.” he continued.

Gor Mahia lose to Green Eagles 2-1

Gor Mahia are out of the 2019 CECAFA club cup. This after a shock 2-1 loss to Green Eagles of Zambia.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay Wednesday evening cut a frustrated figure after his team was bundled out of the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) Kagame Cup.

Despite scoring first, the Kenyan champions went on to lose 2-1 to a physically and technically superior Green Eagles side from Zambia.

“It (the result) has something to do with our fitness levels,” moaned Oktay.

“You know we are in pre-season. We only trained for a few days before coming here and we have had to play a game every two or three days.”

Oktay also blamed this defeat on the absence of his key players including Philemon Otieno and Francis Mustafa who have been excused from participating in this tournament after featuring at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Zambia.

Substitute Shadrack Mulungwe was the toast of this match. He scored a classic winning goal which aided the Zambian guest team proceed to the last four here at the Stade Kigali.

But both teams commenced this game in lacklustre form.

With two minutes played, a pass from Warren Kunda intended for his goalkeeper Sebastian Mwange was instead intercepted by Gor Mahia forward Nicholas Kipkirui.

The former Zoo Kericho striker reacted quickly, and lobbed a cheeky shot past the advancing Mwange and into the net for the opening goal of the game.

A minute earlier Gor’s Samuel Onyango had sent a speculative shot towards the Zambians goal, but it did not trouble Mwange.

Then it was Gor’s turn to get sloppy.

First, Wellington Ochieng gave away a foul in a dangerous area and Tapson Kaseba sent a free kick just off Gor keeper Boniface Oluoch’s right hand side.

Then, Hashim Sempala misjudged the ball in his own box and had his pocket picked by Amity Shamende.

Shamende’s initial goal bound shot was blocked by Charles Momanyi but the rebound landed at Kaseba’s feet. The attacker in turn released a first time left foot shot which easily beat a stranded Oluoch.

Eagles, who finished second behind Zesco in the just concluded Zambia league season, dominated thereafter.

Micheal Mwenga had another opportunity to hand his side the lead but blasted over with the goal at his mercy.

Boniface Sunzu then headed a Ceaser Hakaluba corner kick over the bar.

Mulungwe scored a brilliant solo goal after the restart.

The lanky forward chested a long range pass in the box with his back facing the goal. He thereafter made an acrobatic turn and sweetly struck a left foot shot into the net leaving defenders Harun Shakava and Charles Momanyi wondering what hit them.

There was still time for Mwange to pull a couple of saves from Kipkirui, Boniface Omondi and second half substitute Dickson Ambundo.

Shakava has played his last for Gor Mahia

Report courtesy of goal.com

Shakava has finally made his future plans clear with Gor Mahia as he admits his time with the 18-times KPL winners has come to an end

Gor Mahia captain Harun Shakava has revealed he has played his last match for the club.

In an exclusive interview with Goal after the club were dumped out of the Cecafa Kagame Cup in Kigali, Rwanda, Shakava said he will not renew his contract.

“I am done with Gor Mahia. I have to get a new challenge now. I have enjoyed good memories with the club and would like to wish them well,” Shakava told Goal.

“I want to thank the club fans for the support they accorded the team during my time as the captain. It is now time for the young generation to take over the club and I am confident the team will cope very well with the loss of some key players.”

On losing to Green Eagles 2-1 to exit the Cecafa Cup at the quarter-final stage, Shakava said, “We did our best, we controlled the game well but Eagles got two chances and scored.

“It was a good pre-season for the team and I hope it will help them to have a good season especially to defend the title.”

The exit of Shakava means Gor Mahia have now lost three top players in Francis Kahata who signed for Simba SC of Tanzania and striker Jacques Tuyisenge who ditched the side to join Petro Atletico of Angola in the ongoing transfer window.

Shakava joined Gor Mahia from Kakamega Homeboyz in 2014 and made history as a player to have won five league titles with Green Army.

Gor Mahia vs Green Eagles preview

On Wednesday July 17-2019, Gor Mahia resume their quest to win the CECAFA club cup, a tournament they haven’t won in 34 years. They take on Green Eagles of Zambia.

Green Eagles are based in the town of Choma. They finished as runners up in the 2018-2019 Zambian Super League behind Zesco United. They will thus play in the 2019-2020 CAF champions league.

The Zambian upstarts don’t have much pedigree on paper. More often than not, they are found near the relegation zone of the Zambian league. 2019 was a surprise. Also of note is that not a single Green Eagles player was named to the Zambia CHAN squad that will play a qualifier against Botswana in August.

