Gor Mahia edge Nzoia United 1-0

Cercidy Okeyo in action against Nzoia

Kevin Omondi “Ade” scored the crucial goal as Kogalo beat Nzoia United to consolidate their lead atop the 2018 Kenya Premier League standings. Gor Mahia now have 16 points from 6 matches.

Additional Reporting from Capital FM
Captain of the day Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi struck the only goal of the match as a second string Gor Mahia side created a five-point gap on top of the Kenyan Premier League standings with a 1-0 win over Nzoia Sugar in Machakos on Sunday.

Gor would have wound up the game at 2-0, but Wesley Onguso’s re-taken second half penalty was saved by keeper Benson Mangala with 10 minutes left on the clock.

The reigning champions ensured they remain unbeaten this season after six matches, moving to 16 points after five wins and a draw.

Gor Mahia boss Dylan Kerr once again stood by his word to rotate his squad, basing they played a tough CAF Champions League tie against Esperance on Wednesday and the return leg beckoning next weekend.

From the team that played against the Tunisian giants, Only Joachim Oluoch retained his place in the starting team, but he was pulled in centrally to partner Charles Momanyi in defense. Omondi was handed the skipper’s armband and the play-making role just behind main striker Ephraim Guikan.

Midfielder Bernard Ondieki was fielded in an unfamiliar right back role with Lawrence Juma parading in midfield against his former employers, partnering Cersidy Okeyo.

Nzoia came into the match knowing they stood a chance against Gor’s hugely rotated squad but their biggest undoing was that they were to quick in going forward and their decision making wasn’t the best.

Gor had the first chance of the game after eight minutes and it sure was a decent one, Guikan finding some shooting space on the left but his ferocious shot came off the crossbar and was scrambled off for a corner by Nzoia.

Shabaan Odhoji starting in goal for K’Ogalo ahead of the rested Boniface Oluoch proved why he is a contender for the number one gloves at the club with a great point blank save to deny Elvis Rupia at point blank after the forward had raced to meet a George Mutimba cross from the right.

Nzoia were grown in confidence especially after winning many balls off Gor in the middle of the pack.

David Odhiambo had two back to back decent chances for Nzoia, first in the 35th minute cutting into his favorite left foot from the right side, slicing in a decent rocket from almost 30 yards out but it went over.

Two minutes later, he forced an uncomfortable save off Odhoji with a shot from distance in the 35th minute after he noticed the keeper metres off his line.

For their missed chances, the Bungoma-based club paid the ultimate price.

Skipper of the day Omondi broke the deadlock four minutes to the break with a brilliant first time curling effort after Boniface Omondi had created some space on the right before laying the ball for his skipper to slam home.

In the second half, the attacking flow of each side didn’t stop. Nzoia had an opportunity with a shot from distance but it went wide five minutes after the restart.

Gor should have been two up in the 55th minute when Guikan picked up a long ball from Oluoch, rounded keeper Benson Mangaala but Festus Okiring made a superb sliding block a few inches off the line.

Kerr too rest key players this weekend

Coach Dylan Kerr feels he has no choice but to rest some of this players this weekend. This is so that the players avoid injury and fatigue ahead of the crucial return leg against Esperance in Tunis on March 17.

“I definitely will and I don’t think I have much of a choice. Look we have a huge game against Esperance on the 17th and we have a very good chance of making it. I would want to have a strong squad to get a good result. Also, this game against Nzoia will be a chance to the other players to show they deserve to be in that travelling team,” Kerr said to Citizen Sports.

Gor Mahia are set to play Nzoia United this weekend and Kerr under no illusions about how difficult the match will be.

“Every team that comes to play against Gor Mahia gives their best because they want to open the papers the next day and see that they beat us. Nzoia is a tough team and this will not be an easy walk for us,” he continued.

Earlier on Kerr observed that Esperance came to Kenya with the express intent to force a draw. To that end they employed time wasting tactics.

“Esperance came to draw, they used time-wasting tactics to frustrate us because they had come for a draw. It is something that I am not happy with; especially their goalkeeper who on multiple occasions took a lot of time to take a goal kick and the referee was just there.

