Not even the allure of playing English Premier League club Everton next month was enough for Gor Mahia coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira to stay longer at the club.
The Brazilian trainer abruptly quit his job on Thursday, barely 14 months after his appointment. In the wake of his exit, former Kenya international Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno has been drafted as the stand-in coach.
In a letter to Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier, the Brazilian thanked the club for giving him the opportunity to serve the team but did not give reasons for his decision to quit the club.
“Dear Mr President, I hereby submit my resignation request, so terminate my contract from the position of the Head Coach I have held since March 2016 to date,” he said in the letter.
“Thank you for the consideration and trust given to me by the club, throughout my working period here.”
Ze Maria has quit alongside his Brazilian assistant Marcos Aurelio even though another Brazilian on the bench, fitness trainer Sandro Fantoni is reportedly staying put.
Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier on Thursday confirmed receipt of Marcelo’s resignation letter.
“The coach has written us a very wonderful letter and asked to leave. We have accepted the resignation. Zico takes over and we will convene an emergency executive meeting to discuss what next,” said Rachier.
Marcelo’s departure isn’t quite surprising according to club insiders.
It is reported that the former Brazilian international had fallen out with senior officials at the club, chiefly owing to consistent delays in receiving his dues.
As a matter of fact, the ex-Inter Milan defender went on strike last March, demanding he be refunded his Visa dues and other allowances accrued during his off the season trip to Brazil.
In his firt season at the club, Ze Maria relinquished the league and domestic title to Tusker, but but redeemed himself by clinching the KPL Super Cup as his side beat the brewers in the season curtain raiser earlier this year.
His last assignment at the club was the final of the inaugural SportPesa Super Cup tourney in Tanzania on Sunday, where he guided Gor Mahia to the title after a 3-0 win over arch-rivals AFC Leopards at Uhuru Stadium.
He, however leaves the club top of the standings after 13 rounds of matches. Gor Mahia will face Everton in a highly billed friendly on July 13.
As has been predicted for a long time now, long serving midfielder Collins Okoth Gattuso is on his way out of the club, having been released after his contract ended.
“We have released Collins Okoth. His contract with the club has ended and the club is not keen to renew it. We want to wish him all the best on his next move.” said CEO Ludovick Aduda to goal.com
Gattuso has not played much this season. He fell out of favor with coach Ze Maria last season and missed several matches. This season he tried to make amends with the coach but the Brazilian tactician was not keen on mending fences since he had other options at the position.
The fact that coach , with whom Gattuso had several run ins in 2012 had returned to the technical bench, did not bode well for Gattuso.
Gattuso first joined Kogalo in 2012. His first stint was peppered with numerous episodes of ill-discipline. But his play on the field was solid, earning him a place in the national team. He left in 2014 saying he was quitting football to return to school full time. But his early retirement last for a brief period. He would play for Tusker then Sofapaka before rejoining Kogalo in 2014.
Promising defensive midfielder Teddy Osok will be loaned out to KCB.
“We have loaned out Teddy (Osok) because we believe that the youngster needs playing time to build himself. It has proved difficult for him to break into the first team hence the decision to loan him out.” Aduda said to goal.com
Osok was signed at the behest of fans because he was one of the best players at the 2017 KPL U-19 tournament after having been released by Gor Mahia Youth.
Gor Mahia team manager Jolawi Obondo says the team is raring to go and cannot wait to play English premiership side Everton.
“It is not going to be easy, it will be tough to play them (Everton), but who says they are unbeatable? We want to beat them and prove that we have good talent here, it is going to be a good match. he said to goal.com
Everton were impressive this past season, finishing in 7th place out of 20 teams with 61 points (17 wins, 10 losses and 11 draws. They are coached by former Dutch international Ronald Koeman who is assisted by his twin brother Erwin Koeman, also a former international. Their squad includes such stars as Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas.
Chairman Ambrose Rachier wants Everton to know that Gor Mahia will not be approaching the match as underdogs.
“We are excited to the there to play. It will be a great and historic event and we are looking forward to it. Please tell the world that Gor Mahia are not underdogs heading into that match” Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier told Nairobi News
Meddie Kagere, who won the golden boot award, is also looking forward to an opportunity to play Everton.
