25 May 16

Gor Mahia concluded the first leg of the 2016 season with a 2-0 win over bottom club Sofapaka at Moi Stadium Kisumu. The goals came from Khalid Aucho and Musa Mohamed. Gor Mahia are now atop the KPL standings after a poor start to the season.

Additional Reporting from Capital FM

K’Ogalo, who collected their sixth successive win will go top of the log if Tusker FC fall to AFC Leopards in a match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

Uganda Cranes midfielder Khalid Aucho and defender Musa Mohammed were on target in the first half to see the three-peat champions finish the opening leg on 29 points ahead of the month long break.

On the other hand, the result compounded relegation woes on 2009 champions Sofapaka, who have gone five matches without a win to languish at the bottom of the standings on seven points.

Entering the clash, Gor head coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira maintained the winning squad that blew apart Mathare United 2-0 while Batoto Ba Mungu missed the services of Fred Kentille and Josephat Oyugi who are out injured.

The champions made their intentions known early when Aucho nodded home the opener six minutes after kick-off from his rebound that had dazzled the Sofapaka defence.

The goal motivated Gor to surge forward and they could have doubled the lead in the 20th minute, but Jaswel Njuguna cleared the danger off the line from Karim Nizigiyimana’s delivery.

Sofapaka responded with their first shot on target through Ken Maritim’s thunderbolt, only to see the effort thwarted by Gor custodian Boniface Oluoch, who was alert to parry over.

At the half hour mark, Aucho had a chance to notch his brace but wasted the glorious opportunity when he feebly shot wide after Godfrey Walusimbi had danced past three defenders to set him up.

Ferreira made his first substitution, withdrawing Nizigiyimana for Luke Ochieng and it didn’t take long before his charges found the second when captain Musa Mohammed led by example to side foot home from a short corner taken by Walusimbi and Innocent Wafula.

Batoto Ba Mungu strived hard to pull a second half comeback but that only remained to be a dream despite Collins Omondi rattling the cross bar before Wycliffe Opondo threatened with a long range screamer that Oluoch saved.

The league will take a month long break, paving way for the June transfer window before the start of the second leg.


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24 May 16

Blackberry taking on Sofapaka in 2015

Having won five straight matches without conceding a goal, Gor Mahia will continue their 2016 Kenya Premier League campaign when they take on Sofapaka at Moi Stadium Kisumu on Wednesday. Its an opportunity for Gor Mahia to continue their ascent up the league table. In the last five matches, Gor Mahia have risen from 12th place to 2nd place. They are now only 2 points behind league leaders Tusker.

Gor Mahia have now settled after the turmoil of the early season when Frank Nuttall and the club’s executive committee were embroiled in a fight over Nuttall’s contract. Rwanda striker Jacque Tuyisenge has proven to be a reliable goal-scorer and will be relied upon once again. He is currently 3rd in the goal-scoring chart with 6 goals. George Odhiambo “Blackberry, Geoffrey Walusimbi, Khalid Aucho, Karim Nizigiyimana, Innocent  and Eric Ouma have all been in sensational form. Ouma for his part has credited the support he has received from senior players for the success he has had.

“The senior players have been motivating me to keep moving and work harder. Without them and their motivation I would not have made this step” he said to futaa.com

But also keep in mind that Marcelo is learning from Ze Maria who in his heyday was one of the best wing-backs in the world.  Ouma who has been the subject of transfer rumours should keep that in mind if he considers joining a rival team. He may not have similar success under a different coach and different system.

Aside from individial brilliance, what has also carried Kogalo is the fighting spririt of the players.

“We were playing a good side, and I expected a tough match. I think what won this match for us is the fighting spirit of my team. You could see that they were hungry for a win. We deserved to win,” said coach Marcelo Ferreira after the Mathare match. That fighting spirit was also evident when Gor Mahia fought gamely to grab a late winner against Western Stima last weekend.

They will need to carry that same spirit against Sofapaka who though a pale shadow of their 2015 edition, still pose a danger. Heritier Luvalu and Barnabas Tiema are two players that Kogalo will need to pay particular attention to.

