Polack not concerned about the attack

Gor Mahia coach Steve Polack is certain that Gor Mahia’s attack, which has been blunt of late will come through on Sunday when Kogalo take on Aigle Noir of Burundi.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia coach Steven Pollack expects a tough match against Aigle Noir Makamba in a preliminary round CAF Champions League return leg at Kasarani on Sunday.

The two teams played to a barren draw in the first leg but Pollack has backed his forwards to carry their scoring boots to the Moi International Sports Centre for Sunday’s game.

Gor Mahia have struggled to find the back of the net since dependable striker Jacques Tuyisenge left for Angolan giants Petro Atletico de Luanda last month.

“Our opponents (Aigle Noir) are a very physical side and they work very hard. I know they will make it very difficult side for us but I don’t like to focus on the opponents so much before the game but my team. I want to assure our fans that we will give it our best shot and hopefully emerge as winners. The final result is important but we must always entertain the fans. My job is to ensure that happens,” said a confident Pollack.

K’Ogalo bought two foreign strikers with the windfall from Tuyisenge’s sale – Ivorian Gislein Yikpe and Ghanaian Francis Afriyie. Yikpe is still nursing a thigh strain and therefore yet to feature for the club while Afriyie was not impressive against Bandari in the traditional season opener, the Super Cup. Dennis Oliech has not been training with the team leaving Nicholas Kipikirui as the only dependable striker.

“Lack of quality strikers is not a Kenyan problem, I faced the same in other countries I have coached. I don’t know what happens to them (forwards) when they get to the final third. You need to have finesse as a striker and that is something most of them struggle with. However, my strikers have been impressive in training this week and especially today they scored a lot of goals in training and I expect the same to be replicated on Sunday,” noted Pollack.

Omondi: Defensive solidity is key

Gor Mahia’s Boniface Omondi is optimistic that a solid defence will carry Gor Mahia to the next round of the CAF Champions League

Additional reporting from the Star

Boniface Omondi is optimistic that Kenyan champions Gor Mahia will see of Burundi’s Aigle Noir and reach the first round of the CAF Champions League.

Speaking after the team’s training conducted by coach Steven Polack at Camp Toyoyo, Omondi — a two-time league winner with K’Ogalo since joining from Nzoia United two years ago — touted his sides defensive solidity as a key plank in their quest to oust their Burundian opponents.

“We have shown a different aspect to our game in terms of defensive organisation. Many know us as an attacking side but we have blended that by being strong in defence and if we can maintain that solidity, then with our strikers and the advantage of playing in front of our own fans, then victory will be ours,” he said.

Omondi has fallen down the pecking order in the attacking midfield role he desires following the arrivals of new players among them Kenyan international Clifton Miheso but he said he craved the challenge of fighting for his place.

“Competition in the team is healthy. It keeps everyone on their toes. I relish the challenge of trying to impress the new coach just like everyone else. I believe everyone should earn a place in the team through merit,” stated Omondi.

Unlike in the first leg in Bujumbura which ended goalless, Gor will have a full squad to choose from having been limited to 15 players only in Burundi. However, team manager Jolawi Obondo confirmed that neither Ivorian Gipsan Yikpe, Ghanaian Francis Afiriye nor Miheso will be available for Sunday’s clash.

“These players will only be available in the next round should we go past Aigle Noir,” revealed Obondo.

Meanwhile, in a bid to maximize on their matchday attendances and gain more financial muscle through gate collections in the wake of the exit of Sportpesa, Gor have partnered with technology company — Infinity Tickets (Africa Data Technologies Limited) — to introduce e-ticketing ahead of the first home match of 2018/2019 season next weekend.

The revolutionary electronic system will boost the clubs revenues by weeding out the sale of fake tickets, said the club treasurer, Sally Bolo. The system is also in line with the club’s policy of implementing hassle-free access to Gor Mahia’s match-day tickets.

Aduda: Players make their name at Gor Mahia

Gor Mahia CEO Omondi Aduda is certain that Clifton Miheso will shine at Gor Mahia.