“However, I am happy with the way my players played, it was not the best of preparations considering the fact that we spent seven hours in the jam. We could have scored six goals, but it was just a bad day. We will not be cowed in the second leg.” said Kerr to goal.com

At the end of the game Esperance were slapping high fives and celebrating after they accomplished their goal of forcing a draw.

However Kerr also knows that he will be facing a more attack minded Esperance side when the two sides meet in Tunis.

Bob Oyugi tips Kogalo to proceed

Former Gor Mahia coach Bob Oyugi is positive that Gor Mahia will overcome Esperance and proceed to the group stage of the champions league.

“Gor Mahia has a complete team to beat Esperance. We only need to be very careful with a penalty that their usual number 11 looks for when they play.

“Esperance are already under pressure and Gor Mahia should score an early goal to win their fans. Part of their supporters will support Gor Mahia,” said Oyugi to goal.com.

Oyugi who is also the former National Youth Talent Academy coach observed that Kogalo has what it takes but must utilize their chances.

“Gor Mahia has very technical and strong players for the away game- let them use all chances that come.” he continued.

Oyugi coached Gor Mahia in 1992 and 1993 having previously coached KTM of Thika. Should Gor Mahia proceed to the group stage, a financial windfall awaits them to the tune of Ksh 52 million.

Gor Mahia held scoreless by Esperance

Gor Mahia created numerous chances especially in the first half but were unable to capitalize due to a combination of good goalkeeping by the Esperance keeper and being denied by the woodwork.  The match ended 0-0.

Gor Mahia thoroughly dominated possession in the first half. Tuyisenge was denied by the post after being put through by Kahata. Kagere was twice denied by very good goalkeeping. While Joash Onyango’s header from a Kahata corner went inches wide. Esperance appeals for a penalty when their left winger was felled, was denied by an alert referee.

In the second half, Gor Mahia slowed down slightly and were also slowed down by the poor state of the playing surface. Esperance for their part seemed to be playing for a draw and hardly ventured forward.  Gor Mahia’s best effort in the second half came via a Francis Kahata free-kick which the goalkeeper parried.

All in all Gor Mahia played well. The defence was solid. Oluoch was steady in goal and midfield created chances. The good news is that Gor Mahia did not concede an away goal.

Match Attendance was below par largely because the match was being televised by various media none of whom paid to televise the match.

Additional reporting from Citizen Sports
Kenyan record league champions Gor Mahia have an uphill task in the second leg of their CAF Champions League clash with Tunisia giants Esperance, after registering a barren stalemate in the first leg played at the Kenyatta stadium, Machakos on Wednesday.

An encounter full of emotions it was, with Gor missing glorious chances in the first stanza they well commanded.

A rare occurrence saw Godfrey Walusimbi and Haythen Jovini burst the ball in the first minute, after a fierce contest near Gor’s goalmouth.

Frustrating afternoon as Gor miss chances, draw with Esperance
By Jacob Icia For Citizen Digital
time updated Updated on: 1815, March 7, 2018 (EAT),

Frustrating afternoon as Gor miss chances, draw with Esperance
Gor players George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo9Right) and Godfrey Walusimbi being challenged by an Esperance marker at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos/PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha
In Summary

Gor Mahia have an uphill task in the second leg of their CAF Champions League clash with Tunisia giants Esperance.
An encounter full of emotions it was, with Gor missing glorious chances in the first stanza they well commanded.
The unyielding battle continued and Kerr had to throw Bernard Ondieki and Samuel Onyango into the fray, withdrawing Philemon Otieno and a worn out Odhiambo respectively.

Kenyan record league champions Gor Mahia have an uphill task in the second leg of their CAF Champions League clash with Tunisia giants Esperance, after registering a barren stalemate in the first leg played at the Kenyatta stadium, Machakos on Wednesday.

An encounter full of emotions it was, with Gor missing glorious chances in the first stanza they well commanded.

A rare occurrence saw Godfrey Walusimbi and Haythen Jovini burst the ball in the first minute, after a fierce contest near Gor’s goalmouth.

