A look at What Gor Mahia are up against

Having beaten Esperance in the final of the 1987 Africa cup winners cup, Gor Mahia will be hoping to achieve a similar feat when they take on Esperance de Tunis at the Nyayo national stadium on Saturday.

Gor Mahia fans and players will draw inspiration from that feat that lives in the folklores of Kenyan football as they take on the Tunisian giants.

Harrison Aful and Yannick Djeng at JKIA

It however will be a tall order. Whereas Gor Mahia were the better side in 1987, Esperance will be the favourites this time around. They have consistently been amongst the top African teams over the past 25 years and they reached semi finals of the African champions league in 2013.

Esperance coach Coach Ruud Krol , when asked whether history will count in the match Krol said “We are well aware that Gor Mahia beat Esperance in 1987 to win Nelson Mandela Cup but that is a long time ago and will not account at all when we play them on Saturday.”


Esperance boasts an annual financial budget in the region of 18 million Euros which is approximately Ksh 2,132,334,000, well over 2 billion, An astronomical figure by African standards.

Ruud Krol

The Dutch coach is vastly experienced both as a former player and a coach. He played for both Ajax and the Dutch national teams during the peak of their powers in the early 1970s alongside legends like Johan Cruyff and Neeskens. It was during this period that the Dutch won the European cup of nations and reached the World cup finals. Krol also learned his trade under Rinus Michels, one of the best coaches ever, twice winner of the European Nations cup.

As a coach, Krol is vastly experienced, having coached teams in Europe like Ajaccio (Dennis Oliech’s current team) and KV Mechelen. In Africa he has coached the Egyptian national team as well as Orlando Pirates, Zamalek and CS Sfaxien whom he coached to the CAF Confederation cup win in 2013.

The coach exuded confidence upon arrival in Nairobi. “The weather in Nairobi seems perfect. My players are in good shape and ready for this tie. I have only watched Gor on YouTube. They have a good left back and central striker, so we will exercise caution but I still target a positive result,”

The team

The key to the success of Esperance at continental record is their strong away record. Last year they did not loose a match away from home during the first 3 rounds. The defence is anchored by Tunisian national team first choice goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia.

A player to watch out for is attacking midfielder Ossama “picasso” Darragi, a free scoring player who has scored 8 times in the Tunisian league this season and is joint second leading scorer. He is quick, has close ball control and will make incisive runs into the penalty box.

Luckily the attack minded dangerman Khaled Gharsellaoui has been left at home due to lack of match fitness.

Darragi will be assisted by Ghanaian international Harrison Aful and Mohamed Ali Mhadhebi. Afful plays deeper on the right side of midfield and is a strong tackler who is also good on the ball. He makes quick runs from deep. Gor Mahia will need to watch out for him should he run into the penalty box because he falls easily at the slightest touch.

The attack will be led by Camerounian Yannick Djeng who joined them in 2011 after having been the subject of interest from Swiss side FC Sion. Djeng is powerfully built and uses his strong physique to shrug off defenders. He also has a powerful left foot which uses to send rocket as soon as he gains an inch of space. Luckily Gor Mahia also have the robustly built Israel Emuge.

Lining up alongside Djeng will be Ahmed Akaichi who is currently the second leading scorer in the Tunisian league with 8 goals in 20 matches. Akaichi is a classic goal poacher, good at positioning himself in the right place at the right time to score.

Esperance like most North African sides are very quick on the ball, very precise in finishing and are capable of launching lightning counter attacks, something that Gor Mahia will have to watch out for. Coach Ruud Krol indicated to a Tunisian newspaper that Gor Mahia lacks pace and he intends to exploit that lack of pace.

Krol also hopes that the fact that the Kenyan league has just started will work in the Tunisian’s favour because Gor Mahia have not gotten into their rhythm. Krol will be going for an all out attacking formation since he wants to win in Nairobi to make the return leg a formality. “We are the team to beat , and the best scenario is to play offensive to bring down the team on their home ground” said krol.

Tunisian League

With 20 matches played. Esperance are currently leading the Tunisian league standings. They have won 14 drew 5 and lost 1 for a total of 47 points which is 9 points ahead of second placed Etoile Du Sahel. Their last match was a 3-1 win over Metlaoui on February 22.