“He will realise his potential at Gor Mahia, and he knows the same. We have seen many players come to Gor Mahia and make their name, and it will be the same case with Miheso.” said Aduda to goal.com

Aduda gave examples of other players who made a name for themselves at Kogalo:

“When Michael [Olunga] joined Gor Mahia, he was just an ordinary player playing for both Thika United and Tusker, but after a few seasons later every team was salivating for his signature.

“It was the same case with Godfrey [Walusimbi) when we signed him from DR Congo. The team he was playing for thought he was not a good player but when he joined Gor Mahia, he won the hearts of many and even got a call up to the Uganda national team.

“Another good example is Rwandan striker Jacques [Tuyisenge) whom fans cried out we had wasted Sh4million to acquire his services. Tuyisenge came and scored as many goals and helped Gor Mahia to win three consecutive titles, and the rest remains history.

“One thing is for sure, Clifton [Miheso] will pick up at Gor Mahia and will be the darling of the fans soon.”

Philemon Otieno goes to France for treatment

Defender Philemon Otieno who tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the CHAN match against Tanzania will be out of football for 3 months. He has traveled to France where he will undergo surgery and rehab treatment. The trip is being arranged by FKF.

1983: The last time Kogalo played a Burundian side

With the CAF Champions League match against Aigle Noire approaching, it is worth taking a trip down memory lane to recall the last time Kogalo played a Burundian side. But 1983 was such an eventful year that it is worth remembering the peaks and valleys that beset Gor Mahia in that epic year.

Background

New signings

Key signings: Far left David Ochieng and Abdallah Shebe (with ball) teamed up with Gideon Hamisi (centre)

1983 CECAFA Cup

A poor start to the 1983 season

The Vital O Fiasco

Investigation

Chairman Mbori was under pressure

The arrival of Len Julians

At Bata Stadium Limuru before beating Bata Bullets 4-0
Backrow: Shebe,Zangi, Makamu, Bassanga,Aziki, Charles Otieno,Vigo,Jogoo,Jerry Imbo
Front Row: Okello Kolobot, Enock, Solo, Janabi, Nick Okoth, Hezborn, Pierre, Kamoga
Enock Obwaka, Peter Ochieng Pierre and Gideon Hamisi

Mashemeji derby First leg

1983 KNFL Second Leg

Gor Mahia vs Norwich City

Zangi (left) seen here in later years, scored twice against Norwich City

Mashemeji derby second leg

Sammy Onyango scored in almost every mashemeji derby he played

End of the 1983 season.

Hezborn Omollo was the second leading scorer in the 1983 KNFL

Final Standings in 1983



1983 Post Season

Only Bob Ogolla and Bassanga were in the Stars starting line-up. Austin was left out altogether

Yikpe and Afiriyie will be available for CAF CL

If Gor Mahia beat Aigle Noir of Burundi next weekend, they will have the services of the foreign duo of David Afiriyie and Yikpe Ghislain. The Ghanaian and Ivorian duo are not available for the opening round but will be eligible should Gor Mahia proceed to round one.

“According to the latest communication we have received from CAF, the two strikers may be allowed to play after the Sunday match ahead of us. This will be a big boost to us,’’ explained Ngala to Citizen Sports.

The winner between Gor Mahia and Aigle Noir will likely face USM Alger in the first round. The Algerian side won the opening leg 2-1 away to Nigerien side AS Sonindep.

“We are ready for the Burundians and our plans started yesterday with our first trophy of the season,  we are building on the players dedication and determination to go places this season,’’ Ngala continued.

Congratulations to Joash Onyango 2019 MVP

Centre Back Joash Onyango has been voted the 2019  2019 Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Player of the Year. He beat the other contenders: Francis Kahata and Enosh Ochieng to the title.

Its an incredible achievement for Onyango to win ahead of Ochieng who finished as the league’s top scorer with 20 goals and Kahata who was the league’s best playmaker.

Onyango has been solid in the backline and also won the defender of the year title. He took home Ksh 1 million in prize money.