Gor’s goalie Boniface Oluoch reacts during their Caf Champions League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos county on March 07, 2018. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

Meddie Kagere’s header flew over the crossbar in the eighth minute, after connecting Francis Kahata’s cross who had skillfully dodged past Khalil Chanan.

Three minutes later, miscommunication between Kahata and Kagere wasted the most promising chance till then, the former’s through pass missing the latter’s leg by inches.

Jacques Tuyisenge would shortly land on a neat cross across the goal from Kahata, only to rattle the woodwork with a powerful shot, with the Esperance custodian Noel Ben Shariffa well beaten.

Gor trio of Kagere, Tuyisenge and Kahata were causing the 2011 Caf champions constant trouble on their goal. In the 21st minute, Kahata danced around Chanan, to set up Kagere in the box, whose right foot shot forced Shariffa to reflex dive to punch it out for a corner.

A minute later, Tuyisenge’s attempt was parried out by the hardworking Shariffa, with K’Ogalo fans on their feet in anticipation of what appeared to be an outright goal.

By the 25th minute, display by the Dylan Kerr coached side had charged the fans, though few for the mouthwatering clash, whose encouraging songs and cheers were electrifying.

Notably, Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua, and his Nyeri counterpart Mutahi Kahiga, rose to encourage the fans to cheer on more, gesturing at the parked VIP stand enthusiastically. His Nyeri counterpart Mutahi Kahiga joined the ‘elite fan-base’, with a short lived dance though.

Realising the attacking mentality Gor had in the match, the entire Esperance retreated to guard their goal leaving only Jovini and Yossef Blaili upfront, seeking to hit Gor on counter attack.

In the 37th, Joash Onyango’s cross-cum-shot rubbed the side netting with the keeper off his place, with a diving Kagere missing narrowly ending up in the net himself.

Onyango had denied Blaili who has been released open by Foscent Coulibaly from the middle with rest of defenders falling in the counter attack trap, before advancing fast to execute his attempt.

The last chance of the first stanza fell to Kahata from George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo’s cross, but his poorly finished header was easy for Shariffa to collect.

Five corners to Gor’s credit going to the break and close attempts was all the home fans could count, as Esperance took stock of superb defending at the bumby and slightly muddy surface.

At resumption, Esperance brought on Annis Ben Hijra for Blaili, followed by Bilel Nestri for a meangful attack.

Hijra needed only a minute on the pitch to test Gor’s goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch, heading a loose ball to the extreme left corner that he had tip off the target for a corner.

The encounter was soon balanced, both sides knocking interchangeably on the opposite goals.

As the visitors tossed the last dice by introducing Maher Ben Shaieri for Jovini in the 70th, Gor brought on Kelvin Omondi for Kahata, who had immensely lost his initial rhythm.

The unyielding battle continued and Kerr had to throw Bernard Ondieki and Samuel Onyango into the fray, withdrawing Philemon Otieno and a worn out Odhiambo respectively.
In the 85th, Ondieki almost grabbed one for Gor with a 30-yard shot, only to miss narrowly to the disappointment of eager fans.
The determined North Africans appeared comfortable with the stalemate, employing time wastage tactics as the clock ticked fast to full time.
The result means any draw of goals in the second leg (March 17 in Tunis) will send K’Ogalo in the second round of the competition.

Esperance are beatable

Given the most recent history, Gor Mahia face daunting task against Esperance when the two sides face off at Machakos on Wednesday. Gor Mahia will certainly be under no illusions when the two sides meet. Esperance is a side of vast pedigree. They have reached the group stage of the Champions league in almost every season since 1999. They have won the tournament twice and reached the final four times.

What makes Esperance great is their tactical and technical ability. They have a very high level of fitness which enables them to press for ninety minutes and place opponents under constant pressure thus forcing mistakes. When they force those mistakes, they are very good at converting turnover into lightning quick attacks. Their players make very precise passes. Their attackers make excellent runs and are adept at beating offside traps. Their shots are precise and they rarely miss chances. When they shoot, there is always an attacker ready to pounce on the rebound. And this is how they destroyed Kogalo in 2014. With their ability to beat offside traps, Gor Mahia will need a highly discplined line and they will need speed in central defence.

