Ze Maria: Gor Mahia must work on finishing

Edmond Murai

Gor Mahia coach Ze Maria has said the team played well but poor finishing was the team’s undoing against Ushuru FC on Sunday

“The first half was impressive because we had many scoring chances but we have to be more aggressive inside the box more than this” he said according to futaa.com

Ushuru did not make things any easier as they packed the bus on Sunday.

“We have to work on scoring where we struggled a lot in the match but today [Sunday] our opponents came here only to defend hence the nature of the result,” Ze Maria added.

Indeed this year Gor Mahia have had acute difficulty scoring when Jacque Tuyisenge is not on the field. The coach was asked whether the team misses the Rwandese striker. He responded by saying the club cannot be dependent on one player.

“Tuyisenge is out yes but I think it’s not important to discuss that now. I have many players that I can use and we saw in the match against Ushuru that we created some opportunities, which is what we want to improve in the coming matches,” he said to supersport.com

Gor Mahia’s best chance came when they were awarded a penalty when Jacob Keli was fouled in the box. The confident Keli stepped forward to take the kick. But his purely executed penalty was saved by Shaban Odhoji in the Ushuru goal. Keli later apologized to fans who trolled his social media pages with harsh criticisms.

“I’m more disappointed than the fans. I feel sorry but I’m not so worried because I have been in such a situation before and know that I can put things straight,” he said

Its good to see Keli still confident. Fans should rally around Keli instead of bombarding him with criticism. Gor Mahia will need Keli tio return to the form that saw him lead the scoring charts in 2013. The club cannot be dependent on one injury prone player.

Gor Mahia beats St George on penalties

Gor Mahia pose with trophy

Image courtesy of Bonface Osano

Gor Mahia have started the 2016 season on a bright note by beating Ethiopian giants St George 5-4 on penalties. The match had ended 1-1 in regulation time. The match was being played to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of St George’s existence.

New signing Jacob Keli opened his Gor Mahia account with a goal just before half time. Uganda international Brian Umony equalized for the Ethiopian side in the 90th minute thus forcing the match into penalties.

It is a significant achievement considering that St George were the host side playing in front of a partisan crowd. And they have won the Ethiopian league 27 times including the last two (2014 and 2015). Consider also that Kogalo were playing without the full complement of players.

It is a stark contrast to last season where Gor Mahia lost to Power Dynamos in their first major friendly of the season. At the time Nuttall asked fans for patience stating that the team was still building cohesion.

All this shows that Kogalo are now already a cohesive unit and have not skipped a beat and a ready to conquer 2016 in the same manner that they conquered the year 2015.

Keli ready to fit the breach

With Michael Olunga all set to begin his career in European football, Gor Mahia will be looking for a person who can fit the breach left by Olunga who scored more goals than anyone else in Kenya in 2015.

That man could be Jacob Keli. He is no stranger to scoring goals, having led the Kenya Premier League in scoring in 2013 with 17 goals. Keli has expressed an eagerness to prove his worth in the green Kogalo jersey.

“I am eager to return to the Kenyan Premier League and I really want to to score many goals for Gor. I know I have that ability and just ask for support from the fans. They are a big part of this big club,” Keli said to the KPL website.

Playing for Gor Mahia almost always brings out the best in many players. Olunga reached soaring heights after he played for Gor Mahia. Sserunkuma was called to the Uganda national team after he played for Gor Mahia. Now Keli also believes that playing for this storied club will bring out the best in him.

“Gor Mahia is a big club with ambitions and it performs year in year out. It is a new challenge to me which I humbly accept, and hope it will be successful to me and the club. The fans are amazing and can push you to give your maximum and because of that expectations are high from each player, who turns out for the team,” Keli said to goal.com

Other reports suggest that Gor Mahia are in the midst of finalizing a contract with Rwandese strike Jacque Tuyisenge according to a report on rwanda.foot.com. Tuyisenge who has already been nicknamed “Ja usenge” by a section of Kogalo fans confirmed this.

“They offered me a two year contract and I’m okey with it,” The player said.

He currently plays for Police FC. Back in 2011, Gor Mahia were trying to strike a deal with the same team to sign Meddie Kagere. The deal came a cropper when Police asked for a transfer fee of Ksh 4 million.


Reports: Gor Mahia signs Jacob Keli

In a bid to bolster the attack which has recently lost Meddie Kagere and Timothy Otieno. Gor Mahia has apparently signed Jacob Keli from Nkana FC.

