Kahata in action as Kenya beat Tanzania 3-2

The duo of Olunga and Ouma were key when Gor Mahia won the league unbeaten in 2015

Midfield ace Francis Kahata was the only Gor Mahia player in action on Thursday as Kenya twice came from behind to beat Tanzania 3-2 in a thrilling / nerve wracking encounter. Philemon Otieno did not play and Joash Onyango is still injured.

In what is now known as the majiarani derby, there were however a significant number of former Gor Mahia players including David Owino Calabar who played in place of Philemon. Eric Ouma who played in midfield and Michael Olunga who scored a brace. And Musa Mohamed who had another quiet game.

Tanzania took the lead against the run of play. From a lightning quick counter attack, Mbwana Samatta found himself wide open on the left flank. Of all the players to leave wide open, this ought to have been the last one since he has an impressive goal-scoring record for TP Mazembe and now plays in the Belgian top tier. But Calabar was nowehere to be seen and neither was any other defender. Sammatta’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Matasi right into the path of Msuva who duly netted.

Kenya battled back gamely. The equalizer came via Michael Olunga who scored with a spectacular scissors kick from a goalmouth melee. Kenya had barely finished celebrating when Samatta found himself wide open again on the left flank. This time he made a clever run and latched onto a through pass, leaving Calabar in his wake. His first attempt was stopped. But he made good on his second attempt. Tanzania went into half time leading 2-1.

Kahata had a quiet game but he did not put a foot wrong and was precise with his passes. But he was replaced by John Avire before halftime as coach Migne who made a tactical change as he looked for urgency. To sharpen the attack, coach Migne also replaced Abud Omar. And John Avire of Sofapaka. impressed with his work rate.

Kenya once again battled back. From a set play, Belgium based Johana Omollo, a product of Ofafa Jericho high school, sneaked behind the Tanzania defence to head the ball home.

Kenya then appeared to take their foot off the accelerator. To add some urgency, coach Migne brought on Eric Omondi Johana. He did not have an impressive game. But his one moment of brilliance created the third goal. His mazy run down the right flank ended with a pass to Olunga who turned around and scored with a low drive past the outstretched Tanzania goalkeeper.

Joseph Okumu was once again Kenya’s most impressive defender. Omollo was solid and did not put a foot wrong. Wanyama was okay but had far too many errant passes. Often he tried to make decisive passes into the box when more patience was called for. He had a fine header saved by the goalkeeper in the second half.

Masika once again looked very lively on the flanks. However he wasted a lot of runs by giving the ball away. On the opposite flank, Ouma Santos impressed with his industry. He almost scored with a volley from close range in the 14th minute but was denied by the keeper.

Tanzania were coached by former Nigeria winger Emmanuel Ammunike who featured against Gor Mahia in a 1994 CAF cup match while playing for Zamalek. On that day he was being tightly marked by Tobias Ocholla and his frustrations led him to lash out with a vicious elbow to Ocholla’s forehead. That match ended 1-1 at Nyayo stadium.

Ochola who was known as “Jua Kali” for his tight marking, should give Calabar tips. I can’t tell you how many times I saw Samatta open on that flank. Do that against Senegal and Sadio Mane will bury Kenya.

Stars now play Senegal in the final group game, hoping for draw that will propel them to the next stage.

Boniface Oluoch in action as Kenya sinks DR Congo

Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch was the only Kogalo player in the starting line-up as Kenya recorded an impressive 2-1 win over DR Congo. This follows a similar victory last year when Kenya beat the Congolese 1-0 in Kinshasa. The man of the moment was former Gor Mahia striker Michael Olunga who struck twice. It was his strike that had also sunk the Congolese in Kinshasa. The first goal was especially spectacular as he picked up a pass on from Mandela on the left flank, turned a defender inside out and unleashed a rising shot with his weaker right foot. The second goal was due to good work by Owino Calabar who found fast rising Sammy Onyango. The latters cross was met by Olunga.

In the process, new coach Stan Okumbi continues to silence naysayers including this author. He has yet to lose a match since he was appointed Stars coach. Most fans wondered why a coach with no experience even coaching a KPL team was appointed.

