In the first round match of the 2011 FKL cup, Gor Mahia overcome Timsales, a team from deep in Rift Valley province (Elburgon), by a score of 3-0.
Unlike last year when Kogalo was eliminated by Magongo rangers, they took no chances this time and fielded all the big guns including new signings Kevin Ochieng and Demonde Selenga. Hajji Mwachoki also came on in the second half. Kevin Ochieng’s appearance was most notable because Rangers FC had indicated that the player did not have permission to join Gor Mahia.
After 44 minutes, the score was still 0-0 despite numerous raids on the Timsales goal and it appeared an unlikely upset was in the making. New signing, Le Congolais Demonde Selenga gave Kogalo the lead at the 45 minute mark when he converted a Dan Makori cross. On resumption, Gor Mahia continued to raid the Timsales goal with Makori and Lavatsa active. But Timsales weathered the storm. Lavatsa was finally rewarded for his efforts when he scored from a Selenga pass for Gor Mahia’s second. Makori found the back of the net for the 3rd goal.
Timsales however gave a good account of themselves especially in the first half but Masika and Musa Mohammed stood tall in the Gor Mahia defence. After the 3rd goal, Kogalo appeared to take their foot off the accelerator and focused on maintaining posession; A wise move to avoid injuries and due to the fact that in a knockout tournament, the number of goals you score is of no consequence as long as you win.
There seems to have been a change in direction amongst many KPL clubs including our own Kogalo. 5 days ago, Sofapaka Chairman Elly Kalekwa announced that KPL clubs had unanimously agreed to boycott the FKL cup including those that had already started to play.
However in a dramatic reversal , the club has decided to play and will face Timsales FC this Wednesday.
According to deputy Secretary Ronald Ngala, the club’s executive committee met early Monday and decided to compete due to fan pressure, “The fans play a great role in running and shaping our club and we cannot go against them. They have demanded that they want to see the team in the FKL tournament.”
Out of nine KPL clubs that had registered for the tourney, only Bandari and Thika United honoured their weekend matches while Tusker and Karuturi Sports opted to boycott their home fixtures. Teams that are still participating include Congo United, Gor Mahia, Bandari, Thika United, AFC Leopards, and Rangers FC.
The news will be welcomed by some fans who are eager to see Kogalo qualify for a continental tournament and redeem itself after a disastrous continental campaign in 2008 that saw an inexperienced, schoolboy laden team suffer stage fright and lose decisively.
The match between Kogalo and Gor B aka SoNy Sugar which was slated for this weekend at Afraha stadium Nakuru, has been postponed indefinitely. This follows protests by SoNy officials who disagreed with the KPL decision to move the match from Awendo to Nakuru.
KPL had moved the much citing the lack of a perimeter fence at Awendo green stadium. But SoNy officials were adamant that they had hosted matches against Gor Mahia before and could do the same right now. On Thursday, there was an angry demonstration in Awendo by Gor Mahia fans who were protesting the KPL decision. These fans have been waiting for several months to see their favorite team, only for KPL to pull the carpet from underneath their feet.
Gor Mahia for their part had already travelled to Nakuru and it remains to be seen whether KPL will re-imburse the travel expenses. As for the Sugar companies, Chemelil and SoNy, it is difficult to understand why they cannot spend some of their considerable resources building a decent stadium with a decent perimeter fence. Building a decent terrace and a perimeter fence will not be a major financial hit for such a company.