Many local fans had written off Gor Mahia’s league campaign after the first three games. By that time that club had lost two out of three games and appeared in shambles after the departure of coach Dylan Kerr. But on Wednesday, Gor Mahia have a chance to scale to the top of the KPL standings should they beat Western Stima.
Coach Hassan Oktay who had a rocky start to his career at Gor Mahia appears to have brought stability back to the team. Oktay was happy with the result against Sofapaka on Sunday and is looking forward to another good game against Stima.
“We played a high intensity game in Angola last week and two days later we played a very tough game (against Sofapaka) yet we got a win. I credit that success to the kind of players at my disposal and I look forward to another good day tomorrow (Wednesday),” the Cypriot said to the Nation.
Oktay however thinks that officiating standards in the country are below par.
“This win is a morale booster to us and it shows our mental strength. I was not impressed with the level of officiating and it is something that should be worked on.” he told goal.com
This follows the poor officiating that saw Kogalo denied a third goal against AFC in the derby
“I have not talked about the referees before but today I’ll talk about them. In the last four games, they have got it wrong. In the derby they had a goal disallowed. The week before they gave a goal and called it off again. And today I’m sorry to say, the referee wasn’t good enough,” Oktay said
Newly promoted Western Stima will be no pushovers. They are currently in seventh place, having won 5 matches, drawn 5 and lost only two matches. And Stima will be keen to make up for lost ground after KPL docked them three points for fielding an ineligible player.
The match will be played at Machakos on Wednesday starting at 4pm.
“The venue of the Gor Mahia versus Western Stima match has been changed from Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos to Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani,” KPL confirmed the change of venue.
Gor Mahia’s new sensation, Nicholas Kipkirui is determined to build on his good start and finish as top scorer in the premier league. Kipkirui joined from Zoo Kericho and not much was expected from him. But he has proven doubters wrong with his ability to place himself in the right spot at the right time to score.
More from the Nation
Gor Mahia forward Nicholas Kipkirui is keen on bagging the Golden Boot at the end of the season after a promising start to life at the club.
Kipkirui, who joined the SportPesa Premier League champions from Zoo on a four-year contract, admits playing for K’Ogalo is a dream come true.
“I love Gor Mahia. I have always wished to play at the top level and my launching pad is K’Ogalo,” he said on Sunday after Gor floored Sofapaka 1-0 in a tough encounter.
The youngster has scored five goals this season – three in the league and two in the Caf Confederation Cup.
“Any slip up in your form at Gor will see you lose your first team place and that is what I want to avoid because I want to make a name by becoming the top striker at Gor,” he said.
“My target this season is to net 15 goals in the league and 10 goals at continental level. I also want to lead Gor Mahia to the final of the Confederation Cup,” added the Kipchimchim Boys High School alumnus.
With seven appearances in the league and two at continental level, the 22-year-old has established himself as a regular in a crowded department that has big names like Jacques Tuyisenge and Dennis Oliech.
“Unlike other teams, Gor is a star-studded outfit. It’s not easy to be among the starting 11. The competition is stiff, you must work hard,” said Kipkirui.
He added: “Even those you see on the bench are equally good. You only need to attend our training sessions and see how each player works hard to impress the coach.”
He said the stiff competition has helped him to improve his game and adapt to the flowing and attacking football that is the trademark of the 17-time champions.
Gor Mahia secured a crucial 1-0 win over a tough Sofapaka side on Sunday. The all important goal came from Samuel Onyango.
Additional reporting from the Nation
Gor Mahia moved to third place on the SportPesa Premier League log with a hard fought 1-0 win over Sofapaka at Afraha Stadium on Saturday.
Samuel Onyango scored the all-important goal for the champions on 24 minutes to decide the fiercely contested encounter.
It was a sweet win for the Green army who had just returned to Kenya after losing 2-1 to Angolan side Petro Atletico in the Caf Confederation Cup in midweek.
Gor coach Hassan Oktay was elated by his charges for holding on against tough customers like Sofapaka.
“The pressure in the Caf and domestic league is very high but I am proud of my boys as they are containing the heat,” said Oktay.