Full Results

Golden Glove; 1.Faruk Shikalo (Bandari), 2. Justine Ndikumana (Sofapaka), 3.Samuel Odhiambo (Western Stima);

Defender, 1.Joash Onyango (Gor Mahia), Kelvin Wesonga (Sony Sugar), Brian Otieno (Bandari FC).

Midfielder; 1.Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia), Abdalla Hassan (Bandari FC), Cliff Nyakeya (Mathare United);

Golden Boot:1.Enosh Ochieng 20 goals (Ulinzi Stars), Allan Wanga 18 goals (Kakamega Homeboyz), Umaru Kasumba 17 goals (Sofapaka).

New Young Player, 1.David Majaka (Tusker FC), Jackson Dwang (Nzoia FC), Daniel Sakari (Kakamega Homeboyz), Coach of the year; 1.Hassan Oktay (Gor Mahia), Bernard Mwalala (Bandari FC), John Baraza (Sofapaka).

Polack: Gor Mahia must improve

Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack is satisfied with the victory over Bandari but was not happy with the display of the team.

“I know we won the trophy but it was not the kind of display I would have liked from my boys. We were much better in the second half and it was also good for my players to play with the ball most of the time, ” he told goal.com

Polack lauded his side for their fighting spirit after being reduced to 10 men

Definitely I am happy with the result because we have our first trophy of the season, I am also happy with the attitude of my players especially after we went down to 10 men in the second half.” he continued.

The British coach understands that he has his work cut out as they prepare to play in the return leg of the Africa Champions League preliminary round,

“I know the team will keep getting better and I want the players to understand my philosophy going forward, it is something we are working on already and we must get it right starting our next match.”

Polack noted that despite going a man down, Gor Mahia continued to be the better side.

We are developing steadily and remember even after he [Tobias Otieno] was sent off for the tackle, the team remained solid in all areas and they even kept pushing for the second goal which was a good show from my side.”

His colleague on the Bandari side, Bernard Mwalala says that Gor Mahia goalkeeper David Mapigano wasted 20 minutes.

“The match was played, I think for only 70 minutes, and then the goalkeeper [Mapigano] started wasting time especially after they scored. I am not saying this is the biggest reason why Bandari lost but the goalkeeper’s antics contributed a lot.” Mwalala told reporters after the match.

Mwalala also thinks his side were better

“My players did what I wanted of them and I think we deserved a win given we were the better team overall,”

Gor Mahia beat Bandari 1-0, win Super Cup

Gor Mahia are the 2019 Super Cup winners after beating Bandari 1-0 at Machakos on Sunday. The all important goal came from Lawrence Juma.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia beat Bandari 1-0 to win the Kenyan Premier League Super Cup at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Sunday.

Lawrence Juma scored the crucial goal in the 64th minute, reacting fast to thump home after Bandari custodian Michael Wanyika parried away Kenneth Muguna’s cross from the right. There was luck written all over Juma’s strike as his shot took a wicket deflection off Brian Otieno giving Wanyika no chance.

Gor coach Steven Pollack lauded his charges for a good show in the second half especially after youngster Tobias Otieno was sent off for a second bookable offense in the 77th minute.

“We had a poor first half but played better in the second half. I liked our fighting spirit especially after Tobias Otieno was sent off. I am happy with the team so far but obviously we have to improve on some areas. The players are getting to understand how I want them to play. We need to move the ball faster from our half and be quick in transition,” assessed Pollack who remarkably won his first trophy on Kenyan soil in his first ‘home’ game.

Despite the loss, Bandari tactician Bernard Mwalala was impressed by the display from his charges.

“I think we did way better than in our game a week ago against Al Ahly Shendi. We were the better side as usual but were not sharp upfront. Gor Mahia got once chance that made the difference. That is how football is, we will now work on fixing our weakness upfront,” noted Mwalala.

Ghanaian Francis Afriyie, who was making his debut for K’Ogalo, could have given them the lead in the first minute but he headed wide from Juma’s inviting cross.

