Okumbi : Door still open for Gor Mahia players

Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi, has sought to deny rumours that Gor Mahia players would be excluded from the 2018 CHAN squad following the decision of the club to prevent their players from playing in next week’s friendly against Malawi.  Five Kogalo players: Boniface Oluoch, Musa Mohammed, Harun Shakava, Ernest Wendo and Kenneth Muguna were called up by Okumbi but the club declined to release them thus prompting reports that FKF Chairman Nick Mwendwa had vowed to exclude the club’s players from CHAN.

However Okumbi says Kogalo players are still part of his plans.

“We would have liked to have the (Gor Mahia) players for the Malawi match. Unfortunately the club is not obliged to release players to us outside of the Fifa window. Having said that, football is a team sport and it is our belief that the 11 or so who will be selected to do duty for Kenya come Tuesday will do the country proud.” said Okumbi.

Gor Mahia tactician Ze Maria for his part, wants to keep focus on the trophy. And he recognizes that winning the league will be a tall order.

“It is tough; we have seen how Bandari, AFC Leopards and Ulinzi have started the season. It is not going to be easy but our ambition remains the same, to win the trophy,”said Ze Maria to supersport.

Ze Maria also noted that he is under tremendous pressure from fans who demand consistent results.

“It was important because in this club if you lose two matches in a row, there is so much pressure and confidence is affected. It was very good for us to get that win in a very tough match,” he added.

To keep the club on track, Ze Maria is confident that he call call up on a deep base of players with far more options than in 2016.

“This year we have a very good squad with quality. There is so much competition in the squad and everyone wants to play. This is a good problem for me. In this season, this will be something important for us,” the Brazilian tactician noted.

“Like against Homeboyz Meddie came off the bench to score, maybe another time another player will come off the bench and do something special. It is something good,” he concluded.

Ze Maria: The League is tougher in 2017

After starting the league with an impressive 3-1 win over Kariobangi Sharks at the Thika municipal stadium in week one, Gor Mahia has found it tougher since then, scoring only one goal per game in the next three matches. Coach Ze Maria recognizes how tough the league is but he will stop at nothing to win all three titles at stake.

“It will be very hard this year because many teams are playing well; but we are Gor Mahia and we have to try to win. We have taken one trophy this year but we have another three to play and we will try to take them to give to our fans,” the Brazilian tactician told Capital Sport.

What has carried Gor Mahia is the availability of better players at Ze Maria’s disposal. In 2017, Gor Mahia was hampered by the departure of several key players who had played important roles in the unbeaten season of 2015. This year the squad is more settled.

“This year our level is a bit higher. We have good players and all of them want to play and this is a good problem for me because of competition in the group,” the tactician continued.

Kakamega Homeboyz for their part have blasted the officiating which they say cost them the match.

“I was surprised to see no action taken against Boniface Oluoch by referee Andrew Juma after the keeper dangerously tackled our striker Wycliffe Ochomo in that match.” said Gilbert Alushula to goal.com.

The official insinuated that Juma favoured Kogalo because he is a brother to Boniface Oluoch.

“It is very unprofessional for a referee of Andrew Juma’s caliber to allow open mistakes and I think he should not be appointed to take charge of Gor Mahia matches in the future,” he continued.

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Gor Mahia edge Kakamega Homeboyz 1-0

Scorer: Meddie Kagere

A goal by veteran striker Meddie Kagere enabled Gor Mahia to escape with a 1-0 victory over Kakamega Homeboyz at Afraha stadium on Saturday. Kagere justified the calls of fans who have been calling for him to be given more playing time when he sublimely finished off an assist from Karim Nizigiyimana.

Additional reporting from Capital FM

The Rwandese midfielder wheeled away in celebration, two fingers in the sky signifying his double bundle of joy just 20 minutes after coming on for George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo. He finished off a decent team move, tapping in unmarked from a yard out after being picked up by a Karim Nizigiyimana cross.

The win takes Gor to nine points, two ahead of Bandari and leaders AFC Leopards who will be playing on Sunday in Nakuru and Kisumu respectively.

Gor head coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira had been boosted with the return of Rwandese midfielder Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza who tucked in at the centre of the pack alongside Ernest Wendo with Kenneth Muguna playing infront of them.

In defense, the Brazilian coach had taken back Wellington Ochieng into the starting team with Joash Onyango who took his place in last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Western Stima missing.

It was a balanced start to the match with Gor having the first opportunity of the match, a 13th minute curling freekick by Godfrey Walusimbi which was tipped over the bar by Homeboyz keeper Mike Wanyika.

Ten minutes later, skipper Eston Esiye’s swirling shot from distance almost caught out Boniface Oluoch in the Gor goal but he managed to scamper the ball over for a corner.

Two minutes later, Oluoch had to pull an important intervention to cut out Wycliffe Ochomo who had been put through by a Stephen Wakyanya through ball.

The Homeboyz bench was up in arms calling for a foul on their striker but referee Andrew Juma heard none of it.

