12 May 17

Can “Zesh” continue to work his magic?

Gor Mahia have collected six points, scored five goals and conceded none in their last two matches. Will that brilliant run continue? Fans will find out this Saturday as they take on newly promoted Nzoia United.

Having taken over the league lead, coach Ze Maria will want to hold on.

“I am proud of my players’ performance in the last two matches. Those two wins have been very important to us. Now that we are at the top, I am confident we will handle the pressure of being there. We want to remain there until the end of the season,” said Ze Maria to the Standard.

Will fatigue be a factor?

Playing three matches inside 6 days can take its toll on the players. The compressed schedule has been taking its toll on teams this season. Chemelil coach Abdalla Juma blames Wednesday’s loss to Kogalo on fatigue.

“This is a challenge. In fact it is very difficult both for us and for the players. We had a game just two days ago, and today we are playing again, it means that even if I wanted to use a different strategies for today’s match I can’t execute that successfully because of the little time we have I between games,” he said to the Nation.

And this is where coach Ze Maria and to a much larger extent trainer Sandro Fantino will earn their keep. They will need to closely monitor the physical state of each player. He may consider resting a player like Kagere who has already played over 180 minutes this week.

Nzoia United who won the second tier in 2016, have given a good account of themselves since earning promotion to the top tier. They beat Tusker in their first ever KPL match. Last Wednesday, they went down 2-1 to Bandari. In 2016, while in the second tier, they shocked Gor Mahia, thus eliminating them from the GoTV shield.

The match will be played at Mumias Sports complex on Saturday. According to Secretary General Ben Omondi, kickoff time is 3pm.

Down Memory Lane

Back in the 1980s, Nzoia Sugar, which is the precursor of Nzoia United, used to be one of the toughest opponents for Gor Mahia especially at home. Even as Gor Mahia won the league in 1983, 84, 85 and 87, they would beat other teams by significant margins. But Nzoia was always a tough nut to crack. This despite the fact that Nzoia almost always finished in the lower half of the 20 team league.

In those days Nzoia played their home matches at Kanduyi stadium in Bungoma. They had two formidable defenders in Leonard Khayota and Evans Chibinda who was built like tank. Matches pitting the two sides at Kanduyi almost always ended in 0-0 draws and in some cases a 1-0 win for Nzoia.

The radio announcer’s statement would sum up the frustration of the fans who had been listening intently to KBC radio.

“Waskilizaji, Gor wamefanya kazi ya ziada lakini bahati haikusimama. Nzoia wameshinda (listeners, Gor really tried, but were unlucky. Nzoia have won)”

By 2001, Nzoia had turned the tables. They were now the league contenders while Kogalo fought off relegation

 

 


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10 May 17

Scorer: Kenneth Muguna

Gor Mahia have not taken the foot off the accelerator pedal. They continued their brilliant run with a 2-0 win over tough Chemelil Sugar. Timothy Otieno and Kenneth Muguna, both of whom had brilliant games in the mashemeji derby, were both on target.

Additional reporting from futaa.com

The host started off more intent and took only ten minutes to find the breakthrough.

Otieno’s goal

Timothy Otieno latched on a well weighted pass from George Odhiambo before tucking a low effort beneath an onrushing Jairus Adira.

The team almost went 2-0 up ten minutes later as Meddie Kagere forced Adira to a fine save from a low drive in 22nd minute.

The wait for a second was to end after series of two corner which Miller’s rear guard proved up to task with.

Muguna doubles lead

It finally came as Kenneth Muguna reacted quickest to stab home after Adira had spilled a low drive from Innocent Wafula in to his path.

For a second time running, Gor were forced to a first half change as Timothy’s involvement was cut short with an injury sustained in build up to his goal.

The striker was replaced by Oliver Maloba at turn of the 36th minute mark

Millers chance

Chemelil’s only effort at goal in the half saw with MUstapaha Adebayo forcing a speculative strike sail over Boniface Oluoch bar.