Sofapaka coach John Baraza rued missed chances for their defeat.
“Gor had their chance and never squandered it, that made the whole difference in this match. The game was well balanced and any team could have emerged the winner. The league is still in the early stages and we shall catch up in our subsequent matches,” said Baraza.
But it was the Batoto ba Mungu who took the game into their opponents earning an early corner at the quarter hour through Elly Asieche but it did not bear any fruit.
Earlier Jacques Tuyisenge saw his glancing header miss the target in the 14th minute as Gor stepped up pressure for an opener.
A spirited counter attack by Kogalo in the 24th minute saw Onyango slam his second goal of the season past stranded Sofapaka goalkeeper Justine Ndikumana following a superb combination with Tuyisenge.
Onyango should have doubled his side’s advantage in the 36th minute when he made a brilliant solo move and lifted the ball but his shot hit the side net.
Two minutes before the breather Gor continued with their tale of missed chances when Kenneth Muguna powerful header sailed over the bar.
On resumption Sofapaka coach John Baraza made three changes resting Brian Magonya, Pistone Mutamba and Umar Kasumba and introduced Ibrahim Kitawi, Steve Waruru and Tevin Omutere.
Francis Kahata nearly sent Gor 2-0 up in the 48th minute when he collected a loose ball inside the box but he fumbled. He was later withdrawn for George Odhiambo.
Oktay also rested Muguna and Tuyisenge and brought in Lawrence Juma and Dennis Oliech. Oliech missed a sitter at the death when his connection at the back post flew wide.
Gor Mahia skipper Harun Shakava has stated that the club missed the services of Jacque Tuyisenge and Dennis Oliech who were missing due to suspensions and injury respectively.
Additional reporting from the Nation
Gor Mahia captain Harun Shakava has rued the absence of lead
strikers Jacques Tuyisenge and Dennis Oliech during Wednesday’s Caf
Confederation Cup’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Petro Atletico.
and Oliech starred as the Kenyan champions easily defeated Egypt’s
Zamalek 4-2 in their opening Group ‘D’ match of this competition in
Nairobi last week.
This duo was – however – missing in action during Wednesday’s game in Luanda owing to suspension and a foot injury respectively.
team has got dependable players and so yes, we missed them. They
(Tuyisenge and Oliech) are currently on form and I am certain they would
have made a difference here,” explained the burly Shakava.
the Estadio 11 de Novembro, Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay replaced
Tuyisenge and Oliech with Francis Mustafa and Erissa Ssekisambu.
the two foreign strikers appeared to struggle to break down a resolute
Angolan rear-guard which was manned by the agile Elber in goal.
Infact, it is only after the introduction of rookie Kenyan forward Nicholas Kipkirui that Gor suddenly looked dangerous.
former Zoo Kericho player ended up scoring a last-gasp consolation for
the visitors, a strike that ensures the Kenyan side occupy second place
in this four-team group.
With trips to Cairo and Algiers looming for K’Ogalo, Shakava
believes it is the home form which will ultimately determine the team’s
chances of making it to the quarter-finals of this money-spinning
“Firstly, we have to cut out the mistakes
at the back because at this level you are promptly punished. Next, we
need to win all our home games, if you look at the other results keenly,
everybody seemed to have won at home.”
“We also have
to reduce the mistakes at the back because at this level, you are
promptly punished for giving the ball away in your own half.”
loss, coupled with that one-all draw between hosts Zamalek and
Algeria’s NA Hussein Dey in Cairo, leaves the Kenyan champions second in
this group with three points from two games, a point behind the
The Angolan club is third with a similar
number of points as Gor Mahia, but with an inferior goal difference,
whilst the Egyptian club is surprisingly ranked last.
other selected results of this competition, Zambia’s Nkana FC, which is
home to Kenya internationals Musa Mohammed and Duncan Otieno, defeated
Sudan’s Al Hilal Omudurman 2-1 in Kitwe.
another Zambian team Zesco United, which is home to the Kenyan trio
Jesse Were, David Owino and Anthony Okumu wasn’t as lucky. It lost 2-1
to Asante Kotoko in Kumasi.