Kickoff Time: Wednesday 25-May-2016 at 14:00 hours


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23 May 16

Nizigiyimana congratulates Walusimbi
Image: sportpicha.com

Mathare United coach Francis Kimanzi has admitted that Gor Mahia fully deserved their 2-0 victory on Sunday. This is a rare moment of humility for a KPL coach. Most KPL coaches who lose to Gor Mahia typically blame external forces like the referees, bad luck or the inability of their players to follow instructions.

Geoffrey Walusimbi who is now in his third season with Kogalo was in fine form. Kimanzi was impressed by Walusimbi’s all round performance.

“I think what won it for them was the individual brilliance from their players. Walusimbi for example got a great goal for them and though I think our defenders should have done better, I have to admit it was brilliant.” said Kimanzi to supersport.

Walusimbi’s goal is an early candidate for goal of the year. He deftly lost his marker with a nifty move reminiscent of Ben Oloo “Breakdance”. Then he curved the ball to the far right corner of the goal beyond the reach of the Mathare goalkeeper. It was a goal that combined individual skill, accuracy and technical savvy.

Burundian fullback Karim Nizigiyimana who started the season poorly, is rounding back into the form that almost saw him win the KPL player of the year award in 2015. Eric “Marcelo” Ouma continues to rise in stature with each game.

“The two fullbacks (Eric Ouma and Karim Nizigiyimana) were also outstanding and I think they are the ones who won the match for them. They were good at their positioning and crosses too,”  Kimanzi said.

Six yard box poacher Jacque Tuyisenge continued his sharp displays with another well taken goal. He is now third in the scoring charts with six goals behind Ochomo of Muhoroni and Makwatta of Ulinzi. This despite missing the first few games of the season through injury.

George Odhiambo “Blackberry” who has four goals is regaining some of the confidence that saw him single handedly shred defences in 2010. It is the first time in over 5 years that his name is appearing among the leading scorers.

Gor Mahia’s Brazilian tactician Ze Maria was satisfied with the display on Sunday.  After a slow start, the team is adapting to his philosophy and the performances are improving with each game.

“It was our second match away, against a good team but we managed to get maximum points, and we are slowly getting back to where I feel we should be. The first leg is almost concluding and I am happy we have managed to at least make up for a poor start in the beginning of the season. ” said Ze Maria to goal.com.

Some said that the “samba touch”  could be applied only on good surfaces such as the artificial turf in Kisumu and Camp Toyoyo where Gor Mahia trains,  but never at Nyayo. Those concerns have now been assuaged as Gor Mahia put on their best display yet.

Ze maria is now keen to wrap up the first leg on a positive note as they take on bottom club Sofapaka.

“Well, we want to give our best in the final match against Sofapaka and hope we can get maximum three points.” continued Ze Maria.

Though at the bottom, Sofapaka has enough quality in their line-up and Ze Maria will have been advised by Ottamax about the dangers they pose.


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22 May 16

Ouma “Marcelo” in action against Mathare Image: Citizen Sports

Gor Mahia continued their ascent to the top of the standings when they beat Mathare United 2-0, in what is their most impressive performance since the arrival of coach Ze Maria. The goals came via Walusimbi and Tuyisenge. Additional reporting from Capital FM

The result now sees the 15-time record champions dispose Mathare at second spot, with the two tied on 26 points but K’Ogalo have a better goal difference.

Despite the first half lacking any shot on target, it was a great display of tactical and technical prowess between the two sides, Dutch football fighting its way against the rather flamboyant and flowery Brazilian Samba style.

Gor were mostly using the right channel in their attack with coach Jose ‘Ze Maria’ Marcelo eager to use the pace of Innocent Wafula and crossing ability of Karim Nizigiyimana.

The duo played one-two short passes on the flank in the sixth minute but Wafula’s eventual cross was few inches higher than Jacques Tuyisenge’s height with the Rwandese forward rising in futility to connect the cross.

Three minutes later, Wafula powered on the right again before putting in a low cross but George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo arrived in the box few seconds late.

Mathare had sat back to absorb the fast pressure applied by Gor and the biggest weapon they used to ensure their keeper remained untested was their fast pressing whenever Gor were in possession.

Francis Kimanzi’s side had their first attempt in the 17th minute when Eric Johannah weaved his way from the left to get himself in a good shooting range, but couldn’t get the right technique to test Boniface Oluoch with the ball flying acres wide.

Walusimbi caused problems for Mathare in the 21st minute, striking in a powerful freekick from the left finding Wafula isolated at the far post, but the latter’s first touch was too heavy allowing Robinson Kamura to hack it away to safety.

