Philemon sees red as Kenya trounced by Senegal

Philemon Otieno regained his place in the starting line-up. Francis Kahata started on the bench but came on in the second half as coach Migne tried to inject some attacking impetus.

But it was all for nought as Senegal proved that they are a class above Kenya, winning 3-0.

Philemon Otieno had a nightmarish game. Two rash challenges so him cautioned twice and therefore sent off. It was similar to the yellow he got in the first game. It invalidated all the other solid work he had done.

For a long period in the first half, it seemed Kenya was going to match Senegal as they strung together a series of passes, though they still did not manage a shot on goal in the first half. Johana Omollo in particular was useful when it came to connecting passing movements due to his ability to hold onto the ball under pressure.

Kenya defended stoutly in the first half. But they also have goalkeeper Matasi to thank. He made a number of daring saves including a penalty from Sadio Mane.

But Kenya soon ran out of steam. Started to give the ball away cheaply and unable to withstand the Senegal pressure, they started to boot the ball foreward to lone striker Olunga. This was futile because Olunga was always surrounded by two world class central defenders with no other attacker in sight.

Ayub Masika was to support Olunga. He tried to make incisive runs using his speed. Whereas he can outrun people in the Chinese league, he found the speedy Senegalese to be a different kettle of fish.

Wanyama was average. Dennis Odhiambo had Kenya’s first shot on goal when he latched onto a rebound. His goalbound shot was parried by the goalkeeper.

Former Gor Mahia players:

Eric Ouma often tried to outrun the Senegalese which is not a sound strategy because the Senegalese have always been fast and were able to match him unlike the Tanzanians.

Musa Mohamed played a key role in bottling Mane for much of the game. But he was finally beaten to the ball by the Liverpool striker for Senegal’s second goal.

Michael Olunga struggled as a lone striker as he was not getting any passes in scoring position. Basicallyu Harambee stars created hardly any chances

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.

Eric “Marcelo” Ouma refutes rumours, as Muguna joins

Gor Mahia’s youthful defender Eric Ouma has come out and strongly denied rumours that he turned down a contract from Gor Mahia and insisted on another six month contract

Below is the statement that was posted in Marcelo’s social media pages

I wish to categorically state that rumours circulating around that I recently insisted for a further six months stay at Gor Mahia and in the process turning down a 3 year offer is misinformed.
Neither myself nor my Representatives have held OFFICIAL talks with the club as purported by a section of the media but I am fully aware that a meeting regarding the same is being scheduled to clear the air.
Fans have reacted and I feel their frustrations because its a normal occurrence anywhere in the world of football when such reports are filtered into the air more so as a result of misinformation.
I once again thank you for your continued support and may God bless you in your endeavors. Happy New Year.

Muguna signed

A report suggests that Gor Mahia have sealed a deal to sign KPL player of the year Kenneth Muguna.

“We have been following Muguna and we are happy we have got his signature. He will play a pivotal role in our 2017 campaign,” the official who sought anonymity told supersport.com.

The lanky Muguna shone brilliantly in the 2016 season playing for Western Stima. He had previously played for Palos of Kisumu. He was most notable for his tireless running and boundless energy. With Muguna and Mugiraneza in the defensive midfield area, Gor Mahia will be much stronger in the department which was weak last season.

Ze Maria Returns

Gor Mahia tactician Ze Maria has returned from his Christmas holiday. He spent the holiday first in Italy where he lives then in Brazil. Ze Maria landed at JKIA airport on Saturday.

Video : Profile of Eric Ouma “Marcelo”

After grabbing man of the match honours at the recent mashemeji derby, KTN caught up with youthful sensation Eric Ouma for an interview.

In the interview he says that hard work is what has enabled him to reach where he is in football and he realizes that he will need to continue working hard in order to maintain his place in the starting line-up and his place in the national team.

The interview also reveals that Marcelo has attracted offers from several teams within the country and possible outside since his contract is ending in December.

Rave reviews for Gor Mahia players in international action

Kahata in a previous match

National team coach Stanley Okumbi is thoroughly impressed with Gor Mahia midfield ace Francis Kahata. In Okumbi’s mind, Kahata was the engine of the team on Sunday driving forward and creating numerous chances.
“Kahata played so well created many chances and I am happy with him.” said Okumbi to futaa.com

Indeed Kahata likely registered more passes than anyone unlike the other members of the midfield who were less impressive. Johannah and Timbe scored but they have been accused of playing very selfishly as was Paul Were. Two of these players are transfer targets of Gor Mahia. The price tag that Bob Munro has put on Johannah is said to be Ksh 10 million. It must be said that Johannah’s lob over the advancing Congo goalkeeper was impressive.