Clifton Miheso, who was also starting his first match for Gor, was fouled in the 14th minute at the edge of the box and he floated the resultant freekick beautifully into the box. However Muguna could not keep his header down as they continued to push for the opening goal. Bandari responded swiftly a minute later, Danson Chetambe playing William Wadri through on goal but the Ugandan shot wide.

The dockers won a freekick just outside the box in the 23rd minute after Sammy Onyango fouled Chetambe but David King’atua’s powerful shot did not trouble Gor Mahia custodian David Mapigano.

Mwalala made a double change in the 50th minute bringing in Benjamin Mosha and Hassan Abdallah for Shaban Kenga and David King’atua respectively. Pollack replied introducing Kennedy Otieno for Samuel Onyango while Afriyie was replaced by Nicholas Kipkirui. And it was Gor who found the breakthrough.

Muguna and Miheso exchanged neat passes on the right wing before the latter delivered a dangerous cross into the box that Wanyika punched away only as far as the edge of the box. Juma hit a first time shot that was aided into the net by Brian Otieno’s outstretched leg.

Bandari threw men forward in search of the equalizer but Gor’s central defence pairing of Charles Momanyi and Joash Onyango thwarted their attacks. Mosha’s volley in the 73rd minute was perhaps their best chance in the second half. Tobias Otieno was having a game of his life in the middle of the park but it was cut short after picking a second yellow card for a foul on Wadri.

With six minutes left, Pollack pulled out Kennedy Otieno for Joachim Oluoch in an obvious attempt to protect the slim lead. Geoffrey Ochieng could have double Gor’s lead in the 87th but his curling shot from the edge of the box went just inches wide with Wanyika well beaten.

Gor Mahia on revenge mission against Bandari

Gor Mahia have won the Supercup far more times than any other team. This goes back to the inaugural supercup which was held in 1991 and Gor Mahia beat Rivatex 2-0 in an entertaining match at Kasarani.

However, the last time Gor Mahia met Bandari in the Super cup was in 2016 at Mbaraki sports club. On that occasion, Bandari ran away winners by a score of 1-0 in what was then known as the DSTV Super cup. Gor Mahia had been reduced to 10 men after Harun Shakava was sent off for a rash challenge. Up to that moment, Gor Mahia had dominated the match. Bandari capitalized on the extra man by scoring late.

Also, it was Bandari who eliminated Gor Mahia from the 2018-2019 Sportpesa cup on their way to winning it. Thus Gor Mahia should be highly motivated.

Skipper Kenneth Muguna is well aware of the tall order ahead.

Bandari have been together for quite some time, their bond is stronger and they know each other well. It is going to make this game even harder because they also want to start the domestic season better. However, it is not an excuse for us not winning, we are Gor Mahia and we aim at winning any competition we are taking part in. ” said Muguna to goal.com

It will be Muguna’s first appearance at home as captain. It will be coach Steve Polack’s first match at home. And its an opportunity for Gor Mahia fans to watch their new signings.

“Yes, we have made several signings but it does not mean it changes our character, it has made us even stronger.” concluded Muguna.

The match will be played on Sunday at Machakos.

Miheso puts pen to paper, Zico appointed to national team

Gor Mahia have officially completed the signing of midfielder / winger Clifford Miheso. The vastly experienced Miheso put pen to paper on a two year contract. He joined from lower tier side, Kenya Police.

Miheso, a product of Kakamega High school, has played locally for Thika United, AFC Leopards and Sofapaka, as well as stints in Finland, Portugal, South Africa and Zambia.

Miheso who is 26, has been in and out of the national team since 2012 and narrowly missed on selection to the AFCON 2019 squad. He is a welcome addition to the midfield that is sorely lacking in playmakers since the departure of Francis Kahata.

Zedekiah Otieno appointed to Harambee Stars

Gor Mahia legend and former coach Zedekiah Otieno has been appointed assistant coach of the national team Harambee Stars. He will assist Francis Kimanzi who has been appointed head coach to replace departing Frenchman Sebastian Migne.

Zico has been Harambee stars head coach in the past. Most notably when his side held Uganda Cranes coached by Bobby Williamson in Kampala and denied them a place in AFCON