The second half saw a handful of clear-cut chances worked out with Miller coming close form a left wing delivery that flashed across Oluoch’s post with nolone to turn home.

Gor on their part looked dangerous from a deployed Innocent Wafula, who plied the right flank as starter ahead of Karim Nizigiyimana.

The Ugandan and his compatriot walusimbi combined for a 70th minute effort that was however thwarted as latter saw his shot blocked.

Trailing took a slight tweaking edge going forward with Laban Gambareko inclusion aiding their forward surge.

The team will however left to contend with a defeat on away grounds with two goals conceded for the first time this season wrapping up their second loss of the season

Click here for live updates and commentary.

Starting X1: Boniface Oluoch, Innocent Wafula Musa Mohammed, Joash Onyango, Ernest Wendo, Wellington Ochieng, Kenneth Muguna, Francis Kahata , Godfrey Walusimbi, George Odhiambo, Meddie Kagere,

Subs: Shaban Odhoji, Karim Nzigiyimana, Oliver Maloba, Anthony Mbugua Amos Nondi, Philemon Otieno, Uyoga Jeconia

Chemelil Starting XI: Jairus Adira, Willis Ouma, Yusuf Suf, Smith Ouko, James Omino, David ojwang, Hillary Echesa, Victor Majid, Mustapha Adebayor, Morris Wandera

Subs: Daniel kiptoo, Himidu Kwizera, Benjamin Okech, Oyugi, Laban Gambereko Moses Osure Anthony Chingwa


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10 May 17

Last year Kogalo beat Chemelil 3-1

Fresh from a memorable 3-0 win over arch rivals AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia players (and fans) will need to come back down to earth as they face Chemelil Sugar at Thika Municipal stadium on Wednesday.

Assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno understands that the players now have to forget about the derby and focus on the next task.

“Now we are forgetting about this (‘Mashemeji’ derby win). This is now history. What we have to do is to focus on the next game with a winning mentality.” said Zico to goal.com

Gor Mahia have a very good record against Chemelil Sugar. They have not lost the millers in seven years. Last season Gor Mahia drew 0-0 with Chemelil in the first leg and beat the Millders 3-1 in the second leg. And 2015, Kogalo comprehensively beat the millers, winning 3-1 and 4-1.

But the match will not be easy. To begin with, the venue (Thika Stadium) is the scene of Gor Mahia’s last league loss against Mathare United. Its bumpy surface does not lend itself to Gor Mahia’s style of play. And Chemelil are stout defenders. Their last three matches have ended in draws.

Ze Maria will have to shift tactics given the Chemelil are likely to park the bus, disrupt the match and use the rough playing surface to their advantage. Still the Brazilian tactician may rely on the same players who starred in last weekend’s thrashing of AFC. Timothy Otieno who had a shaky start to the seasoon but played well on Sunday is raring to get on the scoresheet again.

“My target is to score as many goals as I can. It was important for me to play well on Sunday because I did not start in the last three games. I’m happy the coach believed in me and gave me the chance to lead the line.” he said to sportpesa news.

With Jacque Tuyisenge yet to heal from his knee injury, Timothy could lead the attack again.

Coach Ze Maria knows that a win for Kogalo will enable Kogalo to climb to the top of the table, which is a psychological boost and puts pressure on league leaders Posta Rangers.

“Ours is a big club and every match we play is a big game. The pressure of the derby is not different from the pressure that we have when we are facing other teams so we shall have to beat our best to defeat them” said the Brazilian to the Nation.


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9 May 17

Gor Mahia coach Ze Maria credited the hard work that the team put in during the week.

AFC coach Stewart Hall says his inexperienced side suffered stage fight and were running around like scared rabbits.

Meddie Kagere: “The motivation is there and we are determined to do what it takes to collect more points”.