Okumbi did not field Kahata in his first two matches against Guinea Bissau and must be regretting it.

Ninteen year old Eric Ouma, earned his first cap and passed the test with flying colours. He was solid in defence, not allowing anything through. None other skipper Victor Wanyama was impressed.
He had a good game and showed maturity despite his age said Wanyama to capital FM

Kogalo officials are in the midst of trying to convince Marcelo to sign a two year deal.

Rwanda striker Jacque Tuyisenge carried over his goal-scoring form to the international arena. He scored twice but was unable to prevent Rwanda from losing 3-2. Abouba Sibomana also played 90 minutes in that match.

Khalid Aucho was the hero of the day for Uganda. he scored the winning goal that enabled Uganda to beat Botwana 2-1 away from home. Geoffrey Walusimbi was a second half substitute.

Meanwhile Muhoroni Youth defender Wellington Ochieng, who is being pursued by Kogalo has himself expressed interest in joining the club.

“According to the information I received from the chairman (Adagala), all is going on well and I am sure that Gor Mahia will be my club in second leg. 70% of the deal is basically done because the two clubs are slowly agreeing on the transfer cash,” Ochieng’ told goal.com
Gor Mahia have offered Ksh 500,000 as transfer fee while Muhoroni Youth want Ksh 2 million. The two clubs have to meet in the middle

Coaches laud Gor Mahia’s stellar display

Nizigiyimana congratulates Walusimbi
Image: sportpicha.com

Mathare United coach Francis Kimanzi has admitted that Gor Mahia fully deserved their 2-0 victory on Sunday. This is a rare moment of humility for a KPL coach. Most KPL coaches who lose to Gor Mahia typically blame external forces like the referees, bad luck or the inability of their players to follow instructions.

Geoffrey Walusimbi who is now in his third season with Kogalo was in fine form. Kimanzi was impressed by Walusimbi’s all round performance.

“I think what won it for them was the individual brilliance from their players. Walusimbi for example got a great goal for them and though I think our defenders should have done better, I have to admit it was brilliant.” said Kimanzi to supersport.

Walusimbi’s goal is an early candidate for goal of the year. He deftly lost his marker with a nifty move reminiscent of Ben Oloo “Breakdance”. Then he curved the ball to the far right corner of the goal beyond the reach of the Mathare goalkeeper. It was a goal that combined individual skill, accuracy and technical savvy.

Burundian fullback Karim Nizigiyimana who started the season poorly, is rounding back into the form that almost saw him win the KPL player of the year award in 2015. Eric “Marcelo” Ouma continues to rise in stature with each game.

“The two fullbacks (Eric Ouma and Karim Nizigiyimana) were also outstanding and I think they are the ones who won the match for them. They were good at their positioning and crosses too,”  Kimanzi said.

Six yard box poacher Jacque Tuyisenge continued his sharp displays with another well taken goal. He is now third in the scoring charts with six goals behind Ochomo of Muhoroni and Makwatta of Ulinzi. This despite missing the first few games of the season through injury.

George Odhiambo “Blackberry” who has four goals is regaining some of the confidence that saw him single handedly shred defences in 2010. It is the first time in over 5 years that his name is appearing among the leading scorers.

Gor Mahia’s Brazilian tactician Ze Maria was satisfied with the display on Sunday.  After a slow start, the team is adapting to his philosophy and the performances are improving with each game.

“It was our second match away, against a good team but we managed to get maximum points, and we are slowly getting back to where I feel we should be. The first leg is almost concluding and I am happy we have managed to at least make up for a poor start in the beginning of the season. ” said Ze Maria to goal.com.

Some said that the “samba touch”  could be applied only on good surfaces such as the artificial turf in Kisumu and Camp Toyoyo where Gor Mahia trains,  but never at Nyayo. Those concerns have now been assuaged as Gor Mahia put on their best display yet.

Ze maria is now keen to wrap up the first leg on a positive note as they take on bottom club Sofapaka.

“Well, we want to give our best in the final match against Sofapaka and hope we can get maximum three points.” continued Ze Maria.

Though at the bottom, Sofapaka has enough quality in their line-up and Ze Maria will have been advised by Ottamax about the dangers they pose.

Eric Ouma earns maiden stars call up

Image courtesy of Jared Migunde

Eric Ouma’s impressive displays in recent league matches have earned the attention of the Harambee stars technical bench. He has been named to the provisional Harambee stars squad that will be play in a friendly match against Tanzania as they prepare for the 2017 ANC qualifier against Congo.