“Everyone has contributed to our success and the best thing is that we have managed to win the competition. It was not easy though; our focus will now be on Everton, it is a privilege to play them and learn from the best. We will continue doing our best in all competitions because we want to keep developing as a team.” he said to goal.com
On reports that he might be leaving for Yanga, Kagere told the Daily Nation that he would be open to such a move.
“For me what matters is my job. Wherever it calls I will go. I won’t mind playing in the Tanzanian league. It will however depend on whether Yanga and Gor Mahia agree on terms since I am still contracted to them.”
“I know their league starts in late August. Let’s see whatever comes whether I can join them at the start of the season or not,” stated Kagere.
Yanga Secretary General Charles Boniface Mkwasa, eager to appease fans after their poor performance, hinted that they might go shopping for a striker once the Tanzanian transfer window officially opens on Thursday.
“We are in the market shopping for various positions. A striker tops our list, a winger and a left full-back. We’ve managed to fill a few gaps as recommended by the coach but we shall reveal all businesses once the window opens.
“I personally watched Gor Mahia play, they had quality players. I wouldn’t narrow down on an individual at the moment,” the former Taifa Stars Head Coach told Nation Sport.
Among the players who left Gor Mahia to play in Tanzania includes Mungai Kiongera, Dan Sserunkuma, Rama Salim and Donald Mosoti.
Meanwhile new AFC coach Doran Marin has backtracked from his claims about being sure of beating Gor Mahia. He now says he was just finding ways to motivate his side.
“I knew it was going to be a tough call for us but I had to motivate my players and instill that winning mentality in them. This is a big team and I fail to understand what those before me were doing. Anyway it is my job to turn the fortunes around and I am sure we will make this team great again.” he said.
In 1985 in Khartoum, Gor Mahia playing without six players who had been suspended by CAF and CECAFA, beat much fancied rivals AFC 2-0 to lift the CECAFA club cup. In 2017, Gor Mahia are the champions of the inaugural Sportpesa Super Cup after beating arch rivals AFC by a 3-0 score. The goals came from Timothy Otieno in the 59th minute and Oliver Maloba in the 72nd minute and John “Softie” Ndirangu in the 91st minute.
Additional Reporting from Capital Sports
AFC Leopards had hoped for revenge against K’Ogalo who beat them 3-0 in a Premier League fixture in May, but their bid fell flat out with a horrible second half performance against a half strength Gor side.
The 15-time Kenyan Premier League champions were missing up to eight first team players, but it didn’t show a bit against an Ingwe side who were almost full strength with the only first team absentees being Robinson Kamura and injured Mungai Kiongera.
Gor, the only side in the tournament to win their previous knockout games in regulation time was the better of the two finalists and Ingwe struggled to create clear cut chances.
Head coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira had returned to the touchline after missing the two previous matches and it gave the side a morale booster with most of the second choice players seeing an opportunity to impress the boss.
Meddie Kagere, crowned the tourney’s top scorer had the earliest chance of the game, but he missed a header by inches when he rose to meet a Wellington Ochieng cross. Innocent Wafula also had a header go wide from Francis Kahata’s delivery.
Salim Abdallah came to AFC’s rescue in the 26th minute when he cleared a few centimeters off the line after Francis Kahata’s lob had beaten Ian Otieno.
Timothy Otieno had a superb opportunity in the 34th minute when he was picked out by Kagere inside the box, but he could not get a meaningful shot on the ball, his effort going wide.
Allan Katterega had Ingwe’s best chances of the game, but both went begging. In the 36th minute, his well struck shot from the edge of the box went straight to keeper Fredrick Odhiambo while five minutes later, a header from a Marcus Abwao cross went over.
Gor came from the half time break breathing fire in attack. George Odhiambo had a shot in the 48th minute saved by Otieno before Kenneth Muguna rattled the crossbar with a well struck 52nd minute freekick.
On the hour mark, the 15-time KPL champions broke the deadlock when Otieno paid up for all his missed chances in the first half, striking a low shot into the bottom right of Otieno’s goal.
Ten minutes later, AFC’s Duncan Otieno came close to an equalizer but his rasping shot from the edge of the box was saved by Odhiambo in the Gor goal.
With barely three minutes on the pitch, substitute Maloba made it 2-0 with a simple touch into the net from an Odhiambo cross. AFC were punished after losing the ball cheaply in attack and Gor initiated a counter which bore the goal.
