Gor Mahia are up against Thika United today Wednesday March 19 at the City Stadium at 3pm. Though the match is being played at Gor Mahia’s traditional home ground, Thika are actually the home team. Their usual home ground (Thika Municipal stadium) has been declared derelict and unfit for use by KPL teams.
Gor Mahia have made a bright start to the 2014 Tusker premier league and are eager to put behind them the Africa Champions league debacle. On Sunday they started slowly but once Kevin Omondi, Rama Salim and Patrick Oboya were introduced they took the game to Western who had no answers. Rama is rounding back to the form that saw him form a devastating partnership with Sserunkuma in 2012. The refined Timonah Wanyonyi has been showing a maturity that belies his youth
“We played very well and we showed our character. After a fruitless first half, we showed our resilience in the second period and I was pleased with the kind of spirit the players put up. The never say die attitude, the work rate… I was impressed,” Williamson said.
“Ade” on form
Kevin Omondi has shrugged off his recent injuries and has proven to be a real livewire on the left flank. His marauding run gave Gor Mahia a penalty against Esperance and a free-kick which resulted in Gor Mahia’s best attempt on goal during the Tunis encounter. On Sunday he underlined his superb skills when scored a goal for the ages.
“I was happy for Kevin Omondi, coming off the bench to score a superb goal. Probably I thought he had too much on it but he kept going and scored on the second attempt. He is a very important player for us and his impact from the bench was good.” said coach Williamson
Geoffrey Kizito has ably plugged the glaring hole that was ever present in the middle of the park last year. The overlapping Walusimbi offers solidity at the back and attacking options when he goes forward. Shaban Kenga has fitted in seamlessly and has not disappointed, while Sserunkuma’s scoring touch has picked up where he left off last season.
Gor Mahia fans had been hoping that George Odhiambo Blackberry would return to the sensational form that saw him selected player of the year in 2010. But Blackberry has yet to find his rythm and is still not in sync. But he eventually will. Form is temporary but class is permanent. And Blackberry is a classy player.
Last year Gor Mahia beat Thika United 2-1 on their way to winning the league. To repeat the same feat on Wednesday, they will have to contain the youthful but dangerous Michael Olunga, as well as David Kingatua. But Gor Mahia will have to do without vice captain David Owino who is out with injury. In his place we might see Israel Emuge. Thika will be buoyed having beaten Bandari last weekend.
In goal, Gor Mahia are likely to field David Juma who has been solid between the posts during the absence of captain Jerim Onyango. The latter has resumed training but is yet to regain match fitness. “We won’t rush him back to competitive action. He had light training on Monday. We are first getting him back to his fitness since he has been out for some weeks. -I don’t think he will play against Thika United (on Wednesday 19 March) since we don’t want to rush him, but hopefully, he will be available against All Stars. We will monitor how he is responding to training then decide” said Idd Salim, the goalkeeper trainer to futaa.com
Gor Mahia have been able to keep clean sheets thanks in large part to Juma between the posts and a solid defence including Haron Shakava who has surpassed expectations so far.
Williamson was also impressed with his defense that went for the third straight game without conceding.
“It was very important to keep that record clean. When you have a defense that does its work well and a striking force that’s efficient then you have ingredients for a title winning side. Also, recovering from Caf Champions League embarrassment was very important.” said Williamson to goal.com