Gor Mahia fans will be hoping that coach Williamson has studied the Tunisian side and prepared a game plan. “We know they are regulars at the Champions League and that are highly ranked on the continent , but it is also our merit that has brought us so far and we we enhance after every game ‘, has said the Scot , Williamson. ‘I am confident in our ability to win by taking step by step” said Williamson.

With the right approach, Gor Mahia can beat Esperance. Last year, St George of Ethiopia eliminated ENPPI of Egypt and came very close to eliminating Zamalek.

The club

Espérance means “Hope” in French. The club was formed in 1919 and has won the Tunisian league 25 times, the Tunisian cup 14 times and have won 5 continental tournaments. The club’s nickname is Taraji which also means hope in Arabic.

Williamson discusses Calabar’s absence

courtesy of goal.com

The defender was red carded during their preliminary duel against US Bitam in Gabon making him ineligible to face Esperance in first round

Gor Mahia coach Bobby Williamson has admitted that the team will miss suspended defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino when they play Esperance in Saturday’s Caf Champions League match at Nyayo Stadium.

The defender was red carded during their preliminary match against US Bitam in Gabon making him ineligible to take face the North African side in the first round fixture.

Williamson said: “He has been very key and influential for us but there is nothing we can do in his absence. We have to go back to the options we have to help us navigate through the hurdle,” the Scott told Goal.

In the absence of Owino, Ugandan Israel Emuge is likely to step in. Williamson remained upbeat that K’Ogalo will register a convincing result to take to Tunisia.

“I am optimistic we will do well. We have a good team and our start to the season has been brilliant. We have played four matches and conceded only one goal in open play. That is something positive and we look forward to continue with the same form.

“We know that there has been bad history as far as North African opponents are concerned but we have what it takes to make history of our own. It is possible. They are a tough side, but so are we.”

Williamson is hoping that keeper Jerim Onyango, who injured his shoulder over the weekend, will be available for the clash. He is also encouraged that Patrick Oboya and Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi are back in full fitness and will be ready to face Esperance.

Ticketing Info

courtesy of futaa.com

Tickets for the first leg of the Caf Champions League match pitting Gor Mahia and Esperance are slated to go on sale starting tomorrow Friday 28 February 2014 in various venues.

A total of 22 000 tickets have been produced; 2500 for VIP to be sold at Kshs. 1000 and the rest for terraces to go at Kshs. 200.

From Friday

As revealed by club’s Organizing Secretary David Kiilo, Wells Fargo will avail the tickets at Kenya Cinema, City Stadium, Kengeles, Riadha House and Diamond Trust Bank centers.

-Tickets will be on sale from Friday at various venues with fans advised to start purchasing early as they will not be sold an hour to the kick off, confirmed Kiilo to futaa.com

Anima Ferrari Aketch

His sentiments were echoed by Deputy Secretary General Anima Ferrari Aketch.

-The FIFA rules clearly state that tickets are not supposed to be sold around the match venue, we therefore call upon fans to buy as from tomorrow so that by Saturday all will be set than running up and down looking for tickets, she said.

Nyayo National Stadium

The match pitting the one time versus the two time African champions kicks off at 1600hrs local time on Saturday 1 March 2014 at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Dawo: Gor Mahia must aim for clean sheet

courtesy of goal.com

The retired striker, who helped Gor Mahia to their first ever continental trophy, insists they must not concede if they hope to eliminate Esperance of Tunisia

Peter Dawo, the hero, who steered Gor Mahia to their first ever continental trophy – Nelson Mandela Cup – in 1987, believes K’ogalo have a daunting task when they take on Esperance of Tunisia in the first round of Caf Champions League on Saturday.

Gor Mahia beat the North African side during the final in 1987 with Dawo scoring in both home and away legs, scoring in the 1-1 away win, with the 90th minute equalizer being the only goal he scored with his foot, from 25 yards out.

But the former striker says it will be a different ball game altogether because Gor Mahia has many new players, who are yet to gel in together. “I watched them play Sofapaka in the Kenya Power Charity Cup early February and I was not convinced by their team work.

“They have many new players and that means their integration is yet to fully take shape. If they had almost the same team they had last season, then they would have been better.” Dawo told Goal.