Ndirangu then crowned off the afternoon with a well struck effort from the edge of the box, also after just having come in.
Gor Mahia have been preparing for the final encounter of Sportpesa Supercup.
Coach Zico says that he is taking this game as seriously as he takes all the other games. “We are going to play for a win. Every coach wants to win” said Zico.
He also said his team is motivated and he is impressed by the bench players who are using this opportunity to impress.
Gor Mahia custodian Boniface Oluoch was between the sticks when Harambee stars started their 2019 Africa Nations cup campaign on a sour note, going down 2-1 to Sierra Leone. Musa Mohamed was deployed at right back. Also in action were former Kogalo players David Owino Calabar, Eric Ouma Marcelo, Anthony Akumu and Michael Olunga.
Additional Reporting from the Nation
Kenya began her bid for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on a sour note as they lost 2-1 to Sierra Leone on Saturday evening in a highly tempered match at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown.
Julius Wuobay and captain Umaru Bangoura scored a goal in each half for Sierra Leone, and Michael Olunga provided the only response for Kenya with a lovely goal taken free kick in the 75th minute.
In the 41st minute, Stars suffered a major setback when South Africa-based defender Brian “Niang” Mandela received a straight red card for a tackle on striker Alhassan Kamara, who was through on goal.
Mandela slid against a goal-bound Kamara in an attempt to dispossess him, but missed the ball and brought him down and prompting a red card from Nigerian referee Ferdinand Udoh – who was rounded up by Stars players at full time as they aired their displeasure at the way he had controlled proceedings.
Stars struggled to finish that first half with ten men, but coach Stanley Okumbi effected changes immediately after the breather to bring in defender David “Cheche” Ochieng in place of Kariobangi Sharks striker Masoud Juma, who was making his debut.
More trouble befell Kenya in the 68th minute as left back Eric “Marcelo” Ouma brought down John Kamara inside the box, thereby gifting the hosts a penalty.
As any captain would do, Bangoura stepped forward to take the penalty, placed the ball high to Boniface Oluoch’s left side to double their advantage.
Kenya’s only response in the match came from China-based striker Michel Olunga superbly placed the ball past a stranded Sierra Leone wall and goalkeeper from a free-kick just on the edge of the box.
Winger Ayub Timbe, also based in China, was hacked down before the referee aarded the free-kick.
Olunga had earlier on squandered a chance for Kenya to draw Kenya level in the first half, after latching onto a rebound inside six yards, but could only hit the cross bar when scoring was easier.
Coach Stanley Okumbi had made only two changes in his regular starting 11, but retained his preferred midfield quarter of Victor Wanyama, Ayub Timbe, Anthony Akumu and Eric Johanna.
In the absence of injured Zesco United striker Jesse Were, Okumbi chose to hand Juma his debut in the match, and he was to partner Olunga up front.
Musa Mohammed, who has been lurking in the shadows in such high profile games, also returned to the starting line-up at the right back position.
Sierra Leone began the match on a high, making dangerous runs and succeeding in destabilising the Stars backline on several occasions.
Stars however had two clear cut chances in that period, but Olunga and Juma were not clinical enough to convert the opportunities into goals.
Juma came with Stars’ first real chance in the 17th minute when he was left with the goalkeeper to beat, but he only fluffed his lines with the goal mouth gaping.
The defeat left Stars players, who were forced to play for about 50 minutes one-man less, with a bitter taste at full time.
1 Bonface Oluoch, 2 Musa Mohammed, 3 Erick Ouma, 15 David Owino, 5 Brian Mandela (red card 41min), 12 Victor Wanyama, 6 Anthony Akumu, 10 Erick Johanna (Onyango 66′), 7 Ayub Timbe (Waruru 90′), 9 Masoud Juma (Ochieng 46′), 14 Michael Olunga
18 Patrick Matasi, 20 Simon Mbugua, 19 Joseph Okumu, 4 David Ochieng, 8 Samuel Onyango, 11 Stephen Waruru, 17 Ernest Wendo
Gor Mahia beat Nakuru All Stars 2-0 to reach the final of the inaugural Sportpesa Super cup. Arch rivals AFC Leopards for their part, reached the final by beating Young Africans of Tanzania 4-2 on post match penalties.
Meddie Kagere who scored twice in the opener against Jangombe of Zanzibar, scored again against All Stars in the 44th minute. And just as in the first match, it was also a header. That was before George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo doubled their lead five minutes from time.