However they cannot be under-rated. They qualified for the quarter-finals after finishing second in group C with wins over Heegan of Somalia (2-0), Proline of Uganda (1-0) and a 0-1 loss to APR of Rwanda.

Captain Ceasar Hakaluba says his team is elated at qualifying for the knockout stage.

“We are happy because this was our target to get out of the group stage to qualify to the quarterfinals,” Hakaluba said to the Lusaka Times

He is optimistic about beating Kogalo.

“The chances are very high and anything can happen in football. What is important is how prepared you are.” he concluded.

One man Gor Mahia will have to watch very closely is Kennedy Musonda. He is among the top scorers in the tournament with three goals including a brace against Proline.

Musonda believes his side has the pedigree to match Kogalo.

“It will be a tough game as we will be playing one of the best East African clubs. But that does not put fear in us because we’re capable of winning. We are here to compete for the actual title. These are the kind of teams we will face in the Champions League, so it starts here,” he said to the Zambia Nation.

Musonda went on to underscore that team unity is what has been the key to their success thus far.

“It feels good to score as a striker. My success so far is due to team spirit. Our close bond is our biggest motivation and gives us the strength to face any hurdle in this race,” he said.

Their biggest strength appears to be their defense. In the Zambian league, they only conceded 10 goals. By comparison, Zesco, the champions, who have defensive stalwarts David Owino “Calabar” and Anthony Akumu in their ranks, conceded 20 goals.

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay for his part has admitted that he knows nothing about the Zambian side.

“You know I don’t know them, I have never watched them maybe they are watching us from the matches we played, but I don’t know anything about them,” he said to goal.com

But Oktay knows that a match against a Zambian side will not be easy.

“It will not be easy because when you reach the quarter-final, it is not easy, because it is now a knockout stage and you must be focused because any defeat you are out.” he continued.

Oktay says that its not easy playing without the players who are missing due to injury or due to participation in the 2019 AFCON.

“It has been tough for us, playing minus our key players, there is no Shafik [Batambuze) here, there is no Philemon [Otieno], there is no Joash [Onyango] and there is no Francis Mustafa,” Oktay continued.

But he says the tournament is useful for the new signings who were recently signed from lower divisions.

“We got players from the second Division and it is beneficial for the young boys to get this experience, for me is for more fitness than anything else.”

Many Gor Mahia fans would see things differently as this is a trophy they would like to see the club lift after numerous attempts.

Also unavailable is Ernest Wendo who is suspended due to two yellow cards.

Rachier: Sportpesa standoff spells doom

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier is adamant that if the standoff between the government and Sportpesa is not resolved amicably, Gor Mahia will not participate in the CAF champions league.

“It is doom and gloom. It is our prayer that the standoff between the government and betting firms is resolved amicably,” he said on KTN.

Both Rachier and newly elected AFC Chairman Dan Shikanda stressed the importance of Sportpesa.

“Of course we understand the position of the government, but whatever action they take they should also consider the sports industry. SportPesa and other betting companies have invested millions of shillings.” said Rachier.

Shikanda believes the government should uphold the interests of sports.

“Ingwe depends a hundred per cent on SportPesa funding. We simply don’t know where we go from here. The government, we believe, has the best interest of everyone including Leopards,” Shikanda said.

Gor Mahia targeting Thomas Ulimwengu

Team manager Jolawi Obondo has confirmed that striker Thomas Ulimwengu is on Gor Mahia’s radar.

“We are looking for a striker. He (Ulimwengu) could be the one. Or it could be someone else. We have a list of names we are pursuing and the coach wants to be sure of who is coming in because this is a crucial department,” Obondo said to the Nation.

According to the Nation, Ulimwengu’s going price is Ksh 9 million. Half to the club (Rayon) and half to the player.

Ulimwengu has scored three goals in the CECAFA club cup and scofred 12 goals in the Rwandese league.

Oktay admits that replacing Kahata and Tuyisenge is difficult

Hassan Oktay has so far offered trials to two Congolese strikers and one Camerounian to no avail.

“Honestly speaking Tuyisenge and Kahata’s exit is a big blow to us. Kahata is a gifted player, who made everyone playing around him better, while Tuyisenge is just a natural striker. We are looking for some options but finding players with such quality on the current transfer market is not easy,” Oktay told Standard Sports.

Oktay says the new signings have a long way to go before they reach the calibre needed.

“Yes, we have made a number of signings, but they need to improve a lot. They still have a long way to go to establish themselves in the team. We hope to get at least one good striker before the new season.

“At the moment as a professional coach, I don’t have an option but use what I have.”