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7 May 17

Kagere celebrates with team after scoring

Two first half goals from Meddie Kagere and George Odhiambo and a close ranger header from Timothy Otieno gave Kogalo a 3-0 lead. It represents the largest score by which Gor Mahia have beaten AFC since they thrashed them 5-1 in 1975.

All three goals were well constructed. The first  one resulted when Timothy Otieno latched onto a long pass and lifted the ball above AFC goalkeeper  Ian Otieno in the AFC goal, to make it easy for Meddie Kagere to score the opener in the 18th minute.

The second goal resulted from a precise defence splitting pass from Kenneth Muguna which found Blackberry who had beaten the Ingwe offside trap. Finding himself one on one with Ian Otieno, Blackberry calmly chipped the ball over the hapless goalkeeper for the second goal as Gor Mahia raced to a 2-0 half time lead.

The third goal came in the 83rd minute. From a counter attack, Kenneth Muguna raced towards the AFC goal but he was cynically fouled. The resulting free-kick was taken by Geoffrey Walusimbi who flighted a well driven ball  towards the AFC goal. Kagere cleverly backheeled the ball but it hit the cross bar leaving Ian Otieno well beaten. AFC defenders inexplicably stood still leaving Timothy Otieno wide open. Timothy could not believe his lack but he calmly headed the ball into the net.

All in all Gor Mahia were the better side. Boniface Oluoch was steady in goal albeit he had some moments of overconfidence when handling backpasses that left fans holding their breath.

The defence of Karim Nizigiyimana, Wellington Ochieng, Harun Shakava and Musa Mohamed completely bottled the much vaunted Ingwe attack of Gilbert Fiamenyo, Paul Kiongera and Allan Kataregga, leaving them ineffective.

In Midfield, Wendo proved effective, disrupting AFC moves and silencing those who have been demanding the return of Gattuso. While Walusimbi, Kahata and Muguna linked up really well with the attack of Timothy Otieno, Blackberry and Kagere.

It was an important result for Kogalo as AFC are one of the teams breathing down their neck. The result leave Gor Mahia in second place, still two points behind leaders Posta Rangers.

For Ze Maria it gives him some much needed breathing space especially after he had been threatened by a club official that if he lost this game, he would be out of a job.

Image courtesy of Caleb Oluoch


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5 May 17

Both teams met govenor Kidero at City hall on Friday

With concerns over security and lack of a venue set aside, the two biggest arch-rivals in Kenya football will clash at Nyayo stadium this Sunday. With only two points separating the two sides, it is bound to be a tense derby.

Last season, Gor Mahia lost the first leg 0-1 but avenged the loss by beating Ingwe 2-0 in the return leg with goals from Meddie Kagere and Enock Agwanda.

In Sunday’s derby, Gor Mahia will once again rely on Kagere’s scoring instincts, particularly if Jacque Tuyisenge who is nursing an injury, misses the match. Tuyisenge picked up a knee injury in Sunday’s dissapointing loss to Mathare.

“Jack has a little knee injury but I hope it will not be serious and he can be able to play on Sunday. We will look at him over the next two days and decide whether he will be fit enough to play,” said coach Ze Maria to Capital Sports.

In defence, Gor Mahia will be hard pressed to contain the Ingwe duo of burly Ghanaian Fiamenyo and Ugandan Allan Kataregga, both of whom have scored key goals this season. Fiamenyo who has scored four goals this season, typically uses his massive frame to shrug off defenders and uses quick bursts to run into open space. The task of containing him falls to Musa Mohamed and Harun Shakava.

In Midfield, Gor Mahia will be boosted if Kenneth Muguna who missed last weekend’s action returns. Muguna was nursing an injury last weekend but returned to training this week.

“Jack has a little knee injury but I hope it will not be serious and he can be able to play on Sunday. We will look at him over the next two days and decide whether he will be fit enough to play,” continued Ze Maria.