Mathare slowly grew into the game, passing the ball well from the back but failed to get anything at the final third despite Gor skipper Musa Mohammed showing some few nervy instances with weak defending.

The defending champions came close to winding the half a goal up but Wafula’s freekick from 30 yards out flew a few over.

With both sides going into the break goalless, the second half was always set to be an explosive affair.

Kimanzi threw in the first dice, taking off Crispin Oduor for Alphonce Ndonye as he sought a more attacking minded display.

Gor kept their attacking mantra and they did not wait long to get ahead.

Ugandan Walusimbi struck a beauty of a curler in the 68th minute after being accorded time and space by the Mathare backline to leave keeper Peter Odhiambo only watching helplessly as the ball found its way into the top right corner.

Mathare had no option but to put up an attacking front and Kimanzi made another change bringing in his top scorer Obadiah Ndege for midfielder Edward Seda.

He then threw caution into the wind, pulling off right back Noah Abich for striker Harrison Mwenda but the change did more harm than good.

Seven minutes to go, the impressive Erick Ouma burst through the right side of Mathare’s defense before putting in an enticing cross which Tuyisenge headed home powerfully to all but secure the three points for Gor.

Despite pulling their weight together in attack, Mathare could not find a way past Gor custodian Boniface Oluoch.

 


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20 May 16

Can Gor Mahia carry their Kisumu form to Nyayo?

After having played two matches in Kisumu City, Kogalo return to Nyay0 stadium on Sunday to take on Mathare United. This is going to be far and away one of the most difficult tests that Brazilian tactician Ze Maria has faced. Mathare are currently in second place with 26 points, 3 ahead of Gor Mahia. Their last match was a 1-0 win over Bandari. If Ze Maria does not appreciate the threat posed by Mathare then Ottamax will have told him.

“Mathare is our real threat. The team is currently in a good run of form and the fact that Kimanzi is their coach means that they are really hard to crack. He has assembled a team that is now very coherent and they are a tough opponent. But we are also doing well. We have won four games in a row which is also lifting our morale. So, we will give it a good fight,” said Mr Ottamax .

Coach Francis Kimanzi returned to his original home this season. It was under Kimanzi that Mathare last won the league in 2008. He has Mathare believing that they can win the league again.

Ze Maria for his part says he is happy with the current form and thinks his side can caqrry that form to Nyayo on Sunday.

I am impressed with our form, how we pushed until the last minute, and managed to collect maximum points.  It is what we wanted and I am happy with the outcome. We have to carry our performance to the next match against Mathare United and come back smiling. We put a good fight and believed to the last minute, and that is why we got the winning goal. It is the spirit we want in the team.” he said to goal.com

In the equivalent encounter last season, Gor Mahia beat Mathare 4-2. It was Michael Olunga’s coming out party in which he scored twice, thus silencing critics who were complaining that he could not score. Ali Abondo scored the other two goals.

Kickoff Time: Sunday – May 22 at 4:15 pm

Venue : Nyayo stadium


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20 May 16

 

Gor Mahia striker Jacques Tuyisenge was on voted feted as the fans’ KPL Player of the Month for April.

Tuyisenge has found the back of the net six times this season. And in many games his goals have rescued Kogalo just when the club seemed destined to drop crucial points. .
In a vote by fans, he beat four other contenders; Patrick Matasi, Wycliffe Ochomo, Eric Johanna and Andrew Murunga to win the award and speaking during his awarding moment, the striker, who joined the champions in a big money move from Rwanda Police, said he was surprised at his good form.

“It feels good to win any award and I feel happy to win this one. It is a fruit of hard work in the month; when I came on, I never imagined I could win such so it is a big motivation and challenge for me to work harder,” he said to supersport.

Earlier Tuyisenge recounted the injury struggles that caused him to miss the first several games of the season.

“It felt really bad at the beginning of the season when the team was struggling yet I wasn’t able to help because of my injured knee. In fact, I wanted to come in earlier but the doctors refused. Maybe I could be having more goals now. It really ate inside me. I felt bad. I even felt guilty that I was not serving the club, that I was not giving them their money’s worth, yet I have abilities,” Tuyisenge told the KPL site.

