3 Aug 15

Michael Olunga bagged the scoring title at the recently concluded CECAFA club cup. He scored 5 goals. Olunga also received the most plaudits of any player at this tournament for his clinical finishing, his precise assists and ability to take on defenders. His dexterity with the ball at his feet is excellent for a player his height.

Other top scorers were: Saleh Eldin Osman Bilal (Khartoum National) and Kipre Chetche (Azam), who scored four goals each. Malimi Busungu (Yanga) and John Bocco (Azam) scored three goals each.

Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch was named as the best goalkeeper of the tournament. Oluoch has already established himself as the best keeper on the local scene. Adding a regional title is another feather in his cap.

Ivory Coast defender Serge Pascal Wawa Sfondo was named defender of the tournament and also player of the tournament. Despite playing with a 3 man defence, Azam did not concede a goal throughout.

Olunga though happy with his award, was unhappy at the final result.

“We were very optimistic as a team to try and give our dear fans something to smile about as they had travelled in large numbers to Dar es Salaam to give us support but it was not to be.”

“It was a gruelling game but in football you win some and lose some. Maybe we failed to click, but at least we gave a good performance throughout the tournament and it’s only fair to accept that it was not our day.”

“Individual rewards are good like the golden boot but I feel it would have been fantastic to be on the winners’ podium as a team. We have to now go back and concentrate on the league,” Olunga told supersport.com.

Gor Mahia have a lot to be proud about. It is a vast improvement on their performance from last season. The home team (in this case Azam) is always favoured to win. And No Kenyan team has come close to winning this tournament since Tusker won it over 5 years ago.  Gor Mahia can build on this success to challenge for honors in 2016.


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2 Aug 15

Gor Mahia went down 0-2 to Azam of Tanzania in the 2015 Kagame cup final.

courtesy of goal.com

Kenyan champions came into the match as favorites after impressive run in the competition but John Bocco and Kipre Tchetche scored for Azam FC

Gor Mahia’s 24 match unbeaten run in all competition came to a sorry end on Sunday after they fell 2-0 to Tanzania’s Azam in Cecafa final played in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The Kenyan champions came into the match as favorites after impressive run in the competition, but goals from John Bocco and Kipre Tchetche were enough to hand Stewart Hall first title for the club.

Gor Mahia will blame themselves for the first goal as they started in a low fashion as compared to the home team, who had fans cheering the side from kick-off, and the pressure paid off as early as 15th minute when Bocco converted a low cross to hand his side the lead.

K’ogalo were unlucky to escape punishment when Khalid Aucho seemingly elbowed the opponent, but the referee decided to have a word with him when punishment seemed necessary. That however, did not kill the spirit of Azam, who kept the competitions top scorer Michael Olunga at bay, with no space to make things even for the fourteen times Kenyan Premier League champions.

The only realistic chance the Kenyans got was in the 28th minute when Ugandan import Innocent Wafula shot wide from seven yards out. After the break, Azam came looking determined to maintain their record of not conceding in the tournament, as Pascal Wawa stood strong in central defense which further frustrated their opponents.

Frank Nuttall’s side looked out of ideas in the back as pressure from Tchetche and Bocco was too hard to handle, and they were lucky not to concede a second in the 50th minute, when the former was gifted a chance but failed to convert.

Aucho finally went into the referee’s notebook when he fouled the dangerous Kapombe 25 yards from the goal. Tchetche rose to the occasion and buried the resultant free-kick into Boniface Oluoch’s goal to the amazement of the custodian, who assumed the shot was off target.

Dangerman Olunga was sneaked in by Meddie Kagere in the 75th minute, but this time round, the ever clinical lanky striker could not find the net as he shot across the goal. Nothing changed for the Green Army even with the introduction of Ali Abondo and George Odhiambo, as the side could not find way past the opponents defense that has kept a clean sheet in the entire tournament.


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1 Aug 15

James Kwesi Appiah, the Ghanaian coach who steered Ghana to qualification of the 2014 world cup with a memorable 6-1 win  over Egypt and a creditable 2-2 draw with eventual winners Germany, has admitted that his side Al Khartoum were comprehensively outplayed by Gor Mahia.

