After a week off, Gor Mahia will face second placed Tusker in match whose winner could go to the top of the table depending on the score. The importance of this game cannot be underscored for both teams. The winner will have a leg up in the KPL title sweepstakes. A win over their primary challengers will also serve as a psychological boost for Gor Mahia or Tusker. It is amazing that Kogalo are this close to going tops. Only a few months back it seemed like Tusker was quickly running away from the pack as Ulinzi did last year.
So intimidated were Tusker by Gor Mahia fans that they opted to play the first leg match in Mumias. Little did they know that not only do Gor Mahia fans travel but many actually live in Mumias and its environs. Trying to tame the Gor Mahia 12th man is an exercise in futility. Anyone who doubts it should ask Tusker. Gor Mahia players will be hoping that the fans turn up in droves and get behind the team.
The Kogalo movement can now count several Odieros amongst its followers in addition to Kenyans of all backgrounds.
The equivalent fixture last year ended with Gor Mahia winning 2-0 capped by a dazzling display by George Odhiambo “Blackberry”. The goal he scored that day with a mazy dribble past several hapless Tusker defenders will be remembered for many years by those who watched it live. Tusker players are probably still scratching their heads wondering how Blackberry bemused and befuddled them with a run reminiscent of Maradona vs England in 1986 or Leonel Messi vs Man U recently. Tall man Shikokoti could not unwind his long legs quickly enough to counteract Blackberry. He probably still sees Blackberry in his nightmares.
Reports suggest that Collins Okoth “Gattuso” and Edwin Lavatsa will be missed due to injuries. But the likes of Akumu, Kevin Ochieng, Selenga, Odera etc are capable of filling those boots and Lavatsa has earned some rest after his stellar display against Ingwe 10 days ago where he played a crucial role in all 3 goals. Well done Lavatsa ! and quick recovery.