Gor Mahia held by Sofapaka

Gor Mahia’s title aspirations ran into a roadblock when they were held scoreless by Sofapaka on Sunday at Nyayo stadium
Additional reporting from Citizen Sports
Basement side Sofapaka FC dented Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions, Gor Mahia’s aspirations of retaining their crown when they forced them into a barren stalemate at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Victor Ademba gave visiting Sony Sugar a 26th minute lead at Thika United but the hosts forced a share of the spoils when Musa Saad equalised in the 76th to leave the sugar millers tenth (32), three places above their opponents.

The result at Nyayo handed the initiative in the title chase back to leaders Tusker FC who are now four clear at the summit on 48 points with five games to go in an encounter where Sofapaka goalkeeper, Mathias Kigonya, produced a man-of-the-match performance to thwart K’Ogalo.

“We closed Gor at the centre because we knew that is where the danger was. My players had four clear chances of hitting them on the counter but failed to score. We are optimistic we will survive, this was an important match that I believe will inspire my team to fight on in the remaining five matches,” satisfied Sofapaka boss, David Ouma, who returned to the side after his engagements with Harambee Starlets said.

“My return adds something but I want to thank my technical bench for the job they have done in my absence. We own the results as a group whether I’m present or not,” Ouma added.

His team inched to within a point of second from bottom Nairobi City Stars with 16, eight behind Ushuru FC who occupy the last slot to escape the chop.

Gor boss, Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira was too distraught to speak to the media after honouring his obligations with broadcast sponsors as he rued a missed opportunity to turn the pressure on Tusker who won 2-1 on Friday.

Field captain, Musa Mohammed who was marking his record 250th appearance for Gor set the tone for a frustrating afternoon for Gor when he failed to hit the target when a pin-point free kick from the returning Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma in the second minute.

Eric Ochieng, who crossed over from Gor to Sofapaka in June then tested Boniface Oluoch with a free-kick in the ninth, before floating another set piece delivery two minutes later but defender Abouba Sibomana got the better of Johnson Baagole in an aerial contest to avert danger.

Ouma then wasted two chances in quick succession, his first shot from close range was denied by the keeper when Gor raced to the other end after being put through goal by a glorious cross from Karim Nzigiyamana before he failed to turn in a George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo pass across goal in the 19th.

Jacques Tuyisenge then almost gave the title-holders the lead in the 23rd, Nzigiyamana crossing to him from the right only to be denied by Kigonya as he prepared to pull the trigger.

In the 35th, Tuyisenge’s header flew just over with Kigonya beaten, after he was set up by Francis Kahata.
On the stroke of the half time, Kigonya blunder almost gifted Gor the opener in the only blot to his commanding shift between the sticks after he needlessly handled the ball just outside the box.

The resultant free-kick was blocked by Francis Kentile and the whistle blew for half time before Earnest Wendo could convert the rebound much to the chagrin of K’Ogalo players.

At the restart, Ouma introduced Charles Melubo for Fredrick Ojwang and the new man saved his side when he deflected Kahata’s shot that was flying in out for a fruitless corner.

Gor pinned Batoto ba Mungu in their own half with Meddie Kagere who was playing on the right flank in the first half joining Tuyisenge in a central forward role as Ze Maria switched to a two-pronged attack.

The former Brazilian international then introduced exciting youngster, Amos Nondi resting Sibomana with the new man paving way for Odhiambo to switch flanks to the left as Ouma dropped to defence.

Gor’s all out attack was almost caught out cold in the 67th when Salim Gichuki stole the ball from Nzigiyamana and quickly crossed to the unmarked Melubo who spurned the chance by firing straight to the under employed Olouch.

Ze Maria then hauled off Odhiambo for Ugandan Godfrey Walusimbi, before finally withdrawing Nzigiyamana for former Sofapaka man Enoch Agwanda in a last ditch effort to find a breakthrough.