“Gor Mahia was a better side and deserved victory by all accounts. They (Gor Mahia) were a joy to watch. They deserve to be in the final and I don’t think they will be stopped now,”.

His counterpart Frank Nuttall credited his team’s team-work and commitment for the victory.

“We are happy to be unbeaten and to make sure we won the game today. We were well organized and prepared coming into the game. We were a little disappointed to concede the early goal but we knew we would score.  People and individuals make headlines but it is always all about team work” said Nuttal.

It has indeed been a superb effort with different players stepping forward to play crucial roles. Though Olunga may get much credit, players like Aucho, Wafula, Sibomana, Shakava and Walusimbi have been superb in the last two games. Many will say that it is the forward line that carries the team but of late the entire unit has been hitting on all cylinders.

FKF chair Sam Nyamweya for his part has announced that the federation will reward Gor Mahia with Ksh 250,000 should they win the torunament.

“We want to confirm that we will reward Gor Mahia with Sh250, 000 if they emerge winners of the competition. As we await the final match we join hands with all other Kenyan fans in supporting the team as it aims to clinch this year’s trophy.” he said according to goal.com

President Kenyatta also joined in congratulating Gor Mahia via his twitter handle.

Well played #GorMahia. Congratulations for reaching the finals of the #CECAFAKagameCup. Best of luck as you prepare to win in the finals.”

It will be remembered that the president facilitated return tickets for the club after FKF declined to provide them.


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31 Jul 15

Wafula could not hide his joy after scoring

The mighty Kogalo are in the CECAFA club cup finals for the first time in 30 years after beating Al Khartoum of Sudan 3-1.

Goals came from Olunga, Kagere and Wafula.

courtesy of the Standard
Man of the moment Michael Olunga scored and set up two goals as Gor Mahia booked a slot in the Cecafa Kagame Cup final after beating Sudan’s Khartoum 3-1 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, yesterday.

It was a well-deserved win for Gor Mahia as the last time they reached the final was 30 years ago. They will face Azam who beat KCCA 1-0. The final is tomorrow. Despite conceding an early goal in the second minute, Gor Mahia looked more comfortable and a formidable side in the encounter which was also full of defensive blunders from both sides. Khartoum shocked K’Ogalo in the second minute when captain Amin Elmani scored with a clinical shot, sending goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch the wrong way after finding himself unmarked in the area.

On 16 minutes Karim Nigiziyimana whipped in a cross that was mistimed by Khartoum’s goalkeeper Mohamed Abdalla Ibrahim before Godfrey Walusimbi kept it into play. With Mohamed Ibrahim off his goal line, Meddie Kagere’s effort with the head kissed the post before Omer Ali Alkhdr cleared the mess.

Olunga equalised in the 24th minute through a fantastic penalty after Anthony Akumu was adjudged to have handled in the box to take his tally of goals to five. A minute later Olunga set up Innocent Wafula to superbly score the second. Merghani came closer to cancelling Gor Mahia’s lead in the 36th minute after beating captain Musa Mohammed, but he failed to control the ball when through on goal.

Gor scored their third goal in the 55th minute after Olunga took advantage of some calamitous handling by Khartoum keeper Mohammed Ibrahim, but his shot was cleared off the line but, Kagere was on hand to tap home the loose ball. Khartoum’s Ghanaian coach James Kwesi Appiah reshuffled his lineup in the second half, but it was all in vain.