“I believe it will be difficult for them because I am not very sure that their preparations were the best. North African teams invest well in their preparations.”

Dawo insists Gor Mahia should be wary of the Tunisians’ physique, speed and intelligence. “Tunisian players are very fast; they are intelligent and are physically strong. Gor Mahia should not play soft and they should go hard at them. Getting a good result at home, especially keeping a clean sheet, will be a great plus to their ambitions to qualify.

“Playing away is very tough. Though in our times they never treated us badly (though we carried our own food), we experienced very bizarre officiating and they should expect that as well going to Tunis for the return leg.

“During our times, we only played for passion and got results out of that. But now, these players are promised good sums of money for winning and scoring goals. I believe it will give them the extra urge to work harder and it will be in their favor.”

We can meet financial Obligations: Kilo

Gor Mahia vice Chairman David Kiilo has moved to re-assure fans that the club will still be able to meet its financial obligations despite the pullout by Tuzo.

“Gor Mahia is a brand. We have a large following and if we can properly manage what we have, then it should not be a problem. If fans can turn up in large numbers in our every home match like they did in Machakos and we manage the revenue well together with our proceeds from merchandise we should be in a very strong position.” He told michezoafrika.com

“There is no club in this country  with a massive following like Gor, secondly, when we win our weekend match against Esperance, you will see corporates falling over themselves for K’Ogalo pie” so many corporates interested in working with us and the modalities will be agreed upon” he continued

“We are just calling on our fans to have decorum and to behave themselves and portray an image worthy of Gor in our matches this season.

Williamson discusses game plan vs Esperance

Courtesy of the Standard
Gor Mahia coach Bobby Williamson has said the team will avoid conceding at home when they take on Tunisian giants Esperance in Saturday’s Champions League first round match at Nyayo National Stadium. The team resumed training yesterday at Nairobi City Stadium after successfully picking three league points at the expense of Mathare United in a 1-0 win in Machakos. Speaking after taking his team through the morning session, Williamson said: “It is a big match for us and the strategy will be to avoid conceding at home so that the return match is easier to navigate.
Kenyan champions to avoid conceding goal in first leg . Gor Mahia coach Bobby Williamson has said the team will avoid conceding at home when they take on Tunisian giants Esperance in Saturday’s Champions League first round match at Nyayo National Stadium. The team resumed training yesterday at Nairobi City Stadium after successfully picking three league points at the expense of Mathare United in a 1-0 win in Machakos.
Speaking after taking his team through the morning session, Williamson said: “It is a big match for us and the strategy will be to avoid conceding at home so that the return match is easier to navigate. “It is always costly to concede at home because then you have to score more goals away, which is more difficult. Gor Mahia have been boosted by the return of Patrick Oboya and Kevin Omondi from injury, something the coach says has increased competition for places. “As a coach, it is delightful to see your players competing for starting places in the team and this is the situation we find ourselves in ahead of the match.

Technical options

“Oboya and Omondi are fully fit and their presence will give me and my technical bench options as we sit down to pick the starting line-up,” he added. The two players did not feature in the preliminary match where Gor Mahia eliminated US Bittam of Gabon. Oboya played some part in Sunday’s 1-0 win against Mathare United in the KPL match at Machakos Municipal Stadium. Gor Mahia captain and goalkeeper Jerim Onyango has in the meantime said the team is highly motivated to take on their opponents, especially after they bundled out their West African opponents in the preliminary round.
 “The win over Bittam has given a lot of confidence and now we believe in ourselves. We want to tell our fans to come up in large numbers and give us the home advantage. Their presence will make a big difference,” he said. Historical memories Onyango said majority of the players look forward to featuring in the match, which has historical memories for most of them. “I was only three years old when Gor Mahia beat Esperance to win the Mandela Cup in 1987.
A good number of players in the team were either too young or were not even born. “This has given many of us the motivation to want to repeat that 1987 feat. A lot has changed since then, but we believe it can be done again,” added the goalkeeper. Onyango is, however, doubtful for Saturday’s match after picking an injury during the league match at Machakos Stadium and did not train with the rest of the squad.

