Gor Mahia edge Sharks 1-0

Gor Mahia players yet again put aside their off the field issues to earn a hard fought 1-0 win over Kariobangi sharks at Afraha on Sunday

Additional reporting from the Nation

Record Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia left it late to celebrate Mashujaa Day with a 1-0 win over stubborn Kariobangi Sharks in a thrilling match at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru on Sunday.

The 18-time champions were made to wait until stoppage time and it’s Ghanaian Francis Afriyie, who came in for off-colour Ivorian Gnamien Yikpe, who found the breakthrough.

With the match poised to end in a barren draw, another substitute Kennedy Otieno unleashed a volley from the right wing that came off the upright and the ball fell kindly for an unmarked Afriyie who rounded Sharks goalkeeper John Oyemba before slotting into an empty net.

“I am very excited for scoring a goal in this match given that our performance was not at its best,” said Afriyie.

“I am happy my boys were sharper and aggressive in the last quarter. In football, the final whistle determines the winner and today we were made to wait until the last minute,” said Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack.

A disappointed Kariobangi Sharks coach William Muluya claimed Afriyie scored from an offside

Muguna and Joash Onyango have gone AWOL

Skipper Kenneth Muguna and Vice Skipper Joash Onyango are said to have absconded duty due to unpaid salaries and unmet promises.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia captain Kenneth Muguna and his assistant Joash Onyango will not be part of the team that will take on Kariobangi Sharks on Sunday at Afraha Stadium.

The pair has not returned to the club after the international break and are reported to have walked out amid unfulfilled promises from the management over unpaid salaries. Both players were part of the Harambee Stars team that lost 0-1 to Mozambique at Kasarani last Sunday.

“It’s not my job to know whereabouts of players but the team manager (Jolawi Abondo) has briefed me that Onyango and Muguna are no longer picking his calls and communicating with him. I don’t know if they have valid reasons for that but I take it as an act of indiscipline,” Gor coach Steven Polack told Nation Sport on Saturday.

Polack has moved with speed to appoint Joachim Oluoch and Charles Momanyi as captain and assistant respectively ahead of Sunday’s Kenyan Premier League match against Sharks.

“As at now they are suspended until after meeting with the club management on the way forward. I have therefore handed the armband to Joachim Oluoch and he will be deputized by Charles Momanyi. We are good as a team and well prepared for the match against Kariobangi Sharks,” assured Polack.

A source close to the club told Nation Sport that there has been unrest among the playing unit due to empty promises from the management over the two-months salaries owed.

Gor Mahia to Play Sharks at Afraha

Gor Mahia match against Kariobangi Sharks that is scheduled for Sunday October 20, has been moved to Afraha stadium.

The match was originally slated for Kasarani but has been moved because Kasarani playing surface is to undergo maintenance after being damaged during the international friendly between Kenya and Mozambique. This according to various sources. No other stadiums are available in Nairobi.

The last time these two sides met was on March 30 of this year. Gor Mahia won 2-1 with goals from Lawrence Juma and Francis Kahata. Prior to that, Sharks had beaten Gor Mahia 1-0 in the Super cup final in December 2018.

Not much has been seen of Ivorian striker Yikpe Ghislain. So fans will be eager to finally see the towering Ivorian in action.

Tobias Otieno determined and motivated

New signing Tobias Otieno has impressed many fans and pundits alike, many of whom have touted him as a future star. He tells the star that he is motivated to play well enough to earn a place in the national team.

Courtesy of the Star

Gor Mahia midfield enforcer Tobias Otieno is losing no sleep despite being overlooked for the national soccer team, Harambee stars squad that lost to Mozambique last Sunday.

The former Sony Sugar hard man has been a revelation in his first few months at the 18-time league champions and has been touted as a future national team regular.

“I am happy to continue working hard and helping my club achieve their objectives. The matter of being selected for the national team is one that the coaches have to make. I know if I continue playing well for Gor, eventually God willing, I will get a chance,” said the Under-23 international.

Four of Tobias team-mates at Gor Clifton Miheso, Lawrence Juma, skipper Kenneth Muguna as well as defender  Joash Onyango were in the starting line up for the Mozambique friendly—something that thrilled the 21-year-old.