Gor Mahia are thus far the most convincing side in the tournament. They have won their matches outright while the others have been settled by penalties.
“It was a tough match but we kept on pushing hoping to get the opener. We didn’t underrate them because we saw what they had done earlier on. I am happy with the victory which sends us to the final.” Gor assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno said after the match.
Additional reporting from Capital Sports
In the 28th minute, Kenneth Muguna put Timothy Otieno through on goal with a neat pass, but the striker could not beat the All Stars keeper one on one.
Gor Mahia players line up before their match against Nakuru All Stars in the SportPesa Super Cup semi-finals on June 8, 2017. PHOTO/SportPesa
The National Super League side continued to fight and push for an opener but they could not find the right rhythm when it came to the final third. In the 38th minute, some good play saw Baraka Nturukundo meet a low cross from the right, but his volley went straight to the keeper.
With the half seemingly headed for a barren draw, Kagere who hit both in Gor’s 2-0 quarter final win over Jang’ombe pounced once again, glancing in a header from a Wellington Ochieng cross from the left.
In the second half, Gor commanded more chunks of play and three minutes in, Odhiambo saw his effort from close range saved by keeper Martin Lule.
Gor made changes with Amos Nondi coming in for Innocent Wafula and the youngster should have done better in the 73rd minute but he volleyed wide from close range.
Odhiambo however put the game beyond All Stars with a neat finish in the 82nd minute, slapping the ball home after it had come off the crossbar.
Substitute Olover Maloba had taken on a daunting run on the left before his cheeky chip over the keeper bounced off the bar.
Gor Outclass Nakuru To Set Mashemeji Derby Super Cup Final
by Mutwiri Mutuota
Meddie Kagere struck his third goal of the tournament to inspire Gor Mahia FC to set up a mouth-watering Mashemeji Derby SportPesa Super Cup final against AFC Leopards on Sunday when they outclassed compatriots Nakuru AllStars 2-0 in Dar-es-Salaam on Thursday.
Kagere scored in the first minute of added time in the first half of the second semi final of the inaugural competition before George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo put the game to bed in the 83rd to put the tie beyond the reach of the National Super League side.
In the absence of compatriot and record Gor signing Jacques Tuyisenge from the Super Cup, Kagere has taken his chance to impress with relish and is set to finish as the tournament top scorer as he set Gor on their way to the final at the Uhuru Stadium.
K’Ogalo have simply been the most dominant team in the eight-team knockout tournament, finishing their business inside the 90 in both their games so far and will be fancied to beat Leopards on Sunday.
The second Mashemeji Derby of the year follows the 3-0 drubbing Gor handed to their eternal rivals in their first leg meeting of the 2017 SportPesa Premier League (SPL) in Nairobi.
Once again, Gor under the tutelage of Assistant Head Coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno struggled to turn their territorial advantage to goals in the first half and were heading for the interval locked at 0-0 before Kagere’s crucial intervention.
AllStars had the ball cleared off the line midway through the first half to the disappointment of many neutrals who were urging them on and that is the closest they came to cause the second monumental upset at the competition following Monday’s heroics.
Beaten Nakuru All Stars players receive their bronze medals from FKF CEO, Robert Muthomi (2nd right) after losing their SportPesa Super Cup semi-final 2-0 to Gor Mahia at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam on June 8, 2017. PHOTO/SPN
Perhaps with an eye on the final, Otieno rested Kagere who was also among the goals when they crushed Leopards in the SPL in the 52nd minute for Oliver Maloba.
Maloba went on to be the architect of the second goal when his shot thundered off the cross bar inviting Odhiambo to emphatically fire in the rebound with a rising shot to seal the match.
The Super Cup decider will be the first ever meeting of the Kenyan arch rivals at a final on Tanzanian soil, with Leopards booking their ticket earlier when they knocked out Dar giants Yanga SC in the first semi final at the same venue.
The last time they vied for a trophy on foreign soil was during the 1985 Cecafa Club Championships where Gor overpowered Leopards 2-0 in Khartoum, Sudan.
AllStars will now return home to focus on their bid to return to the SPL next season with their heads high after winning the hearts of many in Dar and pocketing USD5,000 for making the last four.