Former Gor Mahia ace David Owino “Calabar” was also in the starting line-up while Kenneth Muguna was on the bench. Bad news for Gor Mahia fans comes in the form of Musa Mohamed’s injury which he picked up against Uganda Cranes.

As for Boniface Oluoch, he has been solid for the national team. But he was less than solid today and will now face intense competition from Patrick Matasi who got rave reviews for his performance against the Uganda Cranes. Twice it required a defender to make a goal line save. And twice, what looked like legitimate goals were disallowed by Kenyan referee Humphrey Omweno of the tear gas fame. See the highlights and judge for yourself.

Match Highlights

Additional reporting from futaa.com
Harambee Stars put smiles on its supporters as two goals from striker Michael Olunga who was celebrating his birthday gave Stanley Okumbi’s side a 2-1 win over DRC Congo in a friendly played on Sunday 26 March 2017 at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.

The visitors were the first to produce threats but with the fans behind the home team, Harambee Stars did not take long before they stunned them with Brain Mandela picking Olunga who cut from the left flank and unleashed a fierce shot to give Stanley Okumbi’s side an early lead.

After the opening goal, both teams started to calm down with the game being balanced before Ikoko Jordan got himself in the referee’s book after a tackle on Johanna Omollo. Jesse Were curved in a nice freekick that found David Cheche who headed for a goal but goalkeeper Kiasumbua Joel kept the danger away. In the 27th minute, Kebano Neeksen’s tried to initiate an attack but Wanyama made a sliding tackle to disposes him off the ball. With the visitors looking for an equalizer, a moment of controversy came to place when the Congo players claimed the ball had crossed the goal post line but the centre referee waved the claims away.

Stars almost got a second but Sammy Onyango’s long range effort was tipped out by Congo keeper Kiasumuba Joel from a corner before Mandela headed the ball out. David Owino later connected Jesse Were’s cross to head the ball in but Kiasumbua was on alert to deny him a chance. With the first half almost finished, Junior Kabananga almost gave the visitors an equalizer but Boniface Oluoch made a nice save to deny him.

The second half saw the visitors come with a winning intent and Boniface Oluoch was lucky to see Kabananga’s shot go inches wide before saving a floated corner from Gael Katuka. The visitors continued to pile pressure on Okumbi’s side and they finally found a way when Mandela commited a foul outside the penalty area only for Gael Kakuta to give his side the leveler with a well-taken free-kick. Moments after the goal, Okumbi made his first change of the game; Johanna Omollo out, Paul Were in. Kakuta almost gave Kenyans a moment of scare when he looped the ball over keeper Oluoch but he was ruled for an offside.

However, it was Olunga on the mark again, this time being found by Samuel Onyango to find the back of the net and leave the opponents scratching their heads. With time ticking, Leopards almost found a leveler once more but veteran Joakins Atudo made sure none of that happened with a fine goal line clearance, after Bolingi Jonathan


Gor Mahia players apparently stopped training as Nuttall on leave

Reports suggest that Gor Mahia players did not train on Tuesday while demanding their match winning allowances.

“It is true we have not trained today (Tuesday), nobody wanted to train. We feel unappreciated and taken for granted, why should they treat us like that?  We gave out our all, we bled for the team and that is not right. We have a meeting with chairman on Wednesday to know the way forward.” said a player to goal.com

Club official David Kilo acknowledged the player strike but insisted that the club is working round the clock to resolve the outstanding allowances.

“Yes, we owe them winning allowances, which is true. However, I cannot comprehensively reveal to you what has happened today since I had traveled. I will get back to you, once I get the detailed report. We have settled their salaries though,” said Kilo to goal.com

Gor Mahia are supposed to be busy preparing for their Africa champions league return leg against AC Leopards. The club has also organized a fundraiser scheduled for Tuseday to defray expenses related to their travel to Congo.

The issue of constant player strikes and go-slows makes it more urgent that the club put in places procedures that will provide a measure of financial stability. It remains to be seen whether the club will ever move forward with such measures or whether they will continue to maintain the fire brigade approach where they wait until the building is on fire before dousing it with water.