Jerim injured, doubtful for Esperance match

Jerim saves a penalty in Gabon

courtesy of goal.com

K’ogalo custodian and captain Jerim Onyango is racing against time to be fit to face Esperance of Tunisia after missing Tuesday’s training through injury

Gor Mahia goalkeeper and captain Jerim Onyango remains doubtful for Saturday’s first round first leg Caf Champions League match against Esperance of Tunisia at Nyayo Stadium.

Onyango was injured during the Kenyan Premier League match against Mathare United at Machakos Municipal Stadium on Sunday forcing him to sit out Tuesday’s training session.

The goalkeeper said he is fighting to be fit for the match and will probably start training on Thursday. “It does not look bad and I am hoping to start training after one or two days and hopefully I can be in the coach’s plans for the match,” Onyango told Goal.

Onyango helped Gor Mahia progress in the competition after saving four penalties in the team’s elimination of Gabonese side US Bitam. On a positive note, Gor Mahia have been boosted by the return from injury of Patrick Oboya and Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi.

Coach Bobby Williamson says he is delighted to have the two back as this raises the level of competition for places in the team. “The two are back and their presence gives me plenty of options. It is a good situation to be in.”

Time for Gor Mahia fans to stand up

courtesy of the Nation

No sooner had Gor Mahia won the league title and followed it up with rather chaotic celebrations (by hooligans, not real Gor fans) last season than a period of anxiety and nail-biting set in as the club elections loomed.

The campaigns were protracted and at times very bitter. In the end, some won and some lost and the political climate cooled off a bit. The first duty of the elected officials was to ensure that K’Ogalo honoured their African Champions League preliminary round ties.

The first team to come calling was US Bitam and Gor had to fork out Sh4 million to pay for hotel accommodation in Nairobi for them.

Gor also paid for the air tickets, accommodation and allowances of the five visiting match officials. This was strange and the K’Ogalo chairman Ambrose Rachier said as much: “I find this fairly strange that we have to foot all the bills for the centre referee, two assistants, fourth official and the match commissioner to officiate here. I thought this should be the responsibility of another organisation but here we are.”

Caf, of course, organises the competition and does not wish to spend a cent on it. Furthermore, Gor spent some Sh2.3 million on air tickets to travel to Bitam in Gabon for the return leg. Now the team needs Sh15 million urgently to enable them honour their matches against Esperance de Tunis in the Champions League first round.


Worryingly, the Sh18.5m a year Tuzo sponsorship comes to an end in March. Perhaps due to the stresses of election campaigns, the office must have forgotten to source for another sponsor or negotiate a renewal.

The chairman made it sound like a bolt from the blue: “We have almost officially been informed that the current sponsors will not renew their sponsorship when it expires on March 31. For that reason, we are already looking for sponsors and are appealing to the corporate world or well-wishers who are willing to come to our aid.”

Notice that they have “almost officially…” been informed. Thus it is not official but just “almost official” which means nothing at all. No new sponsor has come forth to sponsor K’Ogalo, leaving many things are at stake.

There may be no money to pay players’ salaries and allowance or to travel to the match venues. There are some who have always whined that Gor fans can take care of the team; let them come forth and show us how they will do it now.

The winners are those hooligans who never pay any gate charges but just troop in forcefully. A way must found soon for the club to gain financial stability.

Gor Mahia signs health Insurance deal with Chase

courtesy of supersport.com

Chase Bank are set to sign a lucrative deal that will see the bank’s assurance department insure the players and the technical bench to the tune of Kshs15 million in a long term deal.

Omondi Aduda who was part of the negotiations informed supersport.com of the modalities of the deal that will see players and their families benefit in medical insurance for the first time since inception of the club in 1968.

“I can confirm it’s a done deal and it involves Chase Assurance giving medical insurance to 30 players, the technical bench and their families. It is important that players are insured to give them the motivation to work harder without being worried about themselves or even their immediate families.”

“The deal should be signed before the end of the week and i will be meeting with the Gor Mahia chairman to discuss on the modalities but it’s a very positive time coming at a time that the players consider their safety as paramount,” Aduda told supersport.com.

“It is important that we have to come together to work for the club in ensuring everything is streamlined in terms of player comfort that is because they are the same people expected to give good results on the pitch and their welfare is a big concern “he added.

Gor Mahia’s title sponsors Tuzo will not be renewing their sponsorship that ends on March 31st and the entry of Chase assurance will go a long way in helping K’Ogalo provide health services for its players.

Bobby Impressed

courtesy of futaa.com

Gor Mahia players impressed their head coach, Bobby Williamson, after recording their second straight win as well as keeping a consecutive a clean sheet.

-I am impressed with the way my boys played. To record our second win in a row as well as keep a clean sheet in both games is a job well done, said Williamson.

But he was unhappy after left back Godfrey Walusimbi was ruled out of Mathare United clash by the match officials during checkups on Sunday 23 February 2014 for forgetting to carry his player license card.

In a post match interview, the former Uganda Cranes international coach expressed his disappointment having failed to utilize the services of the towering defender amidst accusing him of mischief.

John Terry

-He can’t do that, I mean he is not an amateur in this industry, he is a professional he should not have done such a mistake, how can he forget his card a player of his caliber, a furious Bobby said.

-It’s like John Terry forgetting something prior to the match, it can’t happen, it was unfortunate that I was forced to replace him when he was ruled out of the lineup, I can’t tolerate that, he will have to wait for his chance in the next match.

Dan Sserunkuma goal

Walusimbi had been lined up to start but after the rule out, Kevin Oluoch replaced him. Gor won 1-0 thanks to a Dan Sserunkuma goal-his second in two league matches.


Gor Mahia edge Mathare United

Goalscorer: Dan Sserunkuma

courtesy of futaa.com

Kenyan Premier League [KPL] defending champions Gor Mahia have maintained their bright start to the season with a hard fought 1-0 victory over 2008 champions Mathare United on Sunday afternoon at the Machakos Stadium.

Ugandan international Dan Sserunkuma secured the three points for K’ogalo in the second half from a brilliant counter attack that Mathare defenders could not handle in time.
Gor Mahia however enjoyed an upper hand in possession and chances on goal through they did not manage to convert any of them amidst a watertight defence that Mathare maintained.
K’ogalo however went for the kill first through Ugandan national Dan Sserunkuma in the 3rd minute but the resultant Wanyonyi corner went wide for a goakick.
Mathare responded quickly through Daniel Mwaura who was brought down by Njuguna but the resultant freekick was well stopped by Jerim Onyango in the Gor Mahia goal.
Shaban Kenga was brilliant as well in the first half for Gor Mahia with several of his attempts being handles appropriately by Odhiambo on the Mathare United goal.
Zzinda Hussein and Vincent Odongo was great on the Mathare side but his efforts were countered by an equally determined Gor Mahia defence.
Gor Mahia snatched a minute after restart after Wanyonyi managed to sneak into the Mathare defence area and unleashed a shot that beat keeper Peter Odhiambo.
The match again bounced back into an end to end game with Hussein Zzinda unleashed a thunderbolt which Jerim saved. Sserunkuma also hit at them almost immediately with a header on the other end but it rolled wide a few inches.
Wanyonyi came calling on several occasions  but Mathare had already learnt the hard way after the first goal and would not make another mistake in the match.
Sserunkuma and Oboya had a chance to stretch the lead in the dying minutes of the match but the latter’s shot could not find the back of the net rolling a few inches wide.
Mathare United: 29 Peter Odhiambo(gk), 2 Kevin Omogi,3 David Mwangi,17 Noah Abich,25 Edgar Ochieng’, 7 Vincent Okello,8 Vincent Odongo,11 Edwin Ombasa, 35 Joseph Njuguna,10 Daniel Mwaura,9 Hussein Zzinda,
SUBS: 1 John Wawu(gk),14 Amon Muchiri,13 Mwendwa,27 Nduru,19 Erick Mata,21 Kenneth Wendo,30 Joseph Mwangi
Gor Mahia: Staring X1: 1. Jerim Onyango, 5. Musa Mohammed, 15. David Owino, 18. Haron Shakava, 2. Godfrey Walusimbi, 3. Baba Kizito, 6. Anthony Akumu, 7. Timonah Wanyonyi, 9. Shaban Kenga, 12. Jared Obwoge, 8. Dan Sserunkuma
Subs: 16. David Juma, 14. Kevin Omondi, 19. Solomon Nasio, 21. Rama Salim, 11. Innocents Mutiso, 30. Patrick Onyango, 25. George Odhiambo.