They would have gratefully accepted that outcome at the start of the tournament they were given no chance of progressing past the opening day in what ranks as the greatest achievement since winning the national league in 1963 as AC Nakuru when they became the pioneer Kenyan club champions.
Shaban Odonji (16), Bernard Odhiambo (15), Mike Simiyu (33), Anthony Mbugua (27), Amos Nondi (11), Teddy Osokhi (26), John Ndirangu (21), Oliver Maloba (28), Jeconia Uyoga (19).
Anthony Ng’ang’a (6), Martin Lule (30), Thomas Njenga (3), Teddy Omondi (4), James Mukhwana (17), Japheth Ekuba (5), Peter Kamau (10), Dennis Nandwa (8), Peter Amani (14), Geoffrey Kang’ethe (16), Daniel Ndungu (11).
Daniel Likoko (1), Philip Ooko (12), Peter Ndungu (7), Jerome Baraka (20), Peter Ng’ang’a (9), Fortunatas Ongoro (29), Joseph Egenya (19)
It was a flying start for Kogalo in the inaugural Sportpesa Supercup. Rwandese striker Meddie Kagere struck twice to give his side a 2-0 win over Zanzibari side Jangombe. The match was played at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam. Kogalo were dominant despite missing several key players: Boniface Oluoch, captain Musa Mohammed, Earnest Wendo, Karim Nizigiyimana, Jean Baptiste. Yet it was the Zanzibaris who looked the better side in the first few minutes with Abdi Kassim and Khamis Musa both missing gilt edged chances.
After scoreless first half, Gor Mahia went on the offensive. Their efforts were rewarded in the 66th minute when Kagere connected to a cross from Kenneth Muguna and finished with a sublime header. Gor Mahia continued to press and their efforts were rewarded. A Jangombe defender was adjudged to have handled the ball in th epenalty box. Kagere slotted the resulting penalty to seal the score.
In the other opening match, second tier side Nakuru All stars shocked Tanzanian giants Simba, beating them 5-4 on penalties. This is much to the chagrin of the organizers who were hoping that Simba would play Kogalo in the semis in order to fill the stadium. Instead it is Nakuru who will face Kogalo.
Gor Mahia XI: 1. Peter Odhiambo, 14. Innocent Wafula, 4. Wellington Ochieng, 12. Joash Onyango, 18. Haron Shakava, 30. Philemon Otieno, 10. Kenneth Muguna, 8. Francis Kahata, 17. Timothy Otieno, 22. Meddie Kagere, 33. Mike Simiyu.
Sub: 16. Shaban Odhoji, 15. Bernard Odhiambo, 11. Amos Nondi, 27. Anthony Mbugua, 26. Teddy Osok, 28. Oliver Maloba, 25. George Odhiambo, 21. John Ndirangu, 19. Jeconiah Uyoga
Gor Mahia will kick off their campaign in the inaugural Sportpesa Supercup when they take on Jangombe Boys from Zanzibar on Tuesday June 6. Gor Mahia will be seeking to emulate arch rivals AFC who booked a place in the semis by beating Singida United of Tanzania on 5-4 penalties. Compatriots Tusker are out after losing to Yanga also on penalties.
Jangombe finished second in the 2016-2017 Zanzibari league three points behind JKU FC. The last time Kogalo played a Zanzibari side was in 2015 at the CECAFA cup when they beat KMKM 3-1.
Nyangi criticizes Players
Gor Mahia organizing secretary Judith Nyangi has come out against the three players who snubbed a call up to the national team. Tim Otieno, Harun Shakava and Kenneth Muguna all decided not to join the national team that is preparing for the 2019 Africa Nations cup qualifiers.
“As a club, we cannot make some decisions for you, yes we requested Shakava (Haron) to be released, but the other two made decisions on their own. It is not wise to snub a national team for a club duty, especially like this one. It is one decision they might come to regret. Yes, we did not request them to be released, they decided on their own, and in the future, maybe, that might work against them” Nyangi told goal.com.
However former national team coach and current pundit, Jacob “Ghost” Mulee stated that the players made the right choice since they likely would not have made the final squad.
“It is a privilege to play for the national team, and every player wants it, but sometimes it might be a blessing in disguise. Those four players acted with their instincts maybe feeling that they will not make the final squad taking into consideration the competitiveness and quality in the team,” said Ghost to goal.com