Finally Kogalo fans have a lot to celebrate after months of misery. On Wednesday Gor Mahia beat defending champions Sofapaka aka Batoto Ba Mungu aka Bana ba Nzambi by a score of 1-0 to lift the FKL cup. The all important goal came on 33 minutes via happy returnee Edwin Lavatsa.
Sofapaka started well with John Baraza forcing a save from Jerim Onyango. Kogalo slowly started to find their feet. The speedy Lavatsa gave the Sofapaka defenders a torrid time with his pace proving a handful for the aging Edgar “Fighter” Ochieng. On 25 minutes he beat th Sofapaka goelie with a well taken shot, only for John Njoroge to make a goal line clearance. Four minutes later he latched onto a Gattuso through ball and with only the keeper to beat, he shot straight at the keeper.
In the second half , Sofapaka launched numerous raids but the Kogalo defence led by Jerim Onyango stood tall. In came Hajji Mwachoki, Anthony Akumu for Kevin Omondi and Kevin Ochieng. On 64 minutes a counter by Kogalo saw Lavatsa with yet another chance which he did not finish. Gor Mahia sought to maintain their lead by falling back on defence.
The win not only marks a comeback in many different ways. To begin with, Gor Mahia were all but eliminated from this cup only to be saved by a technicality. The last few weeks have been nothing short of a nightmare with Kogalo going six games without a win. And Edwin Lavatsa had been reported AWOL by assistant coach Zablon Otieno “Pro” . Only for Lavatsa to return in devastating form with his trademark “Olympic” speed.
The win sees Kogalo return to continental football next year. Fans who remember the drubbing at the hands of Rwanda APR will be eager to see Kogalo make amends. This represents the 7th time that Gor Mahia have won the cup since 1986.