Olunga and Oluoch bag individual CECAFA awards

Michael Olunga bagged the scoring title at the recently concluded CECAFA club cup. He scored 5 goals. Olunga also received the most plaudits of any player at this tournament for his clinical finishing, his precise assists and ability to take on defenders. His dexterity with the ball at his feet is excellent for a player his height.

Other top scorers were: Saleh Eldin Osman Bilal (Khartoum National) and Kipre Chetche (Azam), who scored four goals each. Malimi Busungu (Yanga) and John Bocco (Azam) scored three goals each.

Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch was named as the best goalkeeper of the tournament. Oluoch has already established himself as the best keeper on the local scene. Adding a regional title is another feather in his cap.

Ivory Coast defender Serge Pascal Wawa Sfondo was named defender of the tournament and also player of the tournament. Despite playing with a 3 man defence, Azam did not concede a goal throughout.

Olunga though happy with his award, was unhappy at the final result.

“We were very optimistic as a team to try and give our dear fans something to smile about as they had travelled in large numbers to Dar es Salaam to give us support but it was not to be.”

“It was a gruelling game but in football you win some and lose some. Maybe we failed to click, but at least we gave a good performance throughout the tournament and it’s only fair to accept that it was not our day.”

“Individual rewards are good like the golden boot but I feel it would have been fantastic to be on the winners’ podium as a team. We have to now go back and concentrate on the league,” Olunga told supersport.com.

Gor Mahia have a lot to be proud about. It is a vast improvement on their performance from last season. The home team (in this case Azam) is always favoured to win. And No Kenyan team has come close to winning this tournament since Tusker won it over 5 years ago.  Gor Mahia can build on this success to challenge for honors in 2016.


Gor Mahia romp into Kagame cup finals

Wafula could not hide his joy after scoring

The mighty Kogalo are in the CECAFA club cup finals for the first time in 30 years after beating Al Khartoum of Sudan 3-1.

Goals came from Olunga, Kagere and Wafula.

courtesy of the Standard
Man of the moment Michael Olunga scored and set up two goals as Gor Mahia booked a slot in the Cecafa Kagame Cup final after beating Sudan’s Khartoum 3-1 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, yesterday.

It was a well-deserved win for Gor Mahia as the last time they reached the final was 30 years ago. They will face Azam who beat KCCA 1-0. The final is tomorrow. Despite conceding an early goal in the second minute, Gor Mahia looked more comfortable and a formidable side in the encounter which was also full of defensive blunders from both sides. Khartoum shocked K’Ogalo in the second minute when captain Amin Elmani scored with a clinical shot, sending goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch the wrong way after finding himself unmarked in the area.

On 16 minutes Karim Nigiziyimana whipped in a cross that was mistimed by Khartoum’s goalkeeper Mohamed Abdalla Ibrahim before Godfrey Walusimbi kept it into play. With Mohamed Ibrahim off his goal line, Meddie Kagere’s effort with the head kissed the post before Omer Ali Alkhdr cleared the mess.

Olunga equalised in the 24th minute through a fantastic penalty after Anthony Akumu was adjudged to have handled in the box to take his tally of goals to five. A minute later Olunga set up Innocent Wafula to superbly score the second. Merghani came closer to cancelling Gor Mahia’s lead in the 36th minute after beating captain Musa Mohammed, but he failed to control the ball when through on goal.

Gor scored their third goal in the 55th minute after Olunga took advantage of some calamitous handling by Khartoum keeper Mohammed Ibrahim, but his shot was cleared off the line but, Kagere was on hand to tap home the loose ball. Khartoum’s Ghanaian coach James Kwesi Appiah reshuffled his lineup in the second half, but it was all in vain.

Khartoum Starting XI: Ibrahim Abdalla, Amin Ibrahim Elmani, Samawal Merghani, Omer Ali Alkhidr, Salah Eldin Mahmoud, Antony Akumu Teddy, Domenic Abul, Atif Khalid El Tayeb, Wagdi Awad Abdalla, Ahmed Adam Mahmoud, Ousmaila Baba

Subs: Adil Abdelrasol El Tahir, Abdalla Nagimeldin, Salih Abdalla Murwan, Badru Eldin Aldon, Moawia Elamani Mohamed, Salah Eldin Osman Bilal,

Gor Mahia starting XI: Boniface Oluoch, Musa Mohamed, Abouba Sibomana, Harun Shakava, Karim Nizigiyimana, Innocent Wafula, Aucho Khalid, Godfrey Walusimbi, Meddie Kagere, Michael Olunga, Collins Okoth

Subs: Fredrick Onyango, George Odhiambo, Ronald Omino, Erick Ocheing, Enock Agwanda, Dirkir Glay, Ali Hassan Abondo,


Gor Mahia dismiss Al Malakia to reach semis

Walusimbi celebrates his goal with Olunga

Gor Mahia beat Al Malakia of South Sudan 2-1 in a quarter-final encounter of the ongoing CECAFA club cup. Gor Mahia took a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to goals from Godfrey Walusimbi. Al Malakia pulled one back in the 64th minute for a final score of 2-1.

courtesy of goal.com

Ugandan international Godfrey Walusimbi netted a brace, the first after three minutes when he connected a Michael Olunga cross. Olunga made a good run towards goal and tried to pick out Meddie Kagere, who missed and the ball found Walusimbi waiting and he did not make a mistake scoring.