George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo should have taken his side into the lead but he wasted a glorious chance. A well weighted long pass from Wellington Ochieng released Odhiambo on the right with the winger cutting in, but his shot was blocked.

Almost immediately, Jacques Tuyisenge forced a great save off Wanyika with a header at the far post after the Rwandese rise well to meet a Walusimbi cross from the left.

Both sides passed the ball well around the field, but it was Gor who saw more of the possession with Oluoch left only to dictate terms to his backline.

Just before the referee whistled for half time, Mugiraneza rose high at the back post to meet a Walusimbi corner, but the ball went wide.

At the start of the second half, Ferreira hauled off Odhiambo and brought in goal scorer Kagere with Mugiraneza also coming off for Francis Kahata.

Kagere made his mark known 20 minutes later and K’Ogalo should have gone two up seven minutes later but were denied. From a Walusimbi free kick, Tuyisenge headed the ball into play from the back post but Kahata’s effort was blocked.

The ball fell graciously on defender Harun Shakava, but the ball came off the upright.

With 10 minutes to go, Muguna came close to his second goal in Gor colors but he wasted an opportunity after failing to shoot on his weaker left foot when he broke into the box allowing the Homeboyz defense to race back and clear.

Gor Mahia take on Kakamega Homeboyz

Image courtesy of Holy Bonfire

After a disappointing loss Western Stima Gor Mahia will be looking to immediatey put their title run back on track. They will be at Afraha stadium this Saturday to take on Kakamega Homeboyz. There is no room for error. Arch rivals Bandari, AFC Leopards and Sofapaka are all in good form. A further slip up will see Gor Mahia drop from top of the standings in week 2all the way to the middle of the table in week 4.

The loss last Sunday has fans clamouring for absentee players like Meddie Kagere, Collins Okoth and Innocent Wafula whom coach Ze Maria has opted to leave out of the line-up.

Newly promoted Kakamega Homeboyz will be no pushovers. They have yet to lose a league match in the 2017 Kenya Premier League, having drawn twice and lost once.

Gor Mahia are the home team and have announced gate charges: VIP tickets will trade at Sh500 each while those of the terraces will cost Sh200 apiece. The match kicks off at 4:15 PM on Saturday.

Poor finishing let Gor Mahia down

Western Stima coach Henry Omino has admitted that Gor Mahia deserved to win the match. They dominated posession, created chances but could not convert the chances.

“Gor Mahia were better than us but my players made better use of the chances we created (beat Gor Mahia 2-1). The win is therefore good motivation for my players, especially after we lost our league opener against Sofapaka last weekend.” said Omino to the KPL website.

Gor Mahia started the league well but have struggled to find the net in the last two matches. Many fans are questioning why proven scorer Meddie Kagere is not being given more opportunities. Aside from the lack of sharpness upfront, fans have questioned why Collins Okoth has not received playing time this season. The loss saw Gor Mahia drop to 3rd spot. The next match for Kogalo in on Saturday against Kakamega Homeboyz at Afraha.

Dan Oketch loses case against Rachier

Current Chairman Ambrose Rachier has won his case against Dan Oketch who contested the election against him. Oketch noted in his petition that a total of 1564 voters were unfairly prevented from voting.

But Sports tribunal Chairman John Moore Ohaga noted that Oketch did not make a string enough case.
“We have dismissed the case because the 1564 petitioners did not prove membership and thus Rachier continues to be club chairman.” he said to goal.com

Gor Mahia sunk by Western Stima 2-1

Gor Mahia lost their first match of the 2017 KPL season. After having taken a 16th minute lead, Gor Mahia conceded two second half goals.

Additional reporting from Capital Sports

Jacques Tuyisenge had given K’Ogalo an early lead at the quarter hour mark from the spot to see his side go to the breather ahead.

Western Stima returned a better side in the second half with Fredrick Shimonyo restoring parity for the host in the 67th minute before Kennedy Otieno sealed the win with nine minutes to stoppage time.

The win saw Gor remain third on six points same as their rivals AFC Leopards who are second on a better goal difference and a match at hand.

Western Stima on the other hand picked their first win of the season to sit 13th of three points but have a match at hand.

Gor controlled the opening half with Burundian defender Karim Niizigiyimana coming close in the 33rd minute through a wonderful strike but the Western Stima coach was alert to parry the shot for a fruitless corner.

After the break, attacking midfielder Francis Kahata had a chance to double the scores for the 15-time record Kenyan Premier League champions, but saw his attempt calmly collected by the keeper.

K’Ogalo head coach Jose ‘Ze Maria’ withdrew Timothy Otieno for Meddie Kagere but the change could not take immediate effect as Western Stima drew level on the other end.

George ‘Black Berry’ Odhiambo was brought in for Ernest Wendo as Ze Maria strengthened his forward, seeking to reclaim the lead.

However, its Western Stima who went ahead in the 81st minute through Kennedy Otieno, a lead that they held for the victory.