“It is a motivation to see players you are with every day in training playing for the national team. It gives you believe that if you work as hard as they do, you will also get an opportunity to play at that level. It is every footballer’s dream to represent his country and I am no different,” remarked Toby.

Though he is mainly used as a defensive shield by coach Steven Pollack, Toby’s ball-handling skills enable him to venture further forward and he revealed that he is working hard to add goals to his game.

“Football has evolved. It is no longer the sole responsibility of strikers to score. Goals are something that I am working hard to bring into my game,” he explained.

Gor will be back in action this weekend to defend their perfect start to the campaign when they take on Kariobangi Sharks at Kasarani.

The defending champions remain firm favourites to win an unprecedented fourth successive league title having amassed twelve points in an unblemished title defence so far.

“Our fans are very demanding and that gets to the players and we cannot rest on our laurels. Every season has different challenges and our target again is to retain our title and do well on the continental front,” concluded Toby.

Philemon Otieno aims for December Return

Philemon Otieno, who suffered a career threatening injury while playing for the national team, says his rehab is going well and he is on track for a December return to action.

“I’m seeing the physio and I can tell you that everything has gone on well smoothly after the operation. Next week I should start the normal jogs which will be followed by ball work in the coming weeks.”

“In December I think I will be ready to return into action according to the schedule I have been given,” Otieno told Futaa.

After his injury, the FKF refused to pay for his surgery. It was left to his Harambee stars team-mates to foot the bill for the surgery.

Aduda resigns as CEO to vie for FKF

Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda is stepping down as the Gor Mahia CEO in order to challenge Nick Mwenda for the FKF Chairmanship.

Additional Reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia Chief Executive Lordvick Aduda has announced his candidature for Football Kenya Federation (FKF) presidency ahead of the December football polls.

However, Aduda – a former FKF secretary general during Sam Nymaweya’s reign – insists he will only quit his job at K’Ogalo if he is assured of a level playing ground in the upcoming elections.

The experienced football administrator said he decided to vie after an underwhelming first term by Nick Mwendwa who took over promising change.

“I have rolled up my sleeves and I am ready to take on Mwendwa in the upcoming FKF elections. The big concern however is the news that Mwendwa and his camp have been spreading that he has been endorsed by branch officials. Where was he endorsed and why does he want to lock out other candidates?” posed Aduda.

“I will be resigning as Gor Mahia CEO only if I’m confident that the election will be free and fair. I don’t fear competition and I’m convinced that I will win since my track record is clear,” Aduda told Nation Sport on Tuesday.

Aduda says his record at 18-time Kenyan champions Gor Mahia speaks for itself with the club having won three league titles and reached the Caf Confederation Cup quarter-finals during his tenure.

“Gor is where it is today because of team work and cooperation between myself and other officials. This is a great achievement and it will replicated from the top-tier league to bottom when I take over,” he said.

Incumbent Mwendwa, former Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga and Nyamweya are some of the candidates for the top seat.

Coach Polack is back in town

Gor Mahia coach Steve Polack has returned from his brief holiday in Finland much to the relief of the Kogalo fan base.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia tactician Steven Polack is back in the country after a short holiday in Finland during the international break.

Polack, who left the country last Monday with his family, jetted back on Sunday night allaying fears of his resignation.

A section of K’Ogalo fans had expressed concern over Polack’s departure with his predecessor Hassan Oktay having pulled a similar move before resigning from his job.

“I can confirm the coach is back to continue with his duties after one week break with his family. He jetted back on Sunday 10pm and he will hit the ground running ahead of our upcoming matches,” Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda told Nation Sport.

While Polack was away, assistant coach Patrick Odhiambo led the team in a friendly match against Alliance FC from Tanzania which ended in 2-2 draw last Thursday.

Polack will quickly regroup his charges for a league match against Kariobangi Sharks this weekend before they host DC Motema Pembe in the first leg of Caf Confederations Cup play-off on October 27.

Juma, Miheso, Muguna in action as Kenya sink to Mozambique

New coach Francis Kimanzi’s unimpressive stint as Harambee stars coach continued on Sunday when Harambee stars went down 1-0 to Mozambique in an international friendly.