Walusimbi added his second in the 27th minute from a counter-attack. The Sudanese champions scored their only goal in the 65th minute through Mathew Thomas, who headed home a free header. Gor Mahia took the game to their opponents and could easily have scored a second goal three minutes after going ahead had Meddie Kagere been quick to react and guide home Karim Nizigiyamana’s cross.

The Sudanese side were impressive on the ball and also managed time and again to out muscle Gor Mahia under pressure. The first fruit of their pressure was a 31st minute corner kick after Eric Ochieng’ had a touch of the ball while trying to clear the danger. The corner was curved well and Boniface Oluoch had to come out quickly and clear the danger.

Two dangerous set pieces by Malakia dangerously exposed the Gor Mahia backline. The Kenyan champions having survived the scare launched their own counter-attack which was ended by Mahmoud Altahir after he pulled down Meddie Kagere and was cautioned for that even as Gor Mahia went to the break with a healthy advantage.

Coming into the second half, both teams continued to push with Innocent Wafula putting the Malakia backline under intense pressure with dangerous balls trying to look for Kagere.

But it was Malakia, who scored and the Gor Mahia backline will blame themselves for conceding. Gor Mahia should have hit back almost after conceding that goal. A combination between Wafula and Olunga ended in a fruitless corner.

Then in the 67th minute, Olunga was denied by the cross bar as Gor Mahia stepped by pressure. The Kenyan champions then rested Meddie Kagere for George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo as they sought more goals but had to be content with the two.


Gor Mahia vs Al Malakia preview

Having qualified for the CECAFA club cup quarter-final by topping their group, Gor Mahia next take on Al Malakia of Sudan on Tuesday. It marks the first time in history that Gor Mahia will play a team from South Sudan in a competitive match.

On paper Gor Mahia should start as favourites. Al Malakia have scored only one win so far, a 1-0 win over Adama City of Ethiopia. They went on to lose 0-2 to Azam of Tanzania and 0-1 to KCCA of Uganda.

Founded in 1946, there continental pedigree is not much to write home about either. In the 2015 Africa champions league, they lost by a score of 0-5 to Kano Pillars of Nigeria. In the 2014 Confederations cup, they lost -15 to CARA of Brazzaville.

Gor Mahia for their part will be riding a wave of confidence having topped their group in brilliant fashion. And this was despite resting several players and rotating several players. And though Gor Mahia did not play up to their standards, they still beat Telecom 3-1.

“That was another good performance from my charges. I am impressed that we are winning matches even after rotating our squad. It was not an easy task but thank God we are now on ten points.

“Our ambition was to get past the group stages and I am glad that we have achieved that. I know that we shall have tough opponents in the quarter-finals but at this point any further achievement will be a bonus for us,” he said to the Nation.

Nuttall also noted that playing 3 games in 7 days in the heat and humidity of Dar es Salaam is not easy.

“Playing four games in seven days is not easy and that is why we chose to rest some players.

The marathon playing schedule has taken its toll on certain players. Khalid Aucho is not available for the Malakia game having sustained an injury. He will join Walusimbi on the sidelines.

Though Al Malakia have not been impressive, coach Nuttall will not be under-rating them and will field a full strength side.

“We have reached a crucial stage and no coach can gamble at this stage. I will have my regulars back,” the Scot. “It will be a tough quarter-final as our opponents must have done their homework and they also have the ambition of advancing to the semifinals,” added the coach.

Gor Mahia will need to play particular attention to Samuel Ssekamatte, captain David Dada and Peter Saddam Opera who have been impressive.

The winner of this match will play the winner of the contest between Al Ahly Shendi of Sudan and KCCA of Uganda.


Gor Mahia seek to go top of Group A

Gor Mahia warmup at national stadium Dar es Salaam: From left: Walusimbi, Glay, Agwanda, Sibomana, hidden, Kagere, Nizigiyimana, Olunga, Aucho, Abondo

Having already qualified for the quarter-finals, Gor Mahia will be seeking to finish atop group A when they face Djibouti Telecom on Sunday. Gor Mahia are currently in second place behind Al Khartoum who have a superior goal difference. Should Al Khartoum beat Yanga then Gor Mahia would need to beat Djibouti Telecom by at least 5 goals or more depending on Al Khartoum’s winning margin against Yanga. Gor Mahia will thus be going for a win while hoping that Yanga grab at least one point.