As mentioned above Esperance score numerous goals via precise defence splitting passes to well placed runners. Therefore the Gor mahia defensive midfielders such as Wendo and Mieno could be the key as they must reduce the supply of such passes.

However the Gor Mahia side of 2018 is much better than the side that lost 8-2 to Esperance in 2014. To begin with, Dylan Kerr is a tactically adept coach who has shown an ability to study teams and prepare his side. Gor Mahia of 2018 is far more experienced. The players are calmer under pressure.

The Kogalo attack in early 2014 was blunt in large part because Sserunkuma, Blackberry, Oboya and Rama Salim had not played any games together and thus had no understanding and no cohesion. Their attack was bereft of ideas. It primarily consisted of sending long balls to Sserunkuma in the hope that he would find space and beat defenders with his footspeed. This was derisevely referred to as the “Patia Sserunkuma” tactic which worked in KPL but fell flat because Esperance easily dealt with the long balls and the predictable tactic. Furthermore, sending long balls to Sserunkuma was folly because he was short of stature and could not outjump anyone. Gor Mahia’s attack has shown a lot more variety since 2014 and the cohesion between Blackberry, Kagere and Tuyisenge is much better.

In defence Shakava is far more mature than he was in 2014 when the defence was also disjointed. However the defence where Kerr will need to work overtime to come up with a winning formula given the departure of Musa Mohamed and injuries to Nizigiyimana and Wellington Ochieng. And in attack, the strikers will be made to understand that Esperance rarely make mistakes and thus finishing must be sharp. One area that Esperance has been struggling of late is their inability to defend set-pieces, something Kerr has shown that he can exploit.

In 2014, Gor Mahia conceded three goals to defensive and goalkeeping blunders. This is unlikely to be repeated in 2018. Boniface Oluoch cannot afford to be non-chalant against those very clever Esperance attackers as they will have studied him and know his shenanigans. He must clear his lines immediately.

Esperance were eliminated by Al Merreikh of Sudan in the 2015 Champions and were almost eliminated by Horoya of Guinea in 2017. With the right tactical approach.

Key Players to watch

These are the key players that Gor Mahia must prepare for

Franck Kom

A highly expewrienced defensive midfielder who has played for the Cameroun national team as well as stints in the Bundesliga and made almost 100 appearances for Etoile de Sahel including champions league matches. He will be key in the Esperance tactic of applying high pressure and converting turnovers into quick attacks.

Taha Khennissi

The bearded striker is the current top scorer in the Tunisian league. He is your prototypical North African clinical finisher. His goals primarily come from using his wit to beat offside traps and his finishes are very precise. He is 183 cm tall and very good at finishing with his head. He is a very good passer as well. He will be counted on to score for Tunisia at the 2018 world cup.

Ghailene Chaalali

This midfielder is fond of shooting from long range. He has a rocket launcher in his right foot and will beat you with a long range bomb if you allow him space. He times his tackles well and he is very speedy. So when he wins a tackle, he immediately sets of a counter-attack. His is also in the Tunisian national team.

Khalil Chemmam

A vastly experienced left back who has played for the Tunisia national team since 2008 and has played for clubs in Portugal. He is fond of sliding tackles, something that the speedy Kevin Omondi can exploit to win penalties.

Anice Badri

The Tunisian national team attacker was born in France and grew up in Lyon. He is a brilliant passer and will be the key supplier of passes to Khenissi. He is adept at shielding defenders, drawing in multiple defenders and releasing precise passes to his fellow attackers. he is also adept at running at defenders and will flop at the slightest touch this drawing penalties.

Coach Kerr positive ahead of Esperance tie

In this TV interview, Dylan Kerr says he fails to understand why KPL is congesting the fixtures during the month of March when there are 10 months left in the year. He says KPL should make it possible for Kenyan teams to do well in the Africa Champions League by ensuring that teams are well rested. Kerr is unhappy that his team is forced to play5 games within 14 days and yet are still expected to do well against Esperance.


Nevertheless after the Bandari tie, Kerr was more positive ahead of the mammoth March 7 encounter against Esperance of Tunisia. This after Gor Mahia put on a sold performance against previous league leaders Bandari on Saturday.