Nuttall on brief leave

Meanwhile with no matches scheduled for several days, coach Frank Nuttall has taken a brief opportunity to visit his family. Reports suggest that Nuttall has taken several days off leaving Frank Ouna and Bobby Ogolla in charge.

“Since we have not had any activity, the coach decided to take a break and visit his family. We expect him back on Thursday and will train with the team for three days before we play AC Leopards,” Ouna told goal.com.

Nuttall has left with a specific program that the assistant coaches must follow. Ouna down-played the absence of the coach and said he left them well equipped until he returns. “We are doing just fine because he gave us a program we are following. We expect to do well in the return match because our opponents will be under pressure at home.”

Being away from your family for several months is not easy and the club certainly cannot begrudge the coach an opportunity to visit his family. The rest will leave him refreshed and ready to resume the fight for the local league title.

Calabar Training with Gor Mahia

Among the players who has trained with Gor Mahia in the past few days is David Owino Calabar. He is ineligible o play for Zesco in the champions league and as such has returned to Kenya to keep his fitness up.

“He has been training with Gor Mahia for sometime because his name was sent to Caf late for first round of continental tournament. Zesco have travelled to Mali this weekend and he will be with us until he is able to join them next week,” Ngala told Goal adding, “We hope his presence can inspire the rest of the players to aim higher as well.”

Calabar has had a good start at Zesco which includes scoring two goals in the Zambian Supercup.

Wishing David Owino Calabar all the best

David Owino Calabar with his agent who it turns out is former club official George Bwana

David Owino “Calabar” has finally put pen to paper with Zambian side Zesco United after having passed the club’s medical exam. The move ends months of speculation about his future.

“Calabar” joined Gor Mahia in December of 2011. He has played for the club for three seasons. In those seasons, Gor Mahia won the league twice and finished second once. His contribution to the club’s success during these years cannot be gainsaid. He has been the most consistent defender not just at the club but in the Kenya Premier League, able to slot in at either right back, left back or central defence. His solid play saw him earn KPL defender of the year honours twice in a row.

Defining Moment

It also enabled him to be a permanent fixture for the national team where he extended his solid play. His defining moment came during a national team encounter with the Nigeria Super Eagles where he bottled Victor Moses who at the time was playing for Chelsea in the English premier league. Though the match is mostly remembered for the memorable free-kick that Francis Kahata struck. It is also remembered for the marking job that David Owino executed on Victor Moses. It had shades of the marking job that Austin Oduor executed on the Liberian George Weah in 1989. Weah was the best striker in Africa at the time and would later become European player of the year. That match earned Owino the nickname “Calabar” a reference to the fact that the Kenya-Nigeria match was played in the town of Calabar. Prior to that he had been nicknamed “Jashirati” in reference to the famous Tanzanian musician Daniel Owino Misiani who is from Shirati village in Northern Tanzania.

Crucial Goals

His solid marking has been evident in every match he played. But also evident were his brilliant forays upfront that saw him score crucial goals for both club and national team. None was more important than the equalizing goal that he scored against AFC Leopards in 2013 as Gor Mahia marched towards their first title in 18 years with AFC breathing down their neck. A loss to AFC would have been devastating. Calabar saved the day.

At national team level, he enchanted Harambee stars fans with his menacing forays on the wings. He also scored several superb goals. The most memorable was the goal against South Sudan in the 2013 CECAFA cup in which Calabar made a mazy run on the left flanking before finishing with aplomb. He also scored the winning goal as Kenya fought gamely to beat Namibia 1-0.

Suffice to say that his solid play has been instrumental in enabling Gor Mahia to win two titles. Also important has been his leadership, hard work and self discipline which served a s good example to other players and saw him voted as Vice Captain.

Shades of past Gor Mahia defenders

Looking back at other right full backs, who have played for the club, Calabar ranks right up there with the best. Paul Oduwo “Cobra” was famous for his tireless runs up and down the flank and his robust tackles. Zedekiah Otieno “Zico” also made several runs upfront and was a brilliant crosser. Tobias Ocholla was famous for his tight marking and long throws. Swaleh Ochieng was a solid tackler and marker with out of this world fitness and discipline. Peter Otieno “Bassanga” was a leader of men and was elected captain within 2 years of joining the team. Owino “calabar” appears to have many of these attributes.

