As Gor Mahia prepares to for the 2018 Africa champions league, they will play their second high profile friendly. Having beaten KCCA of Uganda, Gor Mahia will now take on Sudanese champions Al Hilal.
“We have lined up a friendly against Al Hilal in Machakos on February 6. Al Hilal will arrive in Kenya on February 2 en route to Monrovia, Liberia, where they will play their Caf Champions League match.” said CEO Omondi Aduda to goal.com
Gor Mahia beat Al Hilal 1-0 in 2016 thanks to a goal from Enock Agwanda who converted a cross from Eric Ouma. In 2017, Al Hilal avenged the defeat, beating Kogalo by the same score.
Kerr unhappy with derby referee
Coach Dylan Kerr is happy with his side’s derby win. However he thinks the performance of the referees warrants a lot of criticism.
“This was a derby game but we kind of controlled the game, through the field was not very good. I, however, have to talk to the referee because I am not happy with this performance; every little infringement he penalized but in our case he let it go! We should have had two penalties in the first half but he didn’t,” he said to goal.com
Gor Mahia recorded an impressive 1-0 over Sudanese giants Al-Hilal. The match was played in the city of Port Sudan by the red sea on Thursday evening.
Al Hilal fielded a full strength side including Camerounian Maxime Loïc Feudjou in goal, abdullatif bo, and songs abeiku amar damazin and abu sane Senegalese defender Souleymane Cissé. The central defence had Ghanaian Nelson Nizar Hamid in midfield was Nasreddin worker and the attack had Kennedy Ishii ” Walid Aladdin and Cheick Moukoro from Cote’d Ivoire.
Al Hilal controlled the early proceedings but their attacks were easily neutralized by Harun Shakava and Musa Mohamed in central defence.
The all important goal was scored by Enock Agwanda who picked up a cross from Eric Ouma and finished with a neat back header in 47th minute. Collins Okoth had done most of the spadework.
That goal seemed to demoralize Hilal who showed very little threats from then on.
Keeper Boniface Oluoch denied Al Hilal a chance to equalize when he saved a penalty in the 77th minute.
If anyone had any doubts that Gor Mahia are ready for this season’s Africa champions league then those doubts ought to be put aside now. Al Hilal are a giant side. They have won the Sudanese league a record 28 times. They have reached the group stage of the Africa champions league 6 times in the last 10 years and reached the semi-finals four times in the last 10 years.
Beating St George away from home then beating Al Hilal away from home is no easy feat. Especially considering that Gor Mahia are missing several key players. It also shows that the away form that made Gor Mahia formidable in Africa decades ago is coming back.
It also shows the progress Gor Mahia have made in closing the gap on Sudanese sides. In 2010, Gor Mahia lost 1-3 to El Merreikh in Nairobi. A year earlier they had lost 5-0 to the same outfit.
Following a successful tour of Ethiopia, Gor Mahia are set to proceed to Sudan to play additional build up matches.
“We have been invited to play two high profile friendly matches against Al Hilal and Al Khartoum. We are leaving tonight and our first match will be on Wednesday and the second one most probably on Saturday,” said Jolawi Obondo to the club site.
The two teams finished second and fourth respectively in the recently concluded Sudanese league.
The club will however have to cope with the fact that a number of players are still missing.
“Like St. George, Al Hilal and Al Khartoum are the type of teams that I want to play in preparation for the season ahead. Unfortunately, some players are still missing,” said coach Frank Nuttall
Al Hilal in particular will be a stern test for Gor Mahia. They have reached the group stage of the Africa Champions league six times in the last 10 years. Of those six, they have proceeded to the semi-final stage four times.
Yet there was a time when Gor Mahia used to beat Al-Hilal regularly. During the 1984 CECAFA club cup, Gor Mahia shredded Al Hilal 3-0 in Nairobi with Hezborn Omollo leading the way with two goals.
In 1985, Gor Mahia would meet Al Hilal again in the CECAFA club cup. This time Al Hilal were the hosts but Gor Mahia emerged victorious winning 3-1 despite missing six key players via suspension. Gor Mahia went on to win the 1985 CECAFA club cup.
The two sides met again in the Africa champions league in 1992. It was the quarter-finals. Interestingly, this is the furthest that Gor Mahia have gone in Africa’s premier competition. Gor Mahia won the opening leg 2-0 but lost 0-2 in the return leg. The match went to penalties which Al-Hilal won 4-2. In goal for Gor Mahia was Joseph Asembo who was an excellent goalkeeper but had no luck when it came to penalties. Al Hilal went on to eliminate Ismaily of Egypt before losing tp Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in the final.