Kogalo legend, All Thigo, arguably the greatest player ever to play for this club, explained that the name Sirkal came about when President Moi decreed that all tribal clubs must change their names to non-tribal names. The only team given an exception by Moi was Gor Mahia. Hence the name “Sirkal”
Its a rare treat for Kogalo fans to be able to watch players from the legendary side that won the Africa cup in 1987.The video is heavily edited to show mostly Esperance highlights despite the fact that this match was evenly balanced. Indeed this match was televised and replayed on KBC TV several times in the run-up to the epic second leg at Kasarani. Those like myself who watched will tell you that the match was evenly balanced.
Resolute defending by the backline quartet of Peter Otieno Bassanga (15), George Otieno Solo (11), Tobias Ocholla (4) and Austin Oduor(6) Kept Kogalo in the game and David Ochieng Kamoga was solid between the posts.
At the 23 second mark he is called upon to parry a corner kick then has to quickly react to punch a powerful shot from Nabil Maaloul out for another corner. It is this second corner that results in the first controversial penalty awarded to Esperance. The ball hits Bassanga in the stomach and the referee inexplicably gives Taraji a penalty which Maaloul converted with class.
Kogalo players surround the referee and beseech him to reconsider. Perhaps sensing that a scene like Zamalek 1984 is about to erupt, skipper Austin Oduor asks the players to leave so he can talk to the referee. Bassange is yellow carded for his dissent and has to be further calmed down by Solo.
At the 4:30 mark, Anthony Ndolo comes on for an injured Sammy Onyango Jogoo. Ndolo would be instrumental in Kogalo’s second goal.
At the 6:22 mark, Charles Otieno wins the ball in midfield and puts George Nyangi “Artillery” through. Nyangi attempts to cross the ball and it is seemingly handled by an Esperance defender Ali Ben Neji. No penalty.
At the one minute mark, Charles Otieno finds Sammy Onyango on the right wing. Jogoo deftly loses his marker and unleashes one of hos trademark grass-cutters which forces a save from the goalkeeper.
It was Abbas Magongo who started the move that ended with the first goal and it is he who finished it at the 3:00 mark of the video. He plays the ball to Janabi who sends a long ball to Dawo. But Dawo can’t shake off the close attention of two defenders but the lose ball falls to Magongo who calmly controls the ball on his chest and unleashes a screamer that goes in via the cross bar.
The penalty awarded due to a supposed Isaiah Omondi handball happens in the 6:30 mark and is highly controversial.
The comical scene where Isaiah Omondi chases an Esperance player who in turn runs away for dear life happens at the 8:10 mark. Kenyan fans were laughing about this scene for days.
With time waning and Kogalo seemingly headed for a 2-1 defeat, Peter Dawo wins an aerial duel off a David Ochieng punt. The ball goes to Ndolo who heads back to Dawo. Dawo in turns scores with a scorcher that leaves Esparance stunned to tie the game at 2-2.
David Ochieng(1), Tobias Ocholla(4), George Otieno Solo(11), Peter Otieno Bassanga(15), Austin Oduor(6), Isaiah Omondi(5), Charles Otieno(3), George Nyangi Artillery(9), Peter Ochieng Pierre(12), Peter Dawo(7), Sammy Onyango(14).
Ronald Koeman post match interview
Gor Mahia may be overawed as they prepare to face Everton but they are putting on a brave face.
Coach Zico who played against FC IKast of Denmark in 1991, is confident that the players will rise to the occassion.
“In football, it is 11 vs 11 being Rooney or not. Our young players have an opportunity to showcase their talent and play in a big stage. Our players will be motivated and up to the task”
Harun Shakava had the misfortune of scoring an own goal when Sportpesa All Stars played Hull City Youth in January. He will be looking to acquit himself as he seeks to contain Wayne Rooney.
“For me I am motivated to play Rooney as he is a player we watch on TV often. We know he is a great player. We are happy for this opportunity and we thank sponsors.
The video also announced that match will be televised live by KTN.
Field closed for refurbishment
The national stadium in Dar es Salaam had been closed in order to refurbish the playing surface. This was at the behest of the sponsors Sportpesa.
On arrival, Kogalo players marveled at the amazing status of the playing surface.
“Now this is a football pitch!” assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno marveled as he laid out cones on the pitch ready for the session.” Said coach Zico to Capital sport.
Team manager Jolawi Obondo thinks the field will suit Kogalo perfectly.
“The field is amazing and we should have a great game here. This is what a football field should look like. It is very even and well maintained,” Obondo said.
Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr, who spent 15 months in Tanzania with Simba SC whose home matches were at the same pitch, was equally marveled with the new look.
“I mean I kept telling them every day to cut down the grass but they never did so. You could hit a pass, go out and have a McDonald’s and return to the pitch before the pass got to the next player. The grass was too thick!” Kerr joked on the sides as Gor prepared for training.
Former Gor Mahia ace Timonah Wanyonyi has nothing but good things to say about Gor Mahia. He says his career was on the ascendancy when he was at Gor Mahia but nosedived as soon as he left.
He takes pride in having helped the club lift the KPL trophy after an 18 year wait and he blames his parents for coercing him to leave Kogalo and join Ingwe.
The once promising midfielder formed a superb combination with Dan Sserukuma, Geoffrey Kizito, Shaban Kenga, Rama Salim and others during his heyday.