For the second time in a row, the Congo United coaching staff said they were sure of beating Gor Mahia. And for the second time in a row, they came through on their promise. Their 2-1 win over Kogalo puts a severe dent in the title hopes of Gor Mahia.
Congo were first on the scoresheet in the 27th minute when Ali Mwachiponi found the back of the net from a set piece. It seemed like a harmless shot but it took a turn for the worst when it bounced and confused keeper Jerim Onyango. Gor Mahia poured forward in searcg for an equalizer with Edwin Lavatsa and Dan Makori both coming close. Erik Masika finally found the equalizer in the 75th minute after being set up by Lavatsa and sent Gor Mahia fans at the City stadium into raptures. The winner for Congo came on 84 minutes from a direct freekick. After the goal Gor Mahia once again poured forward for an equalizer. Anthony Akumu came close in injury time but it was not to be.
The loss pushes Gor Mahia into 5th position. While other title contenders like Ulinzi are rounding into form , Gor Mahia seem to have lost steam and have not won a league game in the last 5 matches including two losses. Its worth noting that Gor Mahia have not beaten Congo which is at the bottom of the table in three attempts. On Saturday however, Gor Mahia were the better side and had more attempts on goal. But Congo United rode lady luck all day.
After the match, Kogalo fans were left bewildered. Some angry at the loss resorted to throw stones at the Police. Many however accepted defeat calmly but lamented the loss to a team that seems destined for relegation.
In a match played at the Nairobi City stadium, Gor Mahia overcame the usually stubborn West Kenya Sugar 3-1. The match had been delayed by 1 hour following heavy downpour. Gor Mahia were playing without coach Zico and sans several players like Jerim Onyango, Eric Masika and Kevin Ochieng.
While West Kenya Sugar settled into a defensive formation, Kogalo went for a series of sleek interpassing movements that created chances for Selenga and Makori. Edwin Lavatsa hit the match opener in the 33rd minute when he weaved past two defender before finishing with a thunderous drive. Moments later, a goalbound header by Demonde Selenga was handled by a West Kenya defender. Tony Onyango slotted the resulting penalty and Gor Mahia went into the break up by 2 goals.
Kevin Amwayi pulled one back for West Kenya Sugar in the 65th minute. A well taken freekick by Lavatsa saw him grab a brace and Kogalo’s third to make the score 3-1
The next team to face Kogalo will be either Sparky Youth of Mombasa or Finlays of Naivasha.
Gor Mahia will face West Kenya Sugar in the next round of the FKL cup which will be played on Sunday Sept 4. The match will be played at the Nairobi City stadium. West Kenya Sugar were the runners up of the FKL cup last year. Both teams benefited from the best looser rule. Whereas Kogalo lost to Congo Boys on penalties, West Kenya Sugar lost to AFC Leopards.
Fans hope Ochomo brings his striking boots
The timing of the match is unfortunate because some Gor Mahia players will feature for the national team on Saturday against Guinea Bissau in the Africa cup qualifier. These players will be missing from the lineup on Sunday. Among them is dependable defender Eric Masika and Kevin Ochieng.
The timing of the match is also unfortunate because it comes at a time when Coach Zico has been busy with the national time and as such has not had time to study the opponent and come up with a game plan. Besides that, Gor Mahia’s form has been lacklusture of late and teams are openly declaring that they have found the formula for defeating Kogalo.
With hopes of winning the league in jeopardy, fans who are eager to see continental football next year will be hoping for a good performance in the FKL cup. And West Kenya Sugar are not to be taken lightly. They have eliminated quite a few premier league teams in the last 2 years.