Also named to the squad are other Kogalo players: Boniface Oluoch, Musa Mohamed, and Francis Kahata

Five former Gor Mahia players have been named to the squad: David Owino, Ali Abondo, Anthony Akumu, Michael Olunga and Wycliffe Ochieng.

Also named are players who have been reported as potential transfer targets for Gor Mahia: Paul Were and Ovella Ochieng.

Harambee stars are all but out of the running but coach Stanley Okumbi says he is building for the future.

“We have to try and be competitive even as we look to cultivate a winning formula. For the friendlies, we will try out new players and formations so that we can be in a good position to win against the Republic of Congo,” said Okumbi to the Nation.

For Marcelo, its a significant achievement to be named to the national team while still in his teens. The future appears bright. But it is worth remembering that the landscape is full of players who were named to the national team at a young age but failed to fulfill their potential. For example in 2010, Kogalo’s youthful team that almost won the league had four young players in the national team: George Odhiambo, Kevin Omondi, Duncan Owiti and Ibrahim Kitawi. All looked very promising. Some rested on their laurels and stopped working hard. Some lost focus. Of these only Blackberry appears to have rekindled his career. It is now up to Ouma “Marcelo” to use his national team call up as motivation to work harder.

STARS PROVISIONAL SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Lucas Indeche (AFC Leopards) and David Okello (Tusker FC)

Defenders: Brian Mandela (Maritzburg United), Aboud Omar (Slavia Sofia), Musa Mohammed, Eric Ouma (Gor Mahia), David Owino (Zesco United), Joackins Atudo (Posta Rangers), Duncan Otewa (Bandari) and Collins Shivachi (Tusker FC)

Midfielders: Ismail Said Athman (Las Palmas), Johanna Omolo (Royal Antwerp), Joseph Mbugi (Posta Rangers), Anthony Akumu (Zesco United), Victor Wanyama (Southampton), Eric Johanna (Mathare United), Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker FC), Ayub Timbe (Lierse SK), Ali Abondo (Ajax Capetown), Paul Were (Clubless), Clifford Miheso (AFC Leopards) and Ovella Ochieng (Kariobangi Sharks).

Strikers: Michael Olunga (Djurgadens), Masita Masuta (Nzoia United), Wycliffe Ochomo (Muhoroni Youth), Mark Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars) and Jesse Were (Zesco United)

Eric Marcelo Ouma: Rising star

When Eric “Marcelo” Ouma was announced as one of the new signings in January, most fans did not give him a second thought. He was being signed straight from secondary school and many promising youngstars often flame out because they find the gap between secondary school football and the premier league too large to bridge.

But Marcelo was coming from Kakamega high, a school with very strong footballing pedigree.It is a school that has sent a number of talented players to Gor Mahia: Going back to the 1980s, Gor Mahia stalwarts like George Nyangi “Artillery” , Hezron Osuka and Joash Okongo came from there. A decade ago there was the brothers Andrew Oyombe and Kennedy Oliech. And more recently Timothy Otieno. All have played for Gor Mahia.

Ouma starred for Katch in 2014 and 2015 and was almost always among the scorers. In 2014 he was part of the strong Kakamega squad that won the national championships.

His most famous goal came in the 75th minute of the Nzoia region final in 2015. That goal steered Kakamega to a 1-0 win over arch rivals St Anthonys Kitale and elicited crowd trouble.

It was around this time that the exciting wing back started to attract attention from Gor Mahia scouts.

”We are in talks. Marcelo is a very good player and we would like to have him here for long. We have offered him a new deal and we are hopeful he will agree to sign,” said Ronald Ngala at the time.

He has been impressive during training since he joined. He finally got an opportunity to showcase his skills when new Brazilian coach Ze Maria arrived. He started the last two games. His work rate is phenomenal and he sends numerous well weighted and accurate crosses and has also had his fair share of shots on goal.

His coming out party was when Ushuru in the KPL Top 8 quarter-final match. He was solid on defence and was a livewire going forward. His cross into the box was what enabled Tuyisenge to score.

Coach Ze Maria was impressed.

Marcelo did well; he is a great player. Young and energetic and I like him, he played well in the last game and today he did well again he is a great resource not just for me as the coach but the team as a whole,’ said Ze Maria to supersport

And the young lad knows that he will need to continue working hard to solidify his place in the starting line-up.

“So far I can say I am satisfied with my performance and growth. I am happy that the coach has shown faith in me and I have to repay him with good performances on the pitch. There is competition for the left-back position in the team which means I have to work hard to get the slot ahead of other players. he said to futaa.com

Ouma was also a member of the Kenya U20 team which unfortunately was disqualified for fielding over-age players.