Khartoum Starting XI: Ibrahim Abdalla, Amin Ibrahim Elmani, Samawal Merghani, Omer Ali Alkhidr, Salah Eldin Mahmoud, Antony Akumu Teddy, Domenic Abul, Atif Khalid El Tayeb, Wagdi Awad Abdalla, Ahmed Adam Mahmoud, Ousmaila Baba

Subs: Adil Abdelrasol El Tahir, Abdalla Nagimeldin, Salih Abdalla Murwan, Badru Eldin Aldon, Moawia Elamani Mohamed, Salah Eldin Osman Bilal,

Gor Mahia starting XI: Boniface Oluoch, Musa Mohamed, Abouba Sibomana, Harun Shakava, Karim Nizigiyimana, Innocent Wafula, Aucho Khalid, Godfrey Walusimbi, Meddie Kagere, Michael Olunga, Collins Okoth

Subs: Fredrick Onyango, George Odhiambo, Ronald Omino, Erick Ocheing, Enock Agwanda, Dirkir Glay, Ali Hassan Abondo,


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29 Jul 15

Gor Mahia will for the second time at this tournament take on Al Khartoum of Sudan. The first match ended 1-1. Though coachFrank Nuttall rested many of his key players.

However following their 4-0 demolition of APR of Rwanda, the Sudanese do look formidable and will begin the match as favourites in the eyes of most neutral observers.

Gor Mahia for their part did not put on a convincing performance against Al Malakia in the quarters. And coach Frank Nuttall is adamant that they must shift up a gear in order to contend with Al Khartoum.

“You do not expect a team to perform at the highest level when they are playing five high intensity games in 11 days. We under performed again and there has to be an improved efforts from everyone in the semis if we want to progress further,” Nuttall said to the Nation.

A major area of concern is missed chances. Gor Mahia missed numerous scoring opportunities in the first half against Al Malakia. Coach Bob Ogolla has stated the team recognizes this deficiency and is working to address it.

“It is an area of serious concern for us.  The chances we had and missed were too many and they were also straightforward. We really should have won the game in the first half.  As you saw in the second period, they (Malakia) lifted their game and looked very good, so we could have done with a bigger cushion.  We will work on it today and tomorrow and hopefully we will be better come the semi-finals,”” said coach Bobby Ogolla to supersport

There will be no room for error against Al Malakia.

“Obviously, the semi-final will be tougher and will not afford us the chances we had yesterday, so we have to be more clinical and ensure we make use of the little we get.” continued Ogolla.

Indeed Al Khartoum will be no easy task considering that Anthony Akumu is somewhat familiar with Gor Mahia player strengths though the squad has changed since he left. Akumu says that though he supports Gor Mahia, he wants to help Al Khartoum win.

“I respect Gor Mahia, I love the team because it gave me the platform to be where I am right now. Yes, I support Gor Mahia back home, but now this is business. Al Khartoum is my new team now, my love for Gor Mahia will not stop me from scoring that decisive penalty if at all it will be there. I will give my best in the pitch on Friday with the hope of qualifying for the finals,” Akumu told goal.com.

 


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29 Jul 15

Reports emanating from the various outlets suggest that both Gor Mahia and Yanga of Tanzania have been accused of using Juju.

Yanga declined to use the designated changing rooms for fear that the rooms may have been laced with potent charms that could work against them during the match.

Gor Mahia refused to use the main entrance reserved for playing teams, and instead entered the National Stadium pitch using an alternative entrance, which is restricted to stadium staff only.

Because this alternative entrance was locked at that time, the team broke the door and made their way inside, something that caused the tournament’s Local Organising Committee to write to Cecafa boss Nicholas Musonye asking him to take action against the Kenyan team.

A Kogalo official said they were only taking basic safety precautions to guard themselves from the “strong medicine” laid by their opponents for the day.

“We have our people here and they had warned us in advance that the opponent had planned something for us. Our informants told us to avoid the changing rooms and any enclosure where the entire team members could be found together. That is why we avoided the main entrance and the locker rooms,” he said to the Nation.

Juma Pondamali, the Yanga goalkeeper trainer who was a legendary goalkeeper in his heyday has denied that Yanga uses withcraft.

“When I was a player I would always consult a witch doctor, and I retired as the top goalkeeper in the country. For that I have no regrets. But that was very long ago. Things have since changed and nowadays people believe in the scientific ways of enhancing performance.

