Gor Mahia edge KCB 2-1

Lawrence Juma in action against KCB

Gor Mahia were made to battle but managed a 2-1 win over KCB. The goals came from Afiriyie and Juma. The Ghanaian would later leave the field with an injury

Additional reporting from the Standard

Gor Mahia returned to winning ways after stopping KCB Bank 2-1 at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos County yesterday.

Francis Afriyie and Lawrence Juma scored for the league champions who lost in their last outing 4-1 to USM Algiers in CAF Champions League action last weekend. Enock Agwanda scored for the bankers.

Earlier at the same venue, Ugandan Villa Oromchan scored for Western Stima as the power men registered their first win of the season after a 1-0 victory against Posta Rangers.

The bankers will have themselves to blame as they conceded due to poor defending in both instances. First Wellingtone Ochieng’s surprise cross caught the KCB backline napping only for Afriyie to tap home in the 11th minute.

Then a long ball inside their half was poorly cleared and Juma tapped home the second for Gor in the 32nd minute.

Agwanda pulled one back for the bankers in the 37th minute from a penalty awarded after Wellingtone Ochieng had hacked down Stephen Waruru.

Gor Mahia were forced to make an early substitution when Afriyie was benched for Samuel Onyango after the Ghanaian suffered a groin injury.

Onyango thought he had scored a third goal for Gor Mahia on resumption, but the referee ruled it out as he was adjudged to have handled the ball before scoring.

The bankers rested Dennis Odhiambo for Michael Mutinda as they enjoyed possession in the second half.

Oktay Defends Odhoji, blames attack

Shaban Odhoji has been having a good run between the posts. But on Thursday against KCB Fans faulted him for the goals especially the third one where he was caught out of position. However Coach Oktay is adamant that Gor Mahia would have won that game if they took their chances.

I can’t blame my keeper for those mistakes because they play as a team. Why is it that when strikers miss chances in any given match, they are not at fault but when a keeper concedes a goal, he has committed a mistake?” Oktay told goal.com

Oktay is seeking to build Odhoji’s confidence so that the custodian can build on his good run.
“Odhoji has been marvellous for us in the last few matches and we cannot crucify him just for one or two mistakes. He was fantastic in the second half of the season, we did not concede and I like his attitude because he always leads the team from behind.” he continued.

Oktay has his work cut out to sharpen the attack
“We were on top in the second period, I lost count of the chances we created. I guess we had around seven or eight chances that my strikers could not put away. Mustafa (Francis) missed four and scored one, Jacques Tuyisenge missed two and I think Boniface Omondi squandered another,” said Oktay

Oktay knows that Gor Mahia cannot afford to relax since Sofapaka are breathing down their neck, only six points behind. Gor Mahia cannot afford another slip up against Westerm Stima on Sunday.

“It was a game we deserved to win but when you don’t use your chances, be assured of dropping points and that is what happened to us. I am happy with the draw because KCB also played well and never gave us time to play our game.” he concluded.

Gor Mahia to take on KCB Sunday

After much delay, the KPL website has update its fixture list to indicate that Gor Mahia will indeed be playing KCB this Sunday. Up until Friday Morning, the fixtures had not been updated. KPL also has a preview of this weekend’s matches and Gor Mahia vs KCB  is not mentioned.

Fri 07-08-15 19:15 Ushuru vs Sofapaka Nyayo Stadium
Sat 08-08-15 15:00 Muhoroni Youth vs Thika United Muhoroni Stadium
Sat 08-08-15 15:00 Nakuru All Stars vs AFC Leopards Afraha Stadium
Sun 09-08-15 14:00 Tusker vs Western Stima Nyayo Stadium
Sun 09-08-15 15:00 SonySugar vs Ulinzi Stars Awendo Green Stadium
Sun 09-08-15 15:00 Bandari vs Chemelil Sugar Mombasa County Stadium
Sun 09-08-15 16:15 KCB vs Gor Mahia Nyayo Stadium
Wed 12-08-15 15:00 Gor Mahia vs Ushuru City Stadium
Wed 12-08-15 19:00 AFC Leopards vs Ulinzi Stars Nyayo Stadium
Fri 14-08-15 15:00 Sofapaka vs Nakuru All Stars Machakos Stadium
Sat 15-08-15 15:00 Thika United vs Bandari Thika Stadium
Sat 15-08-15 15:00 Western Stima vs Muhoroni Youth Moi Kisumu
Sat 15-08-15 15:00 Gor Mahia vs City Stars City Stadium

Technical Bench member Frank Ouna has averred that Gor Mahia will not take any fixtures lightly.

“I cannot say we are there, no, we are not. We have twelve games remaining before the season closure and we first have to get good results before assuming we have retained the crown. It is great things are the way they are right now, but we still have to play and take each game as a final,” Ouna told Goal on Wednesday. Our game against KCB on Sunday will definitely be difficult; our opponents have strengthened since we last played them. But we will do our best and get good results.” he said to goal.com.

They will be playing a KCB side that is motivated after having beaten Thika United 3-2 thanks to a hat-trick from former Gor Mahia striker Mungai Kiongera. He is the man Gor Mahia will need to pay particular attention to.

KCB coach and former Kenya international Rishadi Shedu says his side has particular motivation to beat KCB.