Early Days

Owino Calabar started at the youth team of Nakuru All Stars Academy in 2004 which was then called St. Josephs academy. At the time he was nicknamed “Angoloma” in reference to the big French central defender Jocelyn Angoloma.  Owino played for Nakuru All Stars senior side until 2008 then moved to Karuturi sports club. In 2011 when he signed for Gor Mahia. His move to Gor Mahia was not successful at first as he found himself warming the bench as Croatian Coach Zdravko Logarusic cited his lack of height as a reason for not fielding him more often.


Owino “Calabar” said he was happy to finally join Zesco.

“I am happy to join Zesco United, I know it’s a result oriented team, am from Gor Mahia that has the same stance and both teams are champions. I love to play for champions because I believe a team attains the status of champions because of hard work,” he said to the Zesco website.

This column would like to thank Calabar for three solid seasons and wish him the best in future endeavors. He will always be welcome back at Kogalo in the future.

Zesco apparently confirms Calabar deal

There have been multiple rumours linking David Owino “Calabar” to various teams since November. He has been linked with moves to Europe, to Sudan, Tanzania and now Zambia. When the Zambia deal was first announced, this blog opted to wait until it was confirmed. Zesco United have now made public their provisional list of players for the CAF champions league. This list which includes “Calabar” was previously only available to media houses.

Zesco official Justin Mumba has said that nothing was done without consent of Gor Mahia. “The parent club must know and in this case, the player has an agent in Kenya who negotiated with Gor Mahia and as Zesco, we have a letter from Gor Mahia giving us the green light. At the moment no contract has been signed yet but both parties have reached an agreement” he told futaa.com

“Let it be clear also that in Zambia, we cannot sign a player without the consent of the parent club’s consent. The agent negotiated with the club and we were only given the package pending medicals. All that has been agreed is through the agent but we insisted we cannot sign a contract until the player goes through medicals. We are a professional club who does things transparently and not under the table. ”

In the deal, Calabar is set to pocket Ksh 1.8 million while Gor Mahia gets Ksh 1.4 million. This is a raw deal for the club and a starke contract to Europe where the parent club gets the majority of the transfer fees.

The fact that Calabar’s name has been included in the CAF lists for both Zesco and Gor Mahia is not an issue since the lists are provisional and can be altered before January 15.

” I do not know why the anxiety. That is a provisional list because we had the deadline to beat. We therefore had to submit whatever we had and are expecting to have but upon everything, the final list shall be sent confirming all the participants. If the player, and not him (David Owino) alone, we also have one from Nigeria doesn’t go through the exercise successful, he will be replaced at the appropriate time.” continued Mumba.

This move likely brings an end to months of speculation about Calabar’s future. It is better for Gor Mahia for Gor Mahia to sell him now than risk letting him go for free in six months. However the Ksh 1.4 million amount is paltry. And the move leaves Gor Mahia rather short on defenders.

Calabar offered new deal

Defender and Vice Captain David Owino “Calabar” has been offered a new deal. According to a report in the Daily Nation, the deal is for two years and should keep him at the club until 2017. Calabar’s contract is due to expire in June of next year.

The report in the Daily Nation says that Calabar who is the two-time KPL defender of the year met club chairman Ambrose Rachier last week in a closed-door meeting where a new deal was offered to him and he reportedly agreed in principle to put pen to paper after the Christmas period.The meeting took place shortly after the club’s National Executive had held a routine in-house meeting. The contract would double his salary to Ksh 160,000 per month. This is a spot higher than Geoffrey Walusimbi who is at Ksh 150,000 per month. Jerim Onyango is at Ksh 75,000.

Owino calabar has previously been linked with various overseas moves most notably to Simba.


Calabar denies rumours

David Owino Calabar who has been the subject of multiple transfer rumours has once again denied that he is headed to Simba.

“I’m on holiday but I cannot rule out a possibility of seeking greener pastures if the chance comes at my doorstep,” Calabar told reporters during the Gor Mahia Nakuru Branch Prestige Fans party at Geranium Resort in Nakuru on Saturday night.
Also present was Joel Bataro who denied that he was headed to Shabana FC on loan.