“If there is any witchcraft being practiced in Yanga, then it is being done by individual players who are chasing individual brilliance but not by the team as a whole.
Asked to weigh in on reports that K’Ogalo is being powered by witchcraft in this campaign, Mensa said: “I cannot authoritatively confirm that they (Gor) subscribe to witchcraft because I have not seen their charms. Some of their actions during this tournament are however very strange. What they did when we played them in the opening match suggest that they strongly believe in those things,” he said

Use of charms of witchcraft has become a rarity in modern football. However back in the 1970s and 1980s it was common for teams including Gor Mahia and AFC to visit a witchdoctor on the night before games. And in some cases a team witchdoctor was on the technical bench and even posed for team pictures.

Many players  would visit a known

 


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29 Jul 15

FKF chair Sam Nyamweya has concurred with Tusker coach Francis Kimanzi and has decided that next season the number of foreigners in each time will be three, of whom only two can play at the same time.
“We are concerned by the huge number of foreign players in the country and while we have allowed clubs to sign five, we are now going to scale it down to three.” said Sam Nyamweya to the Standard.

“Furthermore, to ensure that only the best are allowed into the country, the federation will set up standards to be met by those wishing to play in Kenya.” he continued

Nyamweya also wants the immigration department to clamp down on foreigners playing in lower leagues.

“We are aware that many foreigners are taking part in the other lower leagues and the fact is we have not given them permission. We are wondering how they got work permits without us ” he said.

This came about after Tusker coach Francis Kimanzi singled out Gor Mahia as a team that is benefiting due to foreigners.

“It is good that Gor Mahia are doing well in the inter-club championships but the unfortunate thing is that when you look at the squad, their key players are all foreigners. “This is an unfortunate situation and unless addressed urgently, it will affect our progress as a country,” said Kimanzi to goal.com

KPL chair Jack Oguda concurred that the number of foreigners needs to be curbed.
“We are considering things like imposing an age limit on the foreign players allowed in our league. We also want to comprehensively deal with the issue of refugees which continues to bother us,” he explained to the Standard.

 


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28 Jul 15

Walusimbi celebrates his goal with Olunga

Gor Mahia beat Al Malakia of South Sudan 2-1 in a quarter-final encounter of the ongoing CECAFA club cup. Gor Mahia took a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to goals from Godfrey Walusimbi. Al Malakia pulled one back in the 64th minute for a final score of 2-1.

courtesy of goal.com

Ugandan international Godfrey Walusimbi netted a brace, the first after three minutes when he connected a Michael Olunga cross. Olunga made a good run towards goal and tried to pick out Meddie Kagere, who missed and the ball found Walusimbi waiting and he did not make a mistake scoring.

Walusimbi added his second in the 27th minute from a counter-attack. The Sudanese champions scored their only goal in the 65th minute through Mathew Thomas, who headed home a free header. Gor Mahia took the game to their opponents and could easily have scored a second goal three minutes after going ahead had Meddie Kagere been quick to react and guide home Karim Nizigiyamana’s cross.

The Sudanese side were impressive on the ball and also managed time and again to out muscle Gor Mahia under pressure. The first fruit of their pressure was a 31st minute corner kick after Eric Ochieng’ had a touch of the ball while trying to clear the danger. The corner was curved well and Boniface Oluoch had to come out quickly and clear the danger.

Two dangerous set pieces by Malakia dangerously exposed the Gor Mahia backline. The Kenyan champions having survived the scare launched their own counter-attack which was ended by Mahmoud Altahir after he pulled down Meddie Kagere and was cautioned for that even as Gor Mahia went to the break with a healthy advantage.

Coming into the second half, both teams continued to push with Innocent Wafula putting the Malakia backline under intense pressure with dangerous balls trying to look for Kagere.

But it was Malakia, who scored and the Gor Mahia backline will blame themselves for conceding. Gor Mahia should have hit back almost after conceding that goal. A combination between Wafula and Olunga ended in a fruitless corner.

Then in the 67th minute, Olunga was denied by the cross bar as Gor Mahia stepped by pressure. The Kenyan champions then rested Meddie Kagere for George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo as they sought more goals but had to be content with the two.


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