Friday’s match against the Sudanese was a bit of a let down for Gor Mahia who will be seeking a better outing.
“Khartoum had better ball possession session compared to us, but we shall play better in our last match,”  said coach Nuttall said on Friday to the Standard.
“For some reason the boys were not themselves in the last match. Not that we expected an easier outing against Khartoum but we performed below par and that needs to be corrected,” he continued.
Nuttall thinks his side gave too much space to the Sudanese.

“We only did about 41 per cent in the field compared to our opponents who enjoyed 59 per cent of ball possession,” said the Scot.
Though Djibouti have put on a poor show this time, their coach Amos Niyongabo will want to leave the tournament with at least one good performance.
“I want to salvage my image by beating Gor Mahia and go back home with a win,” said the coach.
And Gor Mahia will be in mood to under-rate the Djibouti side considering that they almost beat Gor Mahia at this tournament last year. Only an injury time equalizer from Musa Mohamed enabled Gor Mahia to salvage a point.

““Telecom might not have won any of their matches but I have watched them play and I know that they defend very well so we still have to be at our very best if we are to get results,” the Scottish coach said to the Nation.

Godfrey Walusimbi will likely sit out this match due to a sore knee. The good news is that Collins Okoth “Gattuso” who had a sore thigh is now available for selection though coach Nuttall may choose to rest him and save him for a tough quarter-final


Gor Mahia force draw with Al Khartoum

Musa Mohamed with former team-mate Anthony Akumu

Gor Mahia came from behind and forced a 1-1 draw with Al Khartoum of Sudan.  Gor Mahia’s goal came via Eric Ochieng who headed home a Khalid Aucho cross.

Despite the draw, Gor Mahia still have a chance at topping the group. To ensure they win the group, they must beat Djibouti Telecom then hope that the match between Young Africans and Al Khartoum ends in a draw or Young Africans win.

courtesy of goal.com

Ousmailia Baba put Al Khartoum ahead in the seventh minute and here K’Ogalo goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch will blame himself for the goal. Oluoch, who has been in good form, failed to clear an earlier danger allowing Baba to tap home.

Then Eric Ochieng’ netted the equaliser in the 43rd minute allowing Gor Mahia to pick a vital point as both sides have now collected seven points after three matches. It was just the second time in the competition that Gor Mahia were trailing in the competition and it is a situation that once again tested their character as a team.

They did well to attempt a comeback with Khalid Aucho getting a free-kick in the ninth minute from a very prime position. Aucho easily picked out Mike Olunga but the effort went out. Two minutes later, Ali Abondo from a free-kick in an almost similar position sent the ball past the Al Khartoum backline and the goalkeeper Adil Eltahir in goal spilled out the ball. Olunga, who was close by had a poor follow up.

Then in the 18th minute, Innocent Wafula picked out Olunga with a well curved free-kick but the towering forward hesitated just a bit and put the ball out when he finally recovered. On the other side of the pitch, Atif Khalid hit the Gor Mahia post with goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch well beaten. Karim Nizigiyimana did well to clear the danger. By this time, the Sudanese side were clearly in charge of the match and gave the Kenyan champions plenty of trouble.

The match changed to Gor Mahia’s favour in the 42nd minute when Eric Ochieng’ headed home a Khalid Aucho well taken free-kick. The Al Khartoum backline watched in disbelief as Ochieng’ headed home the equaliser.

The second half was a see-saw affair but Gor Mahia looked to have an edge. Haroun Shakava was cautioned for a bad tackle on Ahmed Adam. The same fate also befell Khalid Aucho, who picked his third yellow card of the tournament and is now in danger of missing the quarter-final match. In the 52nd minute, Innocent Wafula lobbed the ball towards Al Khartoum goal and it was punched out by Eltahir in goal.

Al Khartoum then rested Mohammed Hassan for Antony Okumu while Gor Mahia benched Ali Abondo for Collins ‘Gattuso’ Okoth. At this point in the match, Gor Mahia appeared to enjoy advantage in the match as they managed to keep their opponents in their own half for most of the second half.

Gor Mahia line-up : Oluoch, Aucho, Kagere, Walusimbi, Ali Abondo, Musa, Olunga, Wafula, Sibomana, Nizigiyimana and Shakava. Subs: Jerim Onyango, Collins Okoth, Wendo Ernest, Dirkir Glay, Odhiambo George, Ronald Omino and Enock Agwanda.

Al Khartoum : 1. Adil Eltahir, 12. Mohammed Hassan [14. Anthony Akumu 55’], 15. Samawal Merchani, 5. Omer Ali, 26. Hamza