We will be very glad to beat Gor Mahia because so far they have either won against all their opponents or managed draws. “As a team we are not scared of them because we have nothing to lose. Rather, it is an adventure for us and we will be highly motivated to beat them,” Shedu said to goal.com

Indeed from this point on, every team playing Gor Mahia will be highly motivated to end the unbeaten streak. Thus Gor Mahia has to be psychologically ready for the onslaught. And Gor Mahia will be motivated to put behind them the disappointing loss to Azam. It must also be mentioned that Gor Mahia gave a good account of themselves at the CECAFA cup and can build on their experience for the rest of this season.

Gor Mahia take on KCB

With the Africa champions league behind them, Gor Mahia will shift their attention to the local scene. Gor Mahia will return to Kenyan Premier League (KPL) action on Wednesday night to face Kenya Commercial Bank at the Nyayo National Stadium in a 7pm kick-off.

This time Gor Mahia will be able to call upon the full complement of their playing unit including Khalid Aucho who was suspended for the Champions league match as well as the Rwandese trio of Sibomana, Nigiziyimana and Kagere.

Gor Mahia fans will be hoping that the club has put its financial issues behind them and will now be able to focus fully on the task at hand. And the experience they gained from the champions league encounters will only sharpen them for the league.

In KCB, they will be facing a club that has struggled and is currently 14th in the standings. However there is no room for compacency. Last season, Gor Mahia faced Top Fry Nakuru who were rooted at the bottom of the league with no wins and Gor Mahia gifted them with their first win of the season.

New era starts as Gor Mahia take on KCB

Gor Mahia players celebrate Kizito’s goal against SoNy

Gor Mahia start the post Bobby Williamson era when they take on KCB on Thursday.

According to team captain Jerim Onyango, the playing unit has gotten over Williamson’s departure and is ready to move on.

“As a player you always have to be prepared for such things and be ready to work with anyone at any-time. Williamson had a great influence on this team and we will miss him but we have to move on.” he told goal.com.

Team manager Frank Ouna is the man charged with taking the club through this transition period as Gor Mahia search for a new coach to take them through the end of the season.

On paper, Ouna is certainly qualified. He is a  Master’s degree Holder (MIS) and BSC (IT) degree from Moi University is an experienced and well trained coach with  a UEFA B coaching License  adding up to his previous DFB Level  II course in Germany and CAF Level “C”

But despite all these qualifications he has scant coaching experience. At Gor Mahia he has been in charge for only one game. It was the KPL top 8 match against Tusker which Kogalo lost.

In the last match against SoNy Sugar, the club was bailed out by individual brilliance and in particular Geoffrey Kizito’s free-kick. On Thursday against KCB , it will likely come down to the playing unit again. Which is why the club’s fan base must turn out in large number to lift the team.

KCB will be no pushovers. They are on the recovery path, are determined to escape relegation and won their last match according to their coach and former Kenya international Rishad Shedu.

“The morale at camp is still very high and I am sure that in our remaining eight matches we shall rise to safety because the boys also want to remain in the league.

“We want to stay out of relegation zone. I am glad the team has begun to pick up at the right time and considering renewed confidence during training, I believe they will overcome the challenge.”

And striker Mungai Kiongera who scored in their last match will likely want to leave on a high note as he departs for Tanzania.

But the Gor Mahia playing unit is under no illusions about the difficulty of this match. They are also determined to stay focused in the remaining 10 matches.

“Our focus is to take each game as it comes. We are not focusing on how many matches we have remaining or the advantage we have. Instead, we want to work hard in each game and make sure that we pick maximum points,” continued captain  Jerim Onyango to goal.com

The fan base must show up and do their part to lift the players.

Starting Line-Up

Starting IX: 1 Jerim Onyango 5. Musa Mohammed 18 Harun Shakava, 15 David Owino, 2 Godfrey Walusimbi, 3 Geoffrey Kizito, 10. Daniel Onyango, 6 Collins Okoth, 25. George Odhiambo, 8 Timothy Otieno, 8 Dan Sserunkuma

Substitute: 16 David Juma . 27. Simone Pierre, 13. Charles Bruno, 17. Eric Ochieng’, 7. Simon Mburu, 30. Patrick Oboya, 14. Kennedy Opiyo

Acid test for Frank Ouna against KCB

Frank Ouna in the orange jersey

Gor Mahia have appointed Frank Ouna as interim coach. He will be in charge of the match against KCB. Chairman Ambrose Rachier has indicated that Ouna will be in charge while the club seeks a suitable replacement.

“Ouna is the designated assistant coach at Gor Mahia and he therefore, takes over as we look at possible successor,” Rachier told goal.com on Tuesday.

Ouna has very little coaching experience. He has been on the technical bench  as team manager. He also stood in for Bobby Williamson in the Top 8 match against Tusker FC in Kinoru Stadium on Saturday 24 May.

We as fans cannot expect miracles from Ouna. We can hope he identifies the appropriate line-up to tackle KCB based on KCB’s style of play and that he comes up with appropriate strategies and in-game adjustments. Much also depends on the playing unit. And this is why the 12th man aka the fans will be once again critical. Much of how Gor Mahia performs in the last few games will depend largely on the 12th man.

Identifying the next coach

According to Rachier, they have received applications and will meet

We will meet on Tuesday as an executive and have a look at all those who have applied for the job and then talk to them and discuss our terms. We expect to have someone in place in the next one week.” said Rachier to goal.com

Since Bobby Williamson indicated that he would help the club identify the next coach, it is critical that each of these candidates is interviewed by Bobby Williamson.