Gor Mahia will hope to have
Oliech and Tuyisenge available ahead of the next assignment away to NA
Hussein Day in Algeria on February 24.
Short handed Gor Mahia fought gallantly but lost 2-1 to Angolan representatives Petro Atletico in their second CAF Confederations cup group stage match. Nicholas Kipkirui scored Gor Mahia’s goal in injury time.
Additional reporting from the Nation
Hosts Petro Atletico secured their first win of the Caf
Confederation Cup group phase after a 2-0 win over Gor Mahia at the
Estádio 11 de Novembro in Luanda, Angola on Wednesday.
half goals from Manguxi Ribiero and Tony Ribiero fired the Angolan
champions to a 2-0 lead at the break. Gor improved after the break and
Nicholas Kipkirui pulled one for K’Ogalo in added time, his second of the competition.
a sparsely populated Estadio 11 de Novembro in the Angolan capital, the
Kenyan champions, still beaming with confidence following that historic
win over Zamalek last week, found themselves trailing by two goals at
the break in this Group D encounter.
This as the
15-time Angolan champions scored the opener on 13-minutes after a
sequence that left Gor defender Shafique Batambuze cursing himself
following a lapse in decision making.
watched helplessly as his feeble pass towards Francis Kahata intercepted
by Tiago Azulao in the visitors final third.
recipient then dribbled forward and fed Manguxi Ribiero, who thereafter
unleashed a first time right footed shot, which easily beat custodian
Hassan Oktay’s team was missing the
services of two dependable forwards namely Jacques Tuyisenge and Dennis
Oliech, who’d combined to undo Zamalek in the previous game of this
In their stead, Oktay fielded Burundian
Francis Mustafa who had three half chances in the opening 10 minutes but
failed to capitalise on either, alongside Erisa Ssekisambu.
One of these chances resulted in the forward shooting straight at the welcoming arms of Petro custodian Elber.
other was cleared for a fruitless corner as the Kenyan champions
dominated the possession but the Angolans- with two Brazilian players in
their ranks – proving more lethal.
The lanky Job
missed a sitter for the host team when he failed to direct a shot into a
yawning net but it ultimately didn’t matter as the second goal followed
In the run up, Danilson turned Joash
Onyango inside out in the right hand side of the cross and whipped a
cross ball which was connected into the back of the net via Anthony
Ribiero’s forehead, in a passage of play which left Charles Momanyi
seated on his backside.
Onyango had the best chance in
the second half off Kahata’s corner kick. Elber proved equal to the
task with a diving save to tip the ball over the bar.
brought on George Odhiambo and Kipkururi for Mustafa and Boniface
Omondi but these changes proved insufficient to mastermind a crucial
Gor Mahia will be short handed as they face off with Petro De Luanda of Angola. Jacque Tuyisenge, the leading scorer this season will miss the match through suspension as will Philemon Otieno “Mbish”.
Also missing will be Dennis Oliech who has yet to recover from the injury he picked up in training. Ernest Wendo also has an injury and Wellington Ochieng has malaria.
“We have been forced to make a few changes to the travelling squad. Dennis Oliech will not travel because he has failed to recover while right back Wellington Ochieng is down with malaria. Ernest Wendo is also injured said CEO Omondi Aduda to goal.com
In their absence, Nicholas Kipkirui will be relied on a lot more for goals. Should Oktay decide to field a second striker, it will likely be Ugandan Erisa Sekisambu.
Large Fan Base
Petro fans are known to turn out in large numbers as confirmed by Allan Wanga who used to play in the Angolan league.
“Atletico is a very big club in Angola. It has a big following and they have not been in any Caf competition for a long time now so I am sure that the fans will come out in very large numbers to cheer their players
They tend to rely on their pacey wingers for rapid counter attacking raids.
“Expect a highly intimidating fan atmosphere, awfully humid weather, and an intense, fast-paced game complete with plenty of wing play. They like to attack from the flanks and they always play for speed so Gor should be well prepared for that,”
With Mbish and Wellington missing, coach Oktay will need to find other options at full back to contain the speed of the Angolans.