Additional reporting from the Standard

Canhembe Amancio came off the bench to score the winner as the Mambas of Mozambique stunned wasteful Harambee Stars 1-0 in Sunday’s friendly match at a rain-soaked Kasarani Stadium.

Though the appalling weather conditons had its say all evening affecting players’ ball control and the flow of the game, Stars will have themselves to blame after squandering a host of scoring chances.

Amancio capitalized on Joseph Okumu’s 71st minute defensive blunder to inflict the defeat on the hosts.

This was not the type of result Francis Kimanzi expected ahead of next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Egypt and Togo.

“It was a difficult game, but I think we created many chances. We conceded from a young player’s mistake.You can’t go unpunished for such mistakes at this level,” said Kimanzi.

But for his Mozambican counter Luis Goncalves, the sloggy pitch affected their performance.

“The pitch was heavy and that somehow slowed down our performance. Kenya had a number of chances at the start and in the final minutes, but we kept our heads together,”

Stars started off the brighter creating a couple half chances as they restricted their visitors in their half in the opening ten minutes.

Michael Olunga almost broke the deadlock in the 11th minute after pouncing on a loose ball at the edge of the box, but the Kashiwa Reysol talisman balloned his effort.

Olunga then forced a fine save from the Mambas goalkeeperJulio Pedro Frenque as Stars intensified their attack.

Moments later, Tottenham Hotspurs midfielder Victor Wanyama initiated a counter attack from a free kick, but indecision cost Olunga as he opted to set up Kenneth Muguna instead of shooting.

Muguna came close to scoring his second goal for the national team when he unleashed a powerful long range shot in the 28th minute, but he was superbly denied by the goalkeeper.

Ten minutes later, Cliff Nyakeya delivered a pin-pointed cross in the box only for Olunga to feebly shoot straight at an impressive Frenque.

But the tide changed in the last seven minutes of the first half as the Mambas took control of the game with their first attempt from Quembo Witiness going wide.

Eric Ouma then made a brilliant block to stop Witiness’ dangerous cross from the left flank before Ernesto Mercelino saw his surprise effort go inches over the bar.

Moments later, goalkeeper Farouk Shikalo come off his line to stop number  Reginaldo Fait Artur from scoring before the Yanga custodian denied Luis Jose in the box.

Francis Kimanzi then brought in Kariobangi Sharks midfielder Duke Abuya for Clifton Miheso five minutes into the second half.

Kenya earned a free kick in a promising position, but Olunga shot directly into Frenque’s hands before the Ferroviário de Maputo custodian brilliantly saved Abuya’s glancing header.

The Kariobangi Sharks nearly set up Ouma for Kenya’s opening goal on the hour mark, but leftback Mussagi Sidique reacted fast to intercept the cross.

Muguna’s effort then missed target by a whisker before he was replaced by Zesco United forward Jesse Were, who was making a return to the team after being snubbed for the 2019 Africa Nations Cup by former Stars coach Sebastian Migne.

But substitute Canhembe Amancio depossessed Joseph Okumu, danced through the defence before slotting the ball past a hapless Shikalo. This came barely a minute after Stars survived another scare following Shikalo’s goalkeeping error.

Kenya responded immediately but Were’s effort went agonizingly wide before he missed a clear-cut chance from Wanyama’s delivery. Whyvonne Isuza thought he had snatched an 81st minute equaliser for the hosts only for his close range effort to be saved by the keeper before Okumu missed a sitter. [Rodgers Eshitemi]

Kenya v Mozambique line ups

Harambee Stars: Faruk Shikalo, (GK), Samuel Olwande, Eric Ouma, Joseph Okumu, Joash Onyango, Victor Wanyama, Lawrence Juma, Kenneth Muguna, Cliff Nyakeya, Cliffton Miheso, Michael Olunga

Subs: Ian Otieno, Timothy Odhiambo (GKs), Harun Shakava, Yusuf Mainge, Jesse Were, Teddy Akumu, Hillary Wandera, Whyvonne Isuza, Abdallah Hassan, Duke Abuya, Enosh Ochieng, Bernard Ochieng