“I wanted the performance today, I wanted the energy and I got it from my players,” said Kerr to goal.com

This despite the fact that Gor Mahia have lost Wellington Ochieng to a long term injury. Ugandan utility player Godfrey Walusimbi is also injured, which leaves Gor Mahia with few options at the fullback position.

The good news is that Ivorian Striker Ephrem Guikan who picked up a concussion is now out of danger.

“Guikan suffered a knock after falling awkwardly from the aerial challenge. He suffered concussion but doctors have cleared him. He is now out of danger and can play next match if the coach wants to use him.” said club CEO Omondi Aduda to goal.com



Gor Mahia blank Bandari 2-0

Wesley Onguso whose cross resulted in the first goal

Gor Mahia beat Bandari 2-0 in a top of the table clash at Machakos on Saturday. The goals came from an own goal that resulted from Wesley Onguso’s cross and a tap in by Meddie Kagere.

Additional reporting from futaa.com
Gor Mahia has maintained the perch at the summit of the Kenya Premier League table after seeing off Bandari 2-0 at Kenyatta stadium on March 3rd. The Dockers were yet to lose a game before today’s clash.

A cautious start into the match saw both teams play around the midfield and Gor Mahia might have had their first shot on target were it not for the assistant referee flag that waved down Meddie Kagere’s surge. Wellington Ochieng went down after a collision with Bandari center back when Gor right back seemed to be in fine position to deliver  killer pass into the box.

Ochieng Out

Ochieng ws unlucky again when he was knocked down by Keegan Ndemi as the two went for a 50-50 ball. Wesley Onguso had to come in to replace Ochieng who was unable to continue with the match.

Godfrey Walusimbi was redeployed to the right back while the former Sofapaka full back took charge of the opposite flank. David King’atua had to be attended by the medics when he was harshly tackled by Joash Onyango.

Meanwehile, Jacques Tuyisenge was denied by Faruk Shikhalo as the Rwandan looked in open space to score the opener. Shikhalo stopped Kagere’s fierce header to concede a corner and parried away again George Odhiambo’s corner. Shikhalo was just in business and was doing it well.

First Goal 

Onguso who was picked from the middle of the pack by Francis Kahata volleyed in a cross that deflected off Bandari captain and center back Felly Mulumba. Shikhalo was well beaten in goal. That was the first goal for Onguso in the league and first goal for Shikhalo to concede since joining Bandari and stamping his authority within the goal posts.

Shikhlo made Kagere wait for goal yet again when he stopped his low drive after the Rwandan was teed up from the midfield and entered the box from the left flank. It did take long before Kagere scored, beating the former Posta custodian who left his line to clear an on coming ball but the forward had the easiest of work, rolling the ball into an empty net as no Bandari player was within vicinity to try and even clear the ball. Bandari were left ruing the goal as they deemed that Kagere was offside.

Bandari got tired as the minutes dragged towards the final whistle. Each pass failed to meet the target, poor runs from every player and conceding the ball easily under little pressure from the opponent.

Gor Mahia Starting XI: Boniface Oluoch, Wellingtone Ochieng (Wesley Onguso,), Walusimbi Godfrey, Harun Shakava, Joash Onyango, Ernest Wendo, Philemon Otieno, Francis Kahata (Boniface Omondi), Jacques Tuyisenge, Meddie Kagere (Kevin Omondi,), George Odhiambo,

Unused subs: Fredrick Odhiambo, Samwel Onyango,  Cercidy Okeyo Eliud Lokuwam.

Bandari Starting XI: Farouk Shikhalo (GK), Nicholas Mejja (Wycliffe Ochomo),, Fred Nkata, Dan Guya, Felly Mulumba, Anthony Wambani, Hassan Abdalla, Collins Agade, Shaban Kenga (William Wadri.), David Kingatua (Bonface Akenga ), Keegan Ndemi.

Unused subs: Joseph Ochuka (GK), Iddi Hassan, Siraj Mohammed, Wilberforce Lugogo.