Agwanda’s corner in the 85th found Mohammed in the box but the skipper was denied the headlines when his finish cannoned off the cross bar in what was the last clear cut opportunity for the champions to grab victory.

K’Ogalo’s profligacy returned to haunt them after successive wins reignited their challenge after cutting down a seven-point lead to two in what was their sixth draw in eight KPL games.

28 thoughts on “Gor Mahia held by Sofapaka

  1. nicky

    It was a very exciting display by kogalo. Unfortunately in football it is only a win that matters. But again everyteam in the lealeague plays to win and as such I have to congratulate the boys for the one point. I’m still optimistic, it’s never over until it’s over……let’s fight on boys

  2. moses

    Our main striker should be clinical.I missed Olunga today.That header assist from Kahata and then Tuyisenge with his 4m tag just wasted it.Coach should have brought Jowi and Nondi earlier.Good decision to remove predictable Karim.We as Gor fans are now fatalists;we have resigned to fate.

  3. Marto Original

    The boys played well but that sofa goalee was the hero of the day. However an observation. We didn’t have to insist on the aerial crosses from the flanks when it had been clear from the onset of the game that that goalee was good aerially. How I wish we switched to ground level cut back crosses like those we see in the premier and laliga. they are almost always very effective.

    Like @Musymo puts it, we now really need the Lady luck to pay us a visit.

  4. moses

    Can you imagine being out of Champions League.We must win this league.We played well today but our main striker has no hunger.Nondi should have been in from 50th min since past that For players become restless.

  5. Jakoyo

    GAME OVER..no continental play next year, let’s begin to plan for 2017 and get a new TB and quality players.

    If we apply the magical 60 points rule to the league, tusker simply needs 12 points to wrap up the title whereas kogallo needs 16 points.

    Since it is impossible to attain 16 points out of a possible 15 points , tusker are defacto champions elect . congratulations to them !

  6. A person

    Even if luck will be on our side and we win the league, I will still have my doubts about this Ze Maria. Local coaches can easily read Maria’s game and frustrate Kogalo. Let’s hope that Gor can still win this league.The genius coach is yet to impress the Kogallo family.

  7. michael ogolo

    whoever will be agrieved with what am about to say to 4give me. my wkend was not gud.first the team I love most (Zesco united) after K’ogalo lost to Sundowns .And K’ogalo whom I thought wud console me cud not. We will not win the league bcos this Tyisenge guy will never score. This guy is not a top striker as we thought & so long as we depend on himas our main man then we prepare for 5 points for the remainig 5 matches. For the entire 90min he never had a shot on target. He shud be benched to re think .

  8. Ja'Asego

    As a qualified coach,and with ‘No Pun’ intended to either sound judgmental or critical of yesterday’s result or display,fact remains our beloved is a very Average team this second leg of the season,and has lost shape in the midfield,a key area where the recent Three Peat success was founded on.We do try but are not a class above any other Kpl Team really,technically speaking atleast.Only good tactics/hardwork/lady luck and Tusker slip up can hand us the Title this season.Technical/serious and superb player signing urgently needed in the close season transfer market…

  9. Jabatiso

    I was in the field to watch this game and our striking force is horrible. Midfield is pathetic. I only give credit to the defenders. Kagere and Tuyisenge are wasteful infront of goal a thousand times and as I always have to say….they run a round like headless Chicken. Nzigimana very predictable, Eric Marcelo is no longer the inteligent Chap we knew. I watched Agwanda warming up and he was tired even before joining the field. He is too overweight and should now consider joining rugby. Do these players watch the european leagues to see how to create chances. Who said that wingers mus always bring aerial crosses even if its clear its not working. Shame on our players. Do they need an angel to tell them to cutting in crosses from the wings. At this moment I can declare that the league is gone with Tusker. I don’t subscribe to the idea of Luck but rather hardwork. Any way back to my slumber and please wake me up when Jausenge scores.