Mozambique: Julio Pedro Frenque (GK), Pelembe Elias Gaspar, Mussagi Sidique, Muchanga Francisco, Junoor Zainadine, Edmilson Gabriel, Ernesto Mercelino, Kambala Manuel, Quembo Witiness, Miquissone Luis Jose, Reginaldo Fait Artur

Gor Mahia tie Alliance FC 2-2

Yikpe Ghislain

Gor Mahia were held to a 2-2 draw by Alliance FC of Tanzania at Camp Toyoyo in Thursday.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Ivorian striker Yikpe Ghislain missed a penalty as Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia drew 2-2 in a friendly match at Camp Toyoyo grounds on Thursday.

Yikpe blasted wide over the bar after Alliance defender Wema Sadoki had earlier handled it inside the box with K’Ogalo trailing the visitors 2-1.

The former Tanzanian league champions took the lead in the first half when Kheri Mohamed slotted in an easy ball past his fellow countryman and Gor Mahia goalkeeper David Mapigano.

Gor responded five minutes later to restore parity with Kennedy Otieno’s long range shot wrong footing John Mwenda in the Alliance goal.

John Tegete restored the visitors’ lead in the 40th minute after Gor Mahia defenders Joachim Oluoch and Charles Momanyi failed to clear the ball.

Charles Momanyi gave K’Ogalo the equaliser in the 85th minute after heading Boniface Omond’s free kick past Mwenda.

Philemon Otieno struggles not over

Gor Mahia defender Philemon Otieno has been left to fend for himself while recovering from his injury as the club is no longer paying him.

Report by Nairobi News

Gor Mahia officials are facing accusations of abandoning Philemon Otieno at a time when the player needs the club the most.

The Kenyan international defender, who featured prominently for Harambee Stars at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt (21 June – 19 July), is on the mend after recently undergoing correctional surgery at a Nairobi hospital to repair his damaged knee ligaments.

But then, sources close to the player say he is now struggling to make ends meet as the club officials have not checked on him.

Neither have they paid his salary for the past two months.

“He appears stranded. Nobody (at the club) has called to check on him. We understand the team is facing some financial challenges but the players have twice in the past month received some stipend from the management amounting to Sh42,000 but he (Philemon) was left out,” the source told Nairobi News.

It has been a year to forget for the former Ushuru FC player.

He suffered a serious knee injury while playing for Harambee Stars in August and for the next six weeks or so, Football Kenya Federation and his club publicly differed on who should foot his treatment.

Gor Mahia to face DC Motema Pembe of DR Congo

Lawrence Juma scored the winner in last years playoff

Gor Mahia face a tall order in the CAF Confederations cup. They will play against DC Motema Pembe of DR Congo.

Gor Mahia will host DC Motema Pembe on Wednesday, October 30 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani with the second leg to be played on Tuesday, November 5 in Kinshasa. The winner will proceed to the group stage.

Gor Mahia have had success at this stage in the past two seasons, beating New Star de Douala last season and Supersport of South Africa in the previous season, both by narrow margins.

Motema Pembe present a tougher challenge. In the preliminary round, they eliminated Stade Renard de Melong of Cameroun by a 4-0 aggregate score. In the first round, they eliminated Al Khartoum of Sudan on penalties. They qualified for the CAF cup by finishing in third place in the Congolse league (Linafoot).

They have a strong pedigree in African football. They won the Africa cup winners cup in 1994, beating Tusker of Kenya in the final. On that occassion, Tusker with players like Motego, Nachok, Sholei, Musa Otieno and others, forced a 2-2 draw away in Kinshasa only to succumb to a 3-0 loss at Kasarani.

DC Motema Pembe were Africa cup winners cup runners up in 1995. They have won the Congolese league 12 times and the cup 13 times. They were previously known as CS Imana.

Gor Mahia for their part will be looking to forget their dismal performance against USM Alger and instead build on their win of AS Maniema of DR Congo at the CECAFA cup in July.

Fans for their part will be hoping that the club can sort out travel and Visa issues on time instead of the usual last minute rush of finding tickets 2 days before travel.

Motema Pembe translates to “Roho Safi” or Clean Heart in the Lingala language.