Whereas AFC supporters appear content with their coach, Gor Mahia fans have been unhappy with Ze Maria. Last weekend, fans barricaded the team and questioned the technical bench, prompting team trainer Sandro Fantino to threaten to fight fans. And Ze Maria knows the pressure of winning a derby, having participated in matches pitting bitter rivals Brazil and Argentina. The Brazilian tactician is optmistic of a positive result on Sunday.

“We know AFC Leopards are a good side and they have been training for the match. We have also prepared and we will play well in search of a possible win.” he said to goal.com

Ze Maria has also instructed his players to stop reading social media comments. Last week there were reports that Tuyisenge in particular has lost his confidence due to harsh criticisms online.

““We are doing more of interpersonal discussions and less of pitch training. This is because I need get the pressure off these players’ minds. They need to focus on the game, not on the comments being made on social media. I work best under pressure, but the same is not true for the players. Players get easily discouraged by criticism so I have asked them to stay away from social media for their own good,” said Ferreira to the Nation.

Ingwe coach Stewart Hall for his part, played coy and insisted that this is just a normal game.

“We have been doing our normal training, this is a match like any other and there is nothing new or extra-ordinary with this game. As usual we have to give our best and try win maximum points; that is all that matters. But I am expecting a very exciting game this weekend.” said Hall to goal.com

Hall will be coaching in his first mashemeji derby. But he is not intimidated and insists that he knows what to expect.

“I am not new to such derbies. In the clubs that I coached previously, there were such high profile matches which I took charge of. This will not be different. I have attended the Mashemeji derby in the past so I know what to expect. All that is required is to be mentally prepared for the match and that confidence is what we are working on.” said Hall to the Nation.

Fans

Will the fans behave?

With Nyayo stadium still under renovation, any damage to the stadium is likely to be punished heavily. So one would hope that fans will behave themselves. Gor Mahia fans in particular will have hopefully learned from last year’s debacle that saw them lose three crucial points that eventually cost them the title.

Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, who gave both teams Ksh 200,000, urged the fans of both sides to maintain peace during the derby.  Kidero also said that renovation at City Stadium is on track.


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3 May 17

Update

Kenya Premier League and Nyayo stadium management have reached an agreement to host the Mashemeji derby this Sunday.

“Following a successful meeting between the Kenyan Premier League management and the management of the Nyayo National Stadium, Kenyan Premier League would like to confirm that the facility owners have agreed to exceptionally allow the AFC Leopards SC-Gor Mahia FC match to be played at the venue on Sunday, 07 May 2017, kick off time 3PM,” read a statement posted on goal.com

With Nyayo stadium still being renovated for the IAAF world championships, security is should be tight and fan misbehaviour will result in heavy punishments.

Previous Article

The highly  anticipated contest pitting Gor Mahia against AFC Leopards that was scheduled for this Sunday at Afraha has been put off by the KPL due to security issues. KPL in consultation with clubs and KPL has determined that Afraha is not a suitable stadium and neither is any other venue besides Nyayo and Kasarani.

“Following intensive consultations between the KPL vice-chairman Erick Oloo, AFC Leopards chairman Dan Mule, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier and the FKF president Nick Mwendwa, it has been unanimously decided that owing to the home team’s confirmation on being unable to provide adequate security, no chance can be taken at hosting the match at Afraha,” the KPL statement said.

Therefore the match will be played only when either Nyayo or Kasarani is available.  These two Nairobi venues are currently undergoing government-commissioned renovations in readiness to host both the IAAF World Under-18 Championship and the Africa Nations Championship football tournament in July this year and January/February next year, respectively.

The match was highly anticipated because the two teams are literally neck and neck in the league standings with Gor Mahia in second place with 16 points, only two ahead of AFC who are in fourth place with 14 points.