Petro will be buoyed by the return of experienced captain Ricardo Job Estevao, known popularly as Job. He missed the opener against NA Hussein Dey. He is vastly experienced. He first played for the Angolan national team in 2007 while aged 20.
In their last league match on Saturday February 9, they lost to Angolan league leaders CD Primiero de Agosto
About Petro de Luanda
Petro de Luanda finished second in the Angolan league in 2018 and this term they are placed third.
Their squad comprises entirely of Angolans with the exception of two Brazilians : Midfielder Tony and striker Azulao. Both Brazilian players featured against NA Hussein Dey of Algeria who beat the Angolans 2-1 in their group opener. Azulao has been their top scorer in the past three seasons. Last season he scored 21 goals. Their coach is a Brazilian : Beto Bianchi
Petro was formed in 1980 and has won the Angolan league a record 15 times. However their last win was as far back as 2009.
They haven’t played much continental football of late. Their last appearance in continental football was in 2015, a factor which Allan Wanga thinks will work in Gor Mahia’s favor.
” Based on their long absence from Caf games, I can say they will be the underdogs because Gor has been there for a while now ” Wanga said to the Nation
The match will be officialted by three Eritreans with Tsegay Mogos Teklu as centre referee, assisted by Berhe Tesfagiorghis and Suleiman Ali Salih.
The last time Gor Mahia faced off with an Angolan side was in the CAF Cup of 1993 at the quarter-final stage. The team was Atletico Aviacao of Luanda. Gor Mahia had reached this stage after eliminating Uganda Coffee and Hellenic of South Africa.
During this period, Gor Mahia boasted what is one the best defensive units the club has ever fielded: Tobias Ocholla, Zedekiah Otieno, Sammy Omollo “Pamzo”, Paul Ochieng, Joseph Owino: All national team players, manned the defence at this time, while Allan Odhiambo was a tall steel wall in the defensive midfield.
So the club hardly conceded goals. Unfortunately for Kogalo, the attack was blunt. Gor Mahia experimented with a number of coaches during this period but none could come up with a scoring formula. Many attackers were tried during this period.
So when Gor Mahia played Aviacao, their inability to score was their demise. The first leg in Luanda ended 0-0. The second leg at Nyayo stadium also ended 0-0. The Angolans were playing for penalties. They employed all manner of time wasting tactics. At one point a player blasted the ball outside the stadium.
During the penalty shootout, goalkeeper Joseph Asembo did not save a single penalty. The towering Asembo was an excellent shot stopper. But penalties was his achilles heel. Thus Gor Mahia went down on penalties.
Gor Mahia continued their march up the league table on Saturday when they sunk arch rivals AFC Leoopards 2-0 at Kasarani on Saturday. The goals came from Kenneth Muguna and a sublime free-kick from Francis Kahata. Aside from three crucial points, the result means Kogalo is in good form ahead of another crucial continental match this Wednesday.
Additional reporting from Citizen Sports
After starting a passing move in the
midfield, Muguna raced towards goal to finish it off, placing the ball
beyond goalkeeper Eric Ndayishimiye after Kahata’s delivery into a
crowded six yard box had fallen kindly into his path.
The former KPL MVP nearly doubled his tally for the afternoon minutes
later only to see his effort from the edge of penalty area come off the
Whyvonne Isuza headed over from a
rebound six minutes to the break after Marcel Kaheza’s free-kick had
brushed against the wall. Leopards threatened from another set piece at
the stroke of half time with Isaac Kipyegon’s free-kick curling inches
Leopards looked recharged in the second half but a dreadful
misjudgment from Ndayishimiye allowed Kahata’s free-kick to drop into
the back of his net after Harun Shakava had missed a headed attempt.
Gor thought they had gone 3-0 up when Jacques Tuyisenge headed in Kahata’s cross but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Substitute Erisa Ssekisambu spurned
another chance to put Gor three to the good when his heavy touch from
close in allowed Ndayishimiye to collect the ball after George Odhiambo
had found him with a low cross.