“Gor Mahia is a respected club and I am happy to be part of the team known for its passionate fans and admirable history,” an excited Keli told michezoafrika.com. I feel excited to be back home in the local league and look forward to giving my best for my new club” he said to goal.com

Only yesterday, other reports suggested that Keli was headed to Bandari.

Signing a striker of Keli’s caliber is important considering that the club has lost Kagere, Timothy Otieno and will at some point soon lose Michael Olunga.

Jacob Keli Mutunga first burst into the limelight when he played for KCB in 2013 and ended up as the top scorer in the Kenya Premier League with 17 goals. He then joined AFC Leopards in 2015 before leaving to join the Zambian outfit. During the previous transfer season he was rumoured to be joining Gor Mahia and even attended an event hosted by chairman Ambrose Rachier. He joined Nkana FC in July of 2015 in the Zambian mid-season on a two year contract. However he was unable to settle into a regular starting position in the Zambian side.

Keli has partnered with Olunga at national team level such as when Kenya played against Cape Verde and again in the CECAFA senior challenge cup. They therefore have a level of familiarity. Coach Frank Nuttall has proven that if given time, he can create good cohesion between strikers.

Keli deal falls through as new signings discuss targets

Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda has announced that contrary to earlier speculation, the club will not be pursuing AFC Leopards striker Jacob Keli.

“Keli is not in our plans .The coach has closed the door for more signings since he believes the players who have been picked are enough for the season,”said Aduda to supersport.

There had been speculation and reports that Gor Mahia were on the verge of signing keli after he appeared at the club’s press conference. However Aduda has denied this.

“To be honest, we never instituted any talks with Keli. We were not interested in him because there are particular players we were targeting who could fit in our long term plans, not every Tom, Dick and Harry. I’m sorry to say our bus is fully packed with no room for any extra passenger,” he continued.

With the Gor Mahia attack appearing blunt, many fans though Keli would have been a welcome addition. However he has failed to impress in 2014. Had coach Nuttall watched the Jacob Keli of 2013, he may have had a different opinion.

Bernard Odhiambo: No Comparisons please

New Gor Mahia defender Bernard Odhiambo, who is a younger brother to David Owino “Calabar” has rejected any comparisons to his elder brother.

“Of course I draw a lot of inspiration from him. He has worked hard to be where he is and I am very proud of him and I wish him well in his new club,”added Odhiambo.

“It would have been my wish to play with him at Gor Mahia but that may not happen now that he has moved but I hope Gor Mahia will make me a better player so that I can make it to the Harambee Stars and play alongside him.” he said to supersport.com

Odhiambo says he was drawn to the club due to its past success and its passionate fan base.

“Gor Mahia is the biggest and most successful club in Kenya and it is the pride of any player to don the green jersey. I love the passion of the fans and commitment of the management,” he continued to supersport.

Odhiambo wants to use his stint at Gor Mahia as a growth opportunity and is also aiming to win titles while at Gor Mahia.

“A player can only grow by playing for a club that offers challenge. I am ready to handle the pressure that comes with playing for Gor Mahia. My brother always encourages me. I am happy to be here and I want to win titles.”

Olunga on why he joined Gor Mahia

Newly signed striker, Michael Olunga has indicated that he turned out offers from other clubs in order to play at Gor Mahia. Among the clubs that made him offers were Supersport of South Africa as well as Tusker, AFC Leopards, Ulinzi and Sofapaka.

“What prevented me from putting pen to paper (at Supersport) was the fact that they had not spelt clearly the requirements of getting a university for me. Previously, we had agreed that if I was to sign for them, they had to provide a university where I will continue with my studies but they did not spell that out in the final contract,” Olunga said.

“There is life after football and having papers is very important,” added Olunga of the decision that saw him opt out. “Tusker was the first team I would have joined but after advice from my manager, I turned them down.” said Olunga to mediamaxnetwork.

Olunga says he turned down Ulinzi upon advice from his manager and turned down Ingwe due to their constant wrangles.

He is certain that Gor Mahia will provide him the platform he needs to ascend to greater heights.

“I always thrive under pressure and in my opinion, Gor will help me shine. I am sure if I was here last season and scored 10 goals, I would have been a regular in the national team,” said Olunga. I believe in myself, I believe I can do well and I will score many goals. Their playing style suits mine and I look forward to a great season. I am not putting myself under pressure to replace Danny (Sserunkuma) but I will do my best,”

Back in 2010 when Olunga was the MVP of the national schools championships, he was tipped by many to be the next superstar. Legendary coach Mohamed Kheri compared him favourably to Mike Okoth Origi.