This fiasco brings into focus the lack of quality stadiums in Kenya. Both Gor Mahia and AFC leopards have struggled to make money from their home matches this season because they have played home matches in sub par stadia like Thika and Afraha


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30 Apr 17

Kagere tussles with Andrew Juma of Mathare United

Gor Mahia’s plans of taking over the league leadership were stifled on Sunday when they surprisingly lost to struggling Mathare United 0-1 at Thika Stadium. It was an unexpected loss since Mathare have been on the receiving end of heavy defeats.
Additional Reporting from goal.com
Former Gor Mahia youth team players Cliff Nyakeya and Derrick Onyango collectively ensured that K’Ogalo walk home bare handed. Onyango was the man with the assist and Nyakeya is the man, who placed the ball past keeper Boniface Oluoch in the 34th minute.

With the aim of securing three points in order to go ahead of Posta Rangers on the league table, Coach Ze Maria named a strong squad with Jean-Baptiste Mugiraneza and Jacques Tuyisenge being part of the arsenal.

Indeed, Mugiraneza showed intention of wanting to etch his name on the score-board in the 20th minute but Mathare United proved smarter by clearing the danger.

Karim Nizigiyimana then launched a number of attacks after Nyakeya goal but things did not work out well for him.

The fight continued in the second half-with the likes of Godfrey Walusimbi being instrumental in search of an equalizer to no avail. Even the introduction of Maloba Oliver never bore any fruits for Gor Mahia.

The Mathare United win is a big morale booster for coach Salim Ali putting into consideration that the ‘Slum Boys’ had registered a draw against Chemelil Sugar after suffering a 5-1 defeat against Ulinzi Stars under him in the absence of head coach Francis Kimanzi.

They have since revealed on their facebook page the secret behind their historic victory. Their Chairman Bob Munro had a word with them in the dressing room ahead of the match.”Gor (Mahia) are clearly confident of victory but seriously underestimate your talents and teamwork. So prove them wrong today.”

Gor Mahia : Boniface Oluoch, Karim Nizigiyimana ,Wellington Ochieng’ , Musa Mohammed, Shakava Haron, Otieno Philemon, Kahata Francis, Jean-Baptiste Mugiraneza,Walusimbi Godfrey, Tuyisenge Jacques, Meddie Kagere.

Subs : Fredrick Odhiambo, Onyango Joash, Nondi Amos, Mbugua Athony, Maloba Oliver, Otieno Timothy, Wafula Innocent.

Mathare United : Levis Opiyo, Andrew Juma, George ‘Wise’ Owino, Lennox Ogutu,David Mwangi, Chrispinus Odour, Aboubakar Keya, Daniel Mwaura, Harrsion Mwenda, Cliff Nyakeya, Derrick Onyango.

Subs : Wycliffe Kasaya, Tyson Odhiambo, Roy Okal, Martin Ongori, David Owino, Tyson Otieno, Ronald Okoth.


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26 Apr 17

Wellington Ochieng, Walusimbi, Wafula, Kagere, Maloba, Kahata and Shakava celebrate second goal. Image: Nation

Gor Mahia’s campaign for the 2017 Kenya Premier League title is back on track thanks to an important 2-1 win over Bandari. After dropping two critical points against Tusker last weekend and having lost the league lead, it was imperative that Kogalo get a win in Mbaraki, a place that is notoriously difficult for teams to win at. But Bandari fielding two former Kogalo dangermen: Shaban Kenga, Dan Sserunkuma and Enock Agwanda and with an excellent coach in Paul Nkata, were never going to be pushovers. They have Gor Mahia a difficult time but Kogalo prevailed with goals from Innocent Wafula and Geoffrey Walusimbi

It was Kogalo who dicated terms in the first half. It therefore came as no surprise when Innocent Wafula opened the score in the 10th minute after picking up a pass from Ugandan international, Geoffrey Walusimbi. In recent matches Wafula has not found favor with coach Ze Maria. Whereas Frank Nuttall was always keen to utilize Wafula’s speed down the right flank, Ze Maria has preferred a passing game. Given a rare opportunity, Wafula did not waste it and stamped his name on the scoring sheet for the first time in 2017.