Kahata and Tuyisenge for their part are thankful for having played at Kogalo.

“Players come and go, but for a big club like Gor Mahia their history will always remain. I think my time to leave Gor Mahia had arrived and I had to leave. I’m confident they will get better players than us,” said Kahata to the Standard.

Tuyisenge was equally appreciative.

“What I have achieved with Gor Mahia is unmeasurable. Even as I prepare for my new challenge, I feel indebted to Gor Mahia fans and the club itself.” Tuyisenge added to the Standard.

Gor Mahia edge KMKM 1-0

Gor Mahia concluded the group games of the 2019 CECAFA club cup with a 100% record. On Sunday they beat KMKM of Zanzibar 1-0. The late goal came from Eric Ombija.

Additional reporting from the Nation

or coach Hassan Oktay made a host of changes, perhaps with one eye on the quarter-finals which commence in Kigali on Wednesday.

First teamers Boniface Oluoch, Charles Momanyi, Kenneth Muguna, Haruna Shakava and Nicholas Kipkurui were all rested, with new signings David Mapigano, Elvis Ronack, Eluid Lokuwam and Tobias Otieno playing in their stead.

“We are playing very many games in a short spell and I have to refresh the squad to avoid injuries. We are hoping to win this tournament,” said Oktay.

Still, the Kenyan champions dominated against statistically the weakest team in the group.

With four minutes played, Dennis Oalo, the new signing from Nairobi Stima, had the ball in the net with a wonderful first touch off Samuel Onyango’s pass.

But Ugandan referee William Oloya ruled that wasn’t a goal, as the scorer had strayed in an offside position.

Three minutes later, Oalo missed a one-on-one chance against goalkeeper Nassor Abdalla with the later rushing off his line to clear the ball with his legs.

In between, the Zanzibar champions huffed and puffed. Said Mwinyi headed wide with only Mapigano to beat, while Ibrahim Khamis Khatib’s long range shot blazed well wide.

That was before Oloya sent Samir Yahya off on the stroke of half time for a rash challenge, the player’s second bookable offence.

Gor still lost conspired to lose chances the team would normally bury upon resumption. In the 51st minute, substitute Lawrence Juma blasted wide with a yawning net at his mercy.

Oktay would summon Shakava and Kipkurui midway through the second half and Gor piled more pressure as KMKM soaked it all in.

Sekisambu, Odhoji, Ogweno, Okeyo released

Gor Mahia have released Ugandan striker Erisa Sekisambu. The Ugandan was a high profile signing in 2018 joining from Ugandan champions Vipers. Gor Mahia had pursued him for 2 seasons. But under coach Hassan Oktay, Sekisambu struggled to find his way into the starting eleven.

Others released according to the Nation report are Cercidy Okeyo, Pascal Ogweno and Shaban Odhoji. 

Defender Ogweno joined from Kariobangi Sharks in 2018 while Okeyo joined from Tusker. Both had excellent seasons in 2017 but failed to make a mark at Kogalo due lack of playing opportunities. Shaban Odhoji played well in spots but was inconsistent.

Gor Mahia have signed Denis Oalo, Tobias Otieno, Ronack Elvis, Dickson Ambundo, Curtis Wekesa and David Mapigano. This marks the first time in a decade that Gor Mahia have not signed a high profile player. No word yet on former attacking midfielder Ali Abondo.

However CEO Omondi Aduda says they are still searching for additional players.

“The window is not yet closed, anything is possible,” said Aduda to the Nation.

Gor Mahia blank AS Ports 2-0

Gor Mahia booked a place in the quarter-finals of the 2019 CECAFA club cup when they blanked AS Ports of Djibouti 2-0. The goals came from Boniface Omondi and Dennis Oalo.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay praised his new arsenal after watching them impress and storm the quarter-finals of the ongoing Cecafa Kagame Cup with a routine 2-0 victory over Djibouti’s AS Port here at the Umugunda stadium in Rubavu.

Kenyan clubs have always had it easy against opposition from Djibouti (remember Kariobangi Sharks’ 9-1 aggregate score on Artar Solar in the Confederation Cup last year?) and Gor seemed determined to maintain this advantage.

Boniface Omondi stepped off the bench to open the scoring for the second string K’Ogalo side in the 70th minute. New recruit Dennis Oalo thereafter scored his first ever goal in a Gor Mahia shirt, the second of the contest, with the final kick of this game. He managed the feat with a solo effort after practically worming through a forest of tired legs from the boys in blue.

Omondi meanwhile had reacted quickest to a cross into the danger area from fellow sub Kenneth Muguna. And as AS Port defenders stood there ball watching, he stretched his right foot and stabbed home the ball past an advancing Nasradin Abdi, who was guarding the opposing goal.