Remembering Ben Oloo Breakdance in pictures

On Saturday March 3 2018, Gor Mahia played against Bandari. These are the two teams that Ben Oloo Breakdance played for. It was as if fate arranged this match as a remembrance for the former Kogalo and Bandari winger 5 days after he passed on. Let us remember the life of this wonderfully gifted winger.

In Sudan in for the 1985 CECAFA Cup. It was his first tournament and Breakdance played almost all the games as Kogalo lifted the trophy in memorable style.


With club legend Abbas Magongo
In action against Hakati FC in 1985


On this day in 1986, Breakdance scored a hat trick against Transcom FC of Nakuru


In the front row with blue jacket. Breakdance with other Kogalo players in Sudan in 1985


With Kogalo players Peter Ochieng Pierre and John Okello Zangi aka Zing Zang


During a call up to Harambee Stars in 1986. Breakdance is in the front row , 3rd from left


In 1987, Gor Mahia had two lethal left wingers in Sammy Onyango and Ben Oloo


During the tour of Denmark in 1988 with George Otieno Solo and Tom Gundo


With Hezborn Omollo in Benin 1987 after playing Dragons L’Oueme


Standing next to Peter Otieno in Benin in 1987


Second from right prior to a continental match. Also in this pic from right: Bassanga, Breakdance, Hezborn Omollo, Pierre, Zamalek, Fundi, Solo, Dawo, Mwidau, Nyangi, Ocholla, Maira, Janabi,Ndolo


In London in 1988 with other Kogalo players Joseph Owino, Jeffer Mwidau, Dan Miswa and others
Ben Oloo seen hear leaping on Peter Dawo after the latter scored the winning goal against Mukura Victory of Rwanda in the 1988 Africa Cup winners cup. Others in this pic are Fundi, Makamu and Zangi


Prior to joining Kogalo, a young Ben Oloo


Meeting the legendary England player John Barnes in South Africa


At home in Karungu, Migori county


With his father in Karungu in 2016


Wazee wa Kazi match with Makamu and Fundi


Wazee wa Kazi match in 2013 with George Onyango Fundi


At home in Karungu in 2015


Ben Oloo was Guest of honor


With former Ingwe players Peter Lichungu and Mike Amwayi who were his rivals during their playing days.


In Mombasa with Austin Oduor and former national team coach Mohamed Kheri


With former team-mates Austin Oduor and David Ochieng in 2014


Playing with other veterans of Bandari FC and Cargo FC


Breakdance served as an official of Bandari FC in Various capacities for two decades


As a student at St Marys Yala in 1977


Young Ben Oloo on the left


RIP Breakdance. Let us not judge his decision to take his own life. Clinical depression is a debilitating illness whereby the brain produces chemicals that make a person constantly depressed. It can get to the point where a person cannot take it anymore.

Kerr unhappy with missed chances

Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr was left bemused and livid at his team’s inability to put away easy chances. On Sunday against Tusker, both Eliud Lokuwam and Ephrem Guikan missed wide open chances that left Kerr livid.

“We practice everyday shooting in training. They don’t take it seriously. It is the African mentality. It is never serious in Africa,” In the end it is me who suffers and the club too,”  said Kerr after the match.

Lokuwam was the first culprit. He swivelled to lose his markers and rather than lay it to Humphrey Mieno, the youngster elected to go for glory in the process clipping goalkeeper Duncan Ochieng and out went the ball for a corner.

Guikan was the next  culprit.

Meddie Kagere expertly laid a killer pass on Guikan’s path. The Ivorian’s first attempt came off goalkeeper Ochieng but still spilled invitingly for the Ivorian to tap in. However, Guikan made heavy weather of it, smashing the crossbar from two yards albeit with slight pressure from defender Marlon Tangauzi.

“It sums up our season so far. Dominating play and not killing teams,” Kerr thundered.

Lokuwam a Kenyatta University student who was making his first start explained himself.

“I could have done better. However, I was caught in a split mind between laying it to Mieno or shooting at goal. My striker instincts got the better of me,” he said to the Standard.

Gor Mahia will need to sharpen their finishing instincts significantly if they are to have any chance against Esperance.