Gor Mahia continued to dictate terms in the first half with Francis Kahata among those coming close. Gor Mahia forced half a dozen corners in the first half with Bandari forcing only one.

Bandari came back into the game in the second half and their efforts paid dividents immediately. In the 50th minute, Musa Mohammed fouled Shaban Kenga in the eighteen yard box and the referee awarded Bandari a penalty, which veteran Abich coolly converted.

Gor Mahia then went hunting for a second goal with Bandari preferring to sit back. The better more positive team was rewarded with a goal in the 66th minute. It was Walusimbi who scored with the assist coming from substitute Oliver Maloba.

Last season, Gor Mahia beat Bandari 2-0 at Mbaraki. But in the return leg in Kisumu, Bandari forced a scoreless draw. The win puts Gor Mahia is sole posssesion of second place behind Posta Rangers who eked out yet another 1-0 win and two points ahead of resurgent Sofapaka who silenced AFC on Wednesday.

Bandari: Joseph Okoth (GK) 2. Noah Abich 3. Mohammed Siraj 4. Felly Mulumba 5. Andrew Waiswa 6. Michael Luvutsi 7. Shaban Kenga 8. Musa Mudde 9. Enock Agwanda 10. Dan Serunkuma 11. Darius Msagha.

Subs: 12. Lukas Indeche 13. Duncan Otewa 14. Anthony Wambani. 15. Mohammed Sharrif 16. Fred Nkata 17. Wilberforce Lugogo 18. Tyron Owino.


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25 Apr 17


Gor Mahia skipper Musa Mohamed thinks Kogalo were the better side on Saturday but a combination of the heavy downpour and back luck put paid to Kogalo’s efforts.

It was a tough match and the rain messed with our tempo in the first half. When we came back after halftime break we were able to put pressure on our opponents, he told Futaa.com.

In the second half Gor Mahia created a number of chances and even struck the post twice but could not make a breakthrough.

“It is part of the game sometimes the game does not go as planned but we are happy that we got a point from this clash and it puts us somewhere.” continued Musa.

Tusker coach George Nsimbe for his part thinks his side accorded Gor Mahia too much respect.
“First half we got many chances and we were stable but when they came back they respected Gor Mahia that is why we didn’t play well but I thank the boys managed to pick a point from one of league leaders” said Nsimbe to futaa.com

Gor Mahia are tied in second place with arch rivals AFC. As a result, winning the next match against Bandari has taken a higher magnitude of importance. Gor Mahia will face off with Bandari on Wednesday.

Bandari lost their last match to Chemelil FC. A win would have seen them seize the lead in the standings. They will be in no mood to slip up again and will rely on former Gor Mahia players Dan Sserunkuma and Edwin Lavatsa for goals.

Gor Mahia for their part will be hoping that the Rwandese duo of Jacque Tuyisenge and Meddie Kagere can find their scoring boots. Since the first game against Kariobangi, Gor mahia have yet to win any match in convincing fashion.

Musa Mohamed is confident that Kogalo can rise to the occassion.

“We have prepared well for the match. What remains is for the players to do their duty on the pitch,” Mohammed said. “We know it is not going to be easy because of the weather and the fact that Bandari lost their previous match. But we are ready to battle and hope for the win.” he said to the Nation.

The match kicks off on Wednesday at 3pm at Mbaraki Sports club.

Gor Mahia starting Line-up
Starting X1: Boniface Oluoch, Innocent Wafula Musa Mohammed, Shakava Haroun, , Ernest Wendo, Wellington Ochieng, Ken Muguna, Francis Kahata , Godfrey Walusimbi, George Odhiambo, Maddie Kagere,

Subs: Fredrick Odhiambo, Joash Onyango, Oliver Maloba, Anthony Mbugua Amos Nondi, Philemon Otieno, Timothy otieno,


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