This result temporarily moves the Kenyan champions to the top of Group ‘D’ after garnering maximum points in two games. “I had to check my new signings today,” said Oktay when responding to a question on why he made nine changes in this match. “I like the way our opponents worked very hard. They give everything. I have asked my players to try and emulate that.”

Gor also beat DR Congo’s AS Maniema 2-1 on Monday. AS Port have three points, while Zanzibar’s Kikosi Maalum Cha Kuzuia Magendo (KMKM) and Maniema who are set to face off Wednesday evening, are yet to pick a point in this group.

Oktay host of changes were influenced by this match coming 48 hours after the clash versus Maniema. First choice keeper Boniface Oluoch was dropped to the bench and replaced by another new signing in the frame of David Mapigano. Similarly, first teamers including captain Harun Shakava who reportedly is unwell, Charles Momanyi, Tobias Otieno, Nicholas Kipkurui and Boniface Omondi were all benched.

This match was preceded by a minute of silence in honour of Kenyan great Joe Kadenge who passed on earlier this week. Then the physically imposing Kenyan team settled first and fast. In the opening minute, rookie Erick Ombija should have done better when he was played through on goal by Hashim Sempala. Instead, the lad took time to settle, required an extra touch in the box before sending a feeble shot that was well gathered.

Moments later, Dickson Ambundo blazed over the bar when perhaps some composure could have yielded better results. The pendulum would soon swing AS Port’s way as Mapigano, playing in his first game since joining Gor from Tanzania’s Singida United, parried away a dangerous free kick from Mouhamed Ahmed. Mapigano had to be at stand by again to thwart a one on one attack from Ghanaian danger man Gabriel Dadzie. “We played a better team. We cannot complain. The two goals we conceded came towards the end because my players were tired. Others were injured,” said AS Port coach Mouhamed Mereneh.

In other results, Rwandan champions Rayon Sport beat South Sudan’s Albatara 2-0 in Kigali, Uganda’s KCCA upset Tanzania’s Azam 1-0 in Huye as former African champions TP Mazembe defeated Tanzania’s KMC by a solitary goal.

Gor Mahia down AS Maniema 2-1

Lawrence Juma in action against Maniema

Gor Mahias campaign in the 2019 CECAFA Club cup started on a solid note on Monday evening when they downed AS Maniema of DR Congo 2 -1.

Maniema finished 4th in the 2018-2019 DR Congo League Super League with 57 points, well behind champions TP Mazembe who finished with 83 points.

The match was played in Rubavu which is a short distance from the home area of Maniema. As a result, a large crowd attended the match to support the Congolese side.

Additional reporting from the Nation

After a goalless opening quarter, Ochieng dispossessed the giant Abedi Masudi at the centre of the park in the 22nd minute. He then dribbled forward, weighed his options and fired a thunder bolt that flew past the despairing dive of keeper Bukasa Mangala.

Kenneth Muguna and Samuel Onyango lost clear chances to extend Gor’s lead, but Boniface Omondi made no mistake after the break.

He easily beat the offside trap, then produced a cheeky dummy that left Mangala lying on the turf, before slotting the ball into an empty net for K’Ogalo’s second.

In Oktay’s first competitive match of the season, new signing Tobias Otieno impressed in midfield with his tackling and range of passing skills.

Oktay also summoned other new signings Dennis Oalo and Ambundo Dickson as second half substitutes.

That’s before Likweya Jeremaya scored a consolation for Maniema from the penalty spot in the dying moments of the game.

Gor Mahia transfer news July 8 2019

A report from Africa Sports today suggests that The Cameroonian striker Charles Edoa Nga move from Eswatini top league side Royal Leopards Football Club to Gor Mahia FC have stalled.

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay was not impressed by the striker and ordered the executive to book him next flight to Eswatini as the team was jetting out to Rwanda for CECAFA Kagame cup. 

The Kenyan champions and Royal Leopards earlier agreed on $20,000 transfer fee for the Cameroonian but the striker had to undergo trials for approval by the head coach.

Mieno Leaving St George

Former Gor Mahia ace Humphrey Mieno is terminating his contract at Ethiopian giants St George. This according to goal.com

“Yes it is true Mieno is leaving Saint George. He has struggled to get enough playing time since coach Stewart Hall was fired and he feels he cannot warm the bench anymore,”  said a source to goal.com

Mieno was lured to St George by coach Stuart Hall with whom he worked at Sofapaka. Hall was soon fired and Mieno’s fortunes plummeted.