Tuyisenge is also adamant that though he has not achieved full fitness, he is motivated to fulfill the expectations that come with playing for a big team.
“I think my right leg has a problem. Sometimes I feel pain when I am running but sometimes I don’t. I think that if it weren’t for the high expectations, I wouldn’t have been pushing myself this hard. But that is the life of a football player at this level. I do not want to let Gor down. The fans are just great. I want to make sure that I give my best in every game. With God’s blessings I know that I will remain healthy and I will deliver,” he continued.

Meanwhile both Tuyisenge and compatriot Abouba Sibomana have been called up to the Rwanda national team that is preparing to play Mozambique. The match is on June 4.


Link Category: News



18 May 16

Image courtesy of Jared Migunde

Eric Ouma’s impressive displays in recent league matches have earned the attention of the Harambee stars technical bench. He has been named to the provisional Harambee stars squad that will be play in a friendly match against Tanzania as they prepare for the 2017 ANC qualifier against Congo.

Also named to the squad are other Kogalo players: Boniface Oluoch, Musa Mohamed, and Francis Kahata

Five former Gor Mahia players have been named to the squad: David Owino, Ali Abondo, Anthony Akumu, Michael Olunga and Wycliffe Ochieng.

Also named are players who have been reported as potential transfer targets for Gor Mahia: Paul Were and Ovella Ochieng.

Harambee stars are all but out of the running but coach Stanley Okumbi says he is building for the future.

“We have to try and be competitive even as we look to cultivate a winning formula. For the friendlies, we will try out new players and formations so that we can be in a good position to win against the Republic of Congo,” said Okumbi to the Nation.

For Marcelo, its a significant achievement to be named to the national team while still in his teens. The future appears bright. But it is worth remembering that the landscape is full of players who were named to the national team at a young age but failed to fulfill their potential. For example in 2010, Kogalo’s youthful team that almost won the league had four young players in the national team: George Odhiambo, Kevin Omondi, Duncan Owiti and Ibrahim Kitawi. All looked very promising. Some rested on their laurels and stopped working hard. Some lost focus. Of these only Blackberry appears to have rekindled his career. It is now up to Ouma “Marcelo” to use his national team call up as motivation to work harder.

STARS PROVISIONAL SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Lucas Indeche (AFC Leopards) and David Okello (Tusker FC)

Defenders: Brian Mandela (Maritzburg United), Aboud Omar (Slavia Sofia), Musa Mohammed, Eric Ouma (Gor Mahia), David Owino (Zesco United), Joackins Atudo (Posta Rangers), Duncan Otewa (Bandari) and Collins Shivachi (Tusker FC)

Midfielders: Ismail Said Athman (Las Palmas), Johanna Omolo (Royal Antwerp), Joseph Mbugi (Posta Rangers), Anthony Akumu (Zesco United), Victor Wanyama (Southampton), Eric Johanna (Mathare United), Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker FC), Ayub Timbe (Lierse SK), Ali Abondo (Ajax Capetown), Paul Were (Clubless), Clifford Miheso (AFC Leopards) and Ovella Ochieng (Kariobangi Sharks).

Strikers: Michael Olunga (Djurgadens), Masita Masuta (Nzoia United), Wycliffe Ochomo (Muhoroni Youth), Mark Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars) and Jesse Were (Zesco United)


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18 May 16

Nuttall with Zdravko Logarusic who was also a handful for Kogalo officials to deal with

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has hinted at havinga  difficult relationship with former coach Frank Nuttall.

“I am happy he left Gor,” said Rachier to the Standard.

“We wish him well in his future endeavours, but the truth is that Nuttall gave me hell at Gor, we were never at peace working with him. He did not tell us when he was leaving, like a thief, he left at night without notice,” added Rachier.

Rachier further went on to say that Nuttall was the most difficult employee he has had to deal with. Which is saying a lot considering that he also had to deal with Zdravko Logarusic.

Matters came to a head when Nuttall stormed into Rachier’s office demanding his back pay.

The chairman recalled the events that led to Nuttall’s sudden departure.

“It was during a postmortem, after falling miserably to Ingwe, that a local journalist called in to inform us that Nuttall was already in Cairo, Egypt and had signed a contract with the former African champions. It was a big embarrassment to the club and the entire board of executives.

Rachier however neglects to mention that Nuttall worked under difficult financial situations yet he kept players and staff motivated. And asking a coach to take a 50% pay cut is not reasonable.