Gor Mahia’s new coach Hassan Oktay is set to coach in his first ever Mashemeji derby this Saturday.
Gor Mahia have experienced a good run of form since their surprise loss to KCB that saw fans call for Oktay’s dismissal. Oktay kept his cool to lead Gor Mahia to wins over SoNy Sugar, Zamalek and Vihiga United.
AFC Leopards for their part have struggled with losses to Bandari and a shock loss to Mount Kenya United on Wednesday.
But Oktay is adamant that form does not matter in derbies.
“I don’t think form counts in derbies,” Oktay said. “They might have been struggling of late but they have a new coach and derbies always has another element so we will be up against a different side and we will have to be at our best if we are to win that match.” he said.
Oktay is indeed right. In fact in derbies, the better side that creates more chances can often lose. Which is why Oktay will have warned his charges about overconfidence.
AFC Leopards skipper Robinson Kamura, speaking to the media on Thursday, says his team is not treating this match any different than they would treat other matches. As far as he and his team-mates are concerned, this is just another opportunity for three points.
Gor Mahia will once again rely on new sensation Nicholas Kipkirui for goals. Fans will be hoping that Kahata has recovered sufficiently as he will be the main engine. From keeper Boniface Oluoch, fans, his team-mates and the technical staff will be hoping that he is focused. Harun Shakava, who often plays his best matches in the derby, will once again be relied on for defence and possibly goals in dead ball situations. Last year he scored the lone goal that enabled Kogalo to beat Ingwe 1-0 in the Supercup.
Last year the two rivals met four times. Gor Mahia won three of those matches in regulation. The other one went to penalties which Gor Mahia won 5-4 thus earning the right to play Hull City.
Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier and Deputy Secretary General Ronald Ngala, who is the longest serving official at the club, gave an extensive interview to Rashid Abdallah of Citizen TV.
First off kudos to the duo. They addressed a number of issues including restructuring the club, jersey sales, infighting and so forth.
At around 25:22, the presenter tell Rachier and Ngala that many fans have refused to become paying members because they worry that the money will be used to line the pockets of officials.
Rachier answered by stating that many Gor Mahia fans have a mentality and culture that they want results but are not willing to pay for match tickets or become paying members. He then added that the club’s leadership is not at fault for this.
At 41:22, Rashid again presses the duo stating that fans have been appealing for tranparency for decades and yet this transparency has never materialized
Ronald Ngala dismisses the question by using the old argument that people who are not club members have no business demanding transparency.
He then says that transparency in ticket sales is not needed because fans can estimate gate collections by looking at how large the crowd is.
What is wrong with this scenario
Fans polled on social media and elsewhere have openly stated that they no longer attend matches because they think the money is lining the pockets of officials. The falling attendance is largely due to such concerns.
The same fans have also stated that they will not become paying members due to lack of transparency. Yet Mr. Rachier claims that its the culture of the fans that hinders fans from registering as members. Has he actually asked fans why they don’t become members?
To put it simply if club officials do not put in place mechanisms to assuage fans concerns about the opacity of club finances, attendance will continue to be low and membership will continue to lag. As things stand now, the club has only 274 paying members.
Fans have been asking for transparency for decades. Yours truly spoke to club officials about this in the late 1990s when the club started to spiral downwards. The then officials promised to implement transparency procedures. Nothing came of it.
Twenty years later the club officials still think the fans have no
business questioning the use of the club’s finances. Incredible.
Many ideas have been floated including having an independent accounting
company audit and publish the club accounts on a regular basis.
Case in Point
When Gor Mahia played Hull City in May 2018, Kasarani stadium was filled to the brim. Which means as many as 60,000 fans attended. Yet the club treasurer announced that only 30,000 tickets were sold.
“In total, we sold 30, 000 tickets, and that includes both VIP and terrace tickets. I believe we could have sold more, but there were several complimentary tickets as well as several courtesy card holders who were allowed free access into the stadium. ” said Sally Bolo
It beggars belief that 30,000 fans paid and another 30,000 entered as courtesy card holders. Many fans cried foul. These issues can be addressed via more transparency (electronic ticketing).