  10. Jb

    I too watched the match , truth be told our ze Maria is not good enough tactically the blame should be on who hired him after the 5 draws he should have been sacked and a caretaker manager in place

  11. Kibalka

    Great fighting spirit.. Jausenge should have buried 2 open goals in the 1st half, but football is football you win some you lose some.

    However, i see a very worrying trend developing… longballs, bypassing the midfield, one dimensional play of crosses, crosses, crosses. Its very simple to defend against us, no wonder the several goalless draws. It is so unlike us and so unlike samba football that our dear coach played in his days.

    We need to have one-two plays, change of tactic or else we would rather accept number 2 or 3 early enough

  12. Musymo

    Sofapake coach says they were able to tame Gor because they had mastered Gor’s predictable style of play. Is there anyone who can teach our team to change tactics once their initial plan fails?

    1. oswozo moziek

      Am not one to criticize the team every now and then…but it must be said,with our expensively assembled playing unit and TB,expectations from fans is that the team should rise waaay above the current performance and deliver.However,anything can happen in football but my advice to the team is don’t try make it happen when it is too late.There is now no margin for error!!!

  13. Nus Pesa

    Ze Maria might not win this title after all ,who told him that Gor Mahia players must only score through crosses from the flanks and not through the midfield ?. Boring futbol ,no creativity pack and go back to be a cane cutter in Brazil

  14. Dan Original

    Too sad for Sofapaka. They needed the three points more than Gor needed them. Instead of coming out to play they were more interested in stopping Gor from winning the match and the league. With that they will surely be relegated and I don’t see them coming back considering how competitive the lower league is

    1. A person

      @Dan am not very sure of your defence mechanism, but I think it is that of “displacement” Bwana you are displacing your frustration to the innocent party in Sofapaka. It will only serve o give you a temporary relief but the glaring fact will never change: Gor is playing one style of football that all local coaches are able to deal with.

      1. ODUOR12

        Oh yes take it out on S/paka, the other day we beat Ulinzi coz they came “to play” and “let us play” & didn’t defend. COACH DECLARED ALL TEAMS SHOULD EMULATE ULINZI. And some say we now play an intelligent brand soccer that will serve us well in continental arena but yet we can’t even get past teams that are in the lower reaches of the table and in financial dire straits. Apologists of Ze Maria (Jakom’s project) remind him that to go far in continental soccer you first have to QUALIFY by winning the league or GoTv. Oh Tusker are not interested wining the league, they are only interested preventing in GMFC winning it 4 times in a row and in preventing GMFC for taking part in continental soccer next year na hata hawata enda mbali lol. Tusker and the other teams should just stop being silly and loose their matches. SURELY WHY ARE THEY ONLY INTERESTED IN PREVENTING GMFC FROM WINNING THE LEAGUE?

  15. A person

    Where are the guys who were tired of watching “predictable football from the Politician” I think today our style of play is more predictable than it has ever been.Surely look at the kind of players Ouma has assembled in the recent days! The likes of Eric Ochieng or should I say Gor Mahia bench warmers. How can a team with serious financial problems stop Kogalo? There is nothing like teams are coming to pack the bus when playing against Gor. What became of the so called Odulla midfielder? If what Gor is displaying now is the tiki piti, then I am not for it. Sasa they draw against Sofa paka in order to do what against Stima, Tusker…….Bure kabisa.

  16. ODUOR12

    Most likely the players for S/Paka have not been paid for some months.
    Gor Mahia TB is well paid.
    We can’t accept to end a season without any meaningful trophy. Everyone
    Officials, TB and players must be held to account.

    Fish rots from the top.

    At the next SGM/AGM put all EC on yearly written performance contracts with these 3 minimums. GMFC MUST :
    1) qualify for a continental tournament,
    2) qualify for at least the semi-final for every CECAFA tournament we participate in,
    3) qualify for at least the group stages / the 3rd round of CAF tournament,


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