Flashback Kenya vs Liberia and Gor Mahia vs Oilers in 1989

Custodian Boniface Oluoch was the only Kogalo player in action as Kenya beat Liberia 1-0 in an international friendly. Eric Ouma was on the bench this time. Other Kogalo players

Kenya vs Liberia 1989

Liberia were coached by their former international James Debbah. It is the same Debbah who was in action against Harambee stars in a world cup qualifier at Nyayo stadium in 1989. On that occassion, Kenya beat Liberia 1-0 thanks to a well taken goal by Gor Mahia midfield ace, George Onyango Fundi.

Fundi was a brilliant midfield schemer who never appeared to be in a hurry when he had the ball. He was a brilliant passer with excellent technique. But he would suddenly accelerate, leave a defender for dead and unleash one of his powerful grass-cutters. And that is exactly what he did against Liberia in 1989 to give Harambee stars a 1-0 win. It is to this day the closest that Kenya has come to qualifying for the world cup. On the very last day of group play, Kenya was still in contention, needing an unlikely win against Egypt in Cairo.

But the reason fans will remember that match was the outstanding play of Gor Mahia and Harambee stars skipper Austin Oduor “Makamu”.

Coach Mohamed Kheri had assigned “Makamu” the difficult task of man marking Liberian legend George Weah. This is the same Weah who was later voted world player of the year while winning the European Champions league with AC Milan. And at the time Weah was already arguably the best striker in Africa.  Prior to the match, local dailies were rife with stories about how Weah was about the shred the Harambee stars defence. Yet Makamu bottled Weah on that day and marked him out of the game.

Gor Mahia vs LPRC Oilers in 1989

Prior to the match against Oilers: Jared Ochieng, Abbas Magongo, Jaffer Mwidau, Joseph Owino and George Onyango “Fundi”

In 1989, Gor Mahia were representing Kenya in the Africa cup winners cup. In the second round, they had eliminated Costa Do Sol of Mozambique 1-0 on aggregate. Thus in the quarter-finals they faced Liberian side LPRC Oilers which also happened to have James Debbah, the current Liberia coach.

Kogalo played rather poorly in the first leg at Nyayo stadium. Coach Jack Johnson who had led the team to victory in the Africa cup had recently resigned after going several months without pay.

After the match at Nyayo ended 0-0, LPRC Oilers players celebrated, removing their shirts and running up and down the field. Gor Mahia team manager David Ouma remarked at the time: “Oilers are inexperienced in African football and that is why they are celebrating prematurely”. Oilers apparently did not understand that Gor Mahia had an excellent away record.

For the return leg in Monrovia, the KFF recruited Harambee stars coach Mohamed Kheri to coach Kogalo given the absence of Jack Johnson.

Ouma’s prediction came true. Oilers had indeed celebrated to early. Gor Mahia won the return leg 3-1 to advance to the semi-finals. Striker Peter Dawo who had been experiencing a goal drought at the time, came back to life, scoring two goals. Oilers were shocked.

Today’s match report

Harambee stars continued their revival under coach Stan Okumbi by beating Liberia 1-0.
Match report courtesy of goal.com
Stanley Okumbi and Harambee Stars extended their unbeaten run to eight matches after seeing off Lone Stars on Friday

Speedy winger Paul Were scored a controversial goal as Harambee Stars extended their unbeaten run to eight matches after downing Liberia in a friendly on Tuesday.

The former AFC Leopards winger latched onto a through ball, though from an offside position, to beat Liberian keeper Tony Songo, with a low ball. Liberia officials complained bitterly on decision by Kenyan referee Andrew Juma to allow the goal to stand and even threatened to walk out of play.

It was not the first incident that irked the Lone Stars. In the first half, Joackins Atudo committed a foul inside the box but the referee could not award a penalty. Kenya coach Stanley Okumbi made four changes from the squad which played against Mozambique by going for a three-pronged attack with Michael Olunga in front as Paul Were and Eric Johanna played from the flanks.

Kenya started on a high note launching attacks minute after minute but their efforts never bore any fruits into the breather. In the 14th minute, Ayub Timbe picked the ball from the centre beating defenders bit his shot missed the target. Michael Olunga, then combined well with Paul Were ten minutes later but Liberia defenders Sa Nyuma and Prince Jetto stood tall to clear the dangers.

Kenya did not rest and almost scored in the 40th minute when a corner from Paul Were was blasted wide by Michael Olunga. That was just a minute after the Lone Stars were denied an open penalty after a foul committed by Joackins Atudo.

From the breather, Kenya seemed energized and were out to beat their rivals and Okumbi’s substitutions made an impact in the team. Simon Mbugua, Anthony Akumu, Eric Ouma and Calvin Odongo were brought in to rest Joackins Atudo, skipper Victor Wanyama, Abud Omar and Ayub Timbe respectively in the opening minutes of the second half.

The energy saw Paul Were surge past Liberia defenders in the 55th minute to grab the lone goal for Harambee Stars. The Greece-based winger’s goal was however, disputed by the vistors, who insisted that it had come from an offside position.

Liberia settled down in the match dominating remaining minutes but could not secure an equalizer. Anthony Lambo, David Tweng, Falla Sheriff and Kemon Kamara crisscrossed the field in search of a goal to no avail.

Okumbi is now counting eight matches unbeaten having whipped Mozambique last week in another friendly.

Starting XI:

Boniface Oluoch (GK), Joackins Atudo, David Owino, Brian Mandela, Abud Omar, Victor Wanyama, Osborne Monday, Ayub Timbe, Paul Were, Eric Johanna, Michael Olunga


David Okello [GK], Erick Ouma, Harun Shakava, Robinson Kamura, Anthony Akumu, Amos Ekhalie, Jesse Were, Cavin Odongo, Amos Nondi, Victor Majid, Cliff Miheso, Simon Mbugua

4 thoughts on “Flashback Kenya vs Liberia and Gor Mahia vs Oilers in 1989

  • November 15, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I think this is a new era in Kenyan football just to witness harambee stars fielding at least 7 ( ex and present tusker players in successive international matches ) is a testimony that the days of kogallo and efusi dominance are over.

    Congratulations to brewkenge, you have lightened Kenyan football.

    • November 15, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Surely, this coming hot on the heels of Tusker having snatched Kogalo victory! Please spear me the agony. I don’t care about what Tusker has or will achieve My DNA is Kogalo period. You behave like a parent who would go to the streets to celebrate the results of a neighbour’s child after the later beat his own child in a final exams. PATHETIC.

      • November 17, 2016 at 5:25 pm

        Jakoyo is always pathetic fan. I do not think that this Jabaridi is a Gor Mahia fan.

  • February 9, 2018 at 11:59 am

    admin am asking you one kore time that please change the font of this site. many of us are struggling to read these otherwise good articles!


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