Those were just mere rumours but I’m still with the club,” Bataro assured the fans

Both Bataro and Owino were given standing ovations.

Calabar headed for Simba

Despite earlier reports that Owino “Calabar” was only interested in a move to Europe, he has reportedly agreed to terms with Simba sports club of Dar es Salaam. According to Hans Poppe, who is in charge of transfers at Simba, Calabar will be in Dar es Salaam this weekend to put pen to paper.

“We have already held talks with David Owino and agreed with his club Gor Mahia to sign him, Poppe told futaa.com while speaking from Kigali, Rwanda.  I will know when the player will come to put pen to paper once I return to Dar es Salaam but all had been done and agreed between the two parties before I left for Rwanda.”

Indeed Calabar has been seen around the City searching for travel papers.

Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda denied that Calabar was on his way out as did Ronald Ngala.

I am not aware as the CEO. No issue has been brought on my desk over David Owino’s transfer neither have I heard of Simba approach. Should they go ahead to sign him then we are entitled to suing the club at FIFA because that will be player tapping which is unacceptable, Aduda told futaa.com

However it will be remembered that Ngala was denying that Sserunkuma was leaving even while Sserunkuma was in a hotel in Dar es Salaam meeting with Simba officials. The point is that the way players operate nowadays, club officials are always in the dark.

The only upshot is that since his contract with Gor Mahia has not terminated, the club may be entitled to a transfer fee.

Calabar has been the most reliable and most consistent defender in Kenya over the past two years. He has been solid for both club and country while also making forays forward.

Calabar turns down Simba move

In the latest twist and turn of the transfer season, dependable defender David Owino “Calabar” has turned down a move to Simba Sports club of Tanzania and stated definitively that he wishes to transfer to Europe. A club official told goal.com that Calabar has his eyes set on a move to Europe.

“He is clearly not keen on the move and has not even asked about it,” revealed our source.

Calabar himself stated that he is not even aware of interest from Simba

“I have personally not seen any invite to attend trials and therefore remain a Gor Mahia player at the moment.”

Secretary general Chris Omondi had indicated that Simba were interested in trying out Calabar. However they were unconvinced and wanted to try him out first. Simba coach Patrick Phiri has been keen to strengthen his rear-guard. It is not clear how Calabar would fit in at Simba given that they already have six foreigners whereas the Tanzanian league allows five. Calabar would been the seventh foreigner.


Calabar and Oboya set for trials

Dependable defender David Owino “Calabar” is set for trials at Simba Sports club of Dar es Salaam.

We have received a formal request from Simba SC inviting David Owino for trials and if he is successful and satisfies the technical bench, Simba SC will be willing to engage the club over his services. They have made arrangement for the player to travel and join them in camp and will cater for the expenses, said Sec Gen Chris Omondi to the club’s official site.

Calabar had earlier been rumoured to be talking to arch rivals AFC Leopards. Other rumours had him going to El Merreikh of Sudan though he denied ever being approached by the Sudanese. Calabar who is out of contract announcec months ago the he would bee seeking to move overseas to further his career. Should he go to Simba, he will be the third Gor Mahia player to join Simba in the past year following Mosoti and Sserunkuma.

Oboya in Vietnam for trials

Forward Patrick Oboya appears headed back to Vietnam. Oboya joined Gor Mahia in 2013 following a short stint in Vietnam. Prior to that he had played in the Slovakian second tier

Oboya’s agent Robert Muthomi revealed on Monday that the former Harambee Stars’ midfielder left country two weeks ago and is currently engaged in trial exercise ‘with several teams.’

“Oboya’s contract with Gor Mahia run out at the end of last season and he travelled to Vietnam following an invitation by a friend for a number of trials. The trials have gone well so far and the club (where he is undergoing trials) is taking care of him. Since the contract with Gor Mahia ended, the player is now looking elsewhere.” said Muthomi to goal.com

In his prime, Oboya was a permanent feature with Harambee stars for whom he appeared several times. His past 4 years have been injury plagued.