Nuttall for his part considers his brief stint at Zamalek successful .

“At Zamalek, we qualified for the quarter finals of the CAF Champions League and we had an 83 per cent win record. I have gained lots of experience and knowledge about players that will come handy in my next assignment,” he told The Nairobian.

Asked why he was fired, Nuttall said: “Mr (Alex) McLeish (the club’s manager) left, so as his assistant, I went with him.”

Its not so rosy for Bobby Ogolla either

Gor Mahia club legend and former assistant coach Bobby Ogolla, who left the club to pursue a head coaching position at Nairobi City stars, is also having a torrid time. Ogolla is threatening to leave the club along with the players who are on strike due to non-payment of their salaries for two months.

“The players refused to train on Tuesday and Wednesday because they have not been paid. I don’t know why they have not been paid. I don’t pay them, I only train them,” said Bobby Legend to the Standard.

Ogolla started the league very well and even drew with Gor Mahia and beat AFC leopards. But the players have lost motivation due to non-payment and their performance has slumped. They are now in 15th place.

“Everyone knows how we started the league and had a good performance, but this has been affected by our money problems. Personally, I am considering my future with this club.

“I will only stay if I am sure it will not be the same story in the second leg. It looks like this has been the trend every year. It is not fair though. Not the way things ought to be done too,” he said.

 


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17 May 16

Gor Mahia are making every effort to sharpen their attack. At this time last year, Gor Mahia had scored almost 30 goals. This year Gor Mahia have only scored 14 goals. With that in mind, Chairman Ambrose Rachier has said that the club wants to bring two strikers on board including Meddie Kagere.

“We are talking to Kagere and other possible strikers because we have realized that our striking force has been a little bit bland when our dependable striker is injured. It’s not that others are not good enough but we want to sharpen the striking force. I spoke to him on Friday and most likely he will be coming back. I can confirm that during the window we intent to sign one or two strikers” said Rachier to Citizen sports.

Kagere was a key performer in Gor Mahia’s unbeaten season in 2015. However he did not re-sign with the club in January as he could not agree to terms. Kagere has been seen training with the team at Camp Toyoyo numerous times this season.

Rachier has also announced that the club will not recruit heavily this mid season.

“We won’t do a heavy recruitment during the transfers, we are lucky to have a coach who is proactive and has suggested the name of the players that he wants. So we are waiting for the window to open then we engage other players who the coach has suggested,” he said.

New Sponsor set to come on board

Gor Mahia are set to bring on board a third sponsor. Power Gold, a Dubai based energy drink company is set to sponsor Kogalo to the tune of Ksh 15 million.  This is according to Hussein Terry, the Managing Director of the company.

The deal is worth Kshs 15 Million. Ksh 12 million will be used to buy the club a modern state of the art bus next season. The remainder will be used to provide energy drinks and training kits to the club immediately we put pen to paper.

“We (Power Gold energy drink) have initiated talks with AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia to help the clubs in their day-to-day activities as far sponsorship is concerned. The first Kshs 12 million for each club will be used to provide them a modern bus apiece while the remaining Kshs 3 million will be used for kiting. We will then get to our normal Kshs 15 million package for each team thereafter ” said Hussein Terry to futaa.com

Terry also hinted at bringing arch rivals AFC Leopards on board.

This event would bring the number of Gor Mahia sponsors to three including Sportpesa and Crown Beverages.

Ze Maria gives Stima Credit

Kahata celebrates after scoring his first goal

Gor Mahia tactician Jose Marcelo has admitted that Western Stima proved a difficult opponent on Thursday.

“They are a good team and my congratulation to them. They fought hard for the 95 minutes and have winning mentality. I have good players and I have confidence for them so I gave them this chance and they gave result which is important,” he said to supersport.

It took super substitute Francis Kahata to unlock Stima in the match at the final minute of added minute of added time through a powerful header.

But Ze Maria has also lauded his team’s fighting spirit.

“I tell my players to fight to the final minute. Do not give up. I am happy with the way the boys gave their all to the end,” said Ze Maria.

It was an inspired move to bring in Enock Agwanda and Francis Kahata. It was the two substitues who finally unlocked the Western Stima defence and enabled the club to move to 3rd place. They now play second placed Mathare next.

 


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