Gor Mahia blank Mathare 2-0

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.


Gor Mahia take on Mathare United in crucial match

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

Jacque Tuyisenge voted player of the month


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.

Eric Ouma earns maiden stars call up

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.

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)

Nuttall gave me hell says Rachier

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.


Gor Mahia intent on bringing Kagere back

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.


Late Kahata goal switches off Western Stima

Kahata’s bullet header against Western Stima
Image courtesy of Jared Migunde


Francis Kahata scored a goal 5 minutes into injury time to give Gor Mahia a hard earned Victory over Western Stima. It was tense match in which Stima fought doggedly.

Additional reporting courtesy of futaa.com
Second half substitute Francis Kahata thumped in a power-header in the last minute of added time to ensure that Gor Mahia took home the entire points from their Sunday 14 May Kenyan Premier League round 13 match against tough hosts Western Stima at the Moi Stadium Kisumu.

Gor Mahia kicked off the match on a running noted with youngster Eric Ouma setting up Blackberry from the left but the latter was brought down by Esiye in Stima defence as he attempted to make a shot out of it.

Western Stima however recovered quickly with Kenneth Muguna leading the attack on Gor Mahia. It was however Nzigimana who made a second attempt in the 8th minute with a cross from whixh Andika almost fumbled with as Blackberry waited to pounce on. Blackberry would moments later make a run and cross aiming at advancing Tuyisenge but Sikhayi blocked his path before again missing from a pinpoint header from a Walusimbi cross.

Stima responded as swiftly with Musa Mohammed being forced to make two frantic saves from a Shimonyo-Muguna combination. The former’s freekick then was cleared by Shakava as it headed for goal in the 28th minute. Baron Okech stole the show in the 30th minute however after leaving Gor Mahia defenders and midfielders for dead before making a full pitch length run through the left wing only to delay in the Gor Mahia area and allow Muda Mohammed to slide in and block the shot.

Stima defender Vitalis Akumu would display similar skill and intelligence moments later after saving from the goalmouth after Aucho connected with the Walusimbi freekick,followed by a Nzigimana back-flick that was headed for goal. Gor Mahia then made an early sub bringing on board Innocent Wafula for less effective Ronald Omino as they fought to solidify their midfield that Stima were taking control of continuously. Tuyisenge’s shot was then blocked by Shimonyo with a Blackberry shot flying over the post.

Wafula made the first significant move in the 42nd minute but his finishing proved wanting as Vitalis Akumu cleared the ball from his feet. Shimonyo was not done yet from a counter attack after being fed by Muguna but his left-out footer also flew wide.

Stima brought on board Ondiek in place of Esiye in a move to solidify their defence but Gor Mahia was not relenting as Nzigimana cross almost found Andika unawares but he dealt with it. Shimonyo however remained a thorn in Gor Mahia defence as he took on two defenders but he was brought down.

The hosts were not done yet as Baron and Muguna seemed to combine well as they had been doing for the entire of the match but the latter was stopped in his tracks before going for the killer. Blackberry then found Aucho but the latter blasted the shot over the bar with the goalkeeper only to beat.

Both sides made significant changes with Stima introducing Kiplangat in the offensive as Gor Mahia brought on board Kahata. The latter had an immediate impact as his corner was cleared by Sikhai as Ouma attempted a bicycle kick inside the box. Oketch was injured after he had made an impressive run through the wing only for Aucho to save it for a corner. He was replaced by former Gor Mahia man Kopany. The latter also clicked well but he lost balls easily in midfield and caught offside on one occasions thereafter.

Gattuso was then replaced by Agwanda and this proved the final blow to the Stima side that had now decided to be defensive as he brought in dangerous crosses that piled pressure on them at the minute. The goal finally arrived in the last minute of the match from a corner after eric Ouma had bee hacked down by Sikhayi earning him a freekick which was then blocked for a corner as Stima engaged frantic defending. They were not lucky this time as Kahata rose high to head in, squeezing the powerful header at the bear post.

Gor Mahia have now piled pressure on the table toppers after storming into third with this win and made their intentions to defend the title more vivid.

Kahata’s bullet header against Western Stima
Image courtesy of Jared Migunde

Remembering Zablon Otieno “Pro”

Former Gor Mahia midfield ace Zablon Otieno Osowo, popularly known as “Pro” is no more. He passed away on Friday Morning May 13. He had been undergoing treatment at Jamaa hospital in Buru Buru for Pneoumonia and a heart attack he had suffered hours earlier. Pro will be remembered firstly as one of the most dedicated players to play for Kogalo. He logged several years with the club. And this was during the club’s dark ages when it was constantly in the relegation zone and could barely make ends meet financially. And along with fellow Midfielder Dan Ogada, another very dedicated player, he is one of the most skillful players to play for the club in recent times. He mesmerized opponents and fans alike with deft touches and brilliant moves.

Zablon Otieno’s formative days in Kaloleni

Zablon Otieno Black Mamba, Re Union

Zablon Otieno joins the big leagues

Zablon Mentoring the young Blackberry

Zablon Otieno Coaching Career

Sporting Family

Nicodemus Arudhi, seen here on the right playing for Luo Union FC against Mwenge of Mombasa sometimes in the late to mid 1960s. Notice the resemblance to Pro and Ade

Rest In Peace

Zablon Otieno will be remembered as one of the most talented players ever to don the green Kogalo jersey. He will be remembered as an Eastlands legend. Surprisingly he was never called to the national team. He leaves behind a wife and three children. May be rest in peace.

Gor Mahia take on Western Stima

Gor Mahia hope to continue their climb up the KPL table when they play Western Stima at Moi stadium Kisumu on Sunday. The Lakeside venue is proving to be a good hunting ground for Kogalo. Last weekend, Gor Mahia played the best football they have played this season. Fans finally got to see the “Samba Touch” that tactician Ze Maria has been installing.

The Power men could prove to be tough nut to crack. They are currently in 7th place with 18 points, only two behind Gor Mahia. And exactly one year ago, these two teams met at the same venue. That match ended in a 0-0 draw. Gor Mahia won the second leg match 1-0.

Stima’s last match was on May 9 and ended in a 2-2 draw with Mathare. Stima were disappointed at giving up a two goal lead but coach Henry Omino is determined to make amends on Sunday.

“It is eleven against eleven and if we play as we did last weekend, we shall definitely win, that I am sure. We should just be industrious on the pitch and ensure we do not make silly mistakes.” he said to goal.com

Gor Mahia for their part warmed up for their weekend match by beating Jericho All Stars 2-0 at Camp Toyoyo. The goals were scored by Khalid Aucho and Innocent Wafula.


Gor Mahia seeking to bolster the attack

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has told Capital FM that the club is in contact with Rwandese striker Meddie Kagere and is weighing options to bring him back. Kagere was one of the pivotal players in Gor Mahia’s record breaking season in 2015 and scored what is arguably the goal of the year, a gem against Nakuru All Stars.

“We are talking with Meddie and also consulting with the coach because he has to be involved. Meddie is interested in coming back and we are also interested in bringing him back but it will depend on the dynamics of the coach. We are definitely looking for a striker,” Rachier said to Capital FM.

Gor Mahia are hamstrung by the fact that the quota of foreigners is limited to five per team and Gor Mahia has already reached that quota. And all five foreign players are playing well.

“For sure it is giving us a headache if we get in any foreigner because we already have five. We are quite satisfied with the performance of those we already have, but one may be sacrificed in the interest of having a balanced team,” Rachier added.

The addition of Kagere would create a formidable partnership upfront. Tuyisenge and Kagere are familiar with each other’s style of play and would mesh together quickly. Tuyisenge has a phenomenal strike rate of six goals and seven games.  Yet he does not think he has hit his best form yet.

“I did not participate in Gor Mahia’s pre season due to injury. I came in when others had already played several matches and I have had to play catch up. But I am happy so far with my form but I am yet to hit my peak,” he said in a TV interview on Supersport.

Tuyisenge went on to state that the welcome he received from Gor Mahia players and officials was one of the factors that has enabled his success at the club

“They welcomed me well, encouraged me when I was still out injured and now that I am playing often, they are giving me all the support.”

“Mine now is to work hard to improve and help my team. I know everybody wants me to perform better than Olunga (Michael) and (Kagere) Meddie, but I will need some time to get to my best. However I can also add that I am surprised by my scoring record to this point.” he continued.

Meanwhile former Gor Mahia striker Timothy Otieno has categorically stated that he has no intention of returning to Gor Mahia.

“My form had been affected by an injury and by the time I came back, Nuttall made it clear that he did not need my services. He even suggested that I go on loan to  Muhoroni Youth but when I declined, he told me categorically that he will not use me and it got so bad we were not even on talking terms. I was therefore glad when the opportunity came to join Rangers and I do not intend to go back to Gor Mahia anytime soon,” he said according to betway.co.ke

At this point Otieno who has scored four goals this season and won player of the month in March, has stated that he will either join AFC Leopards in June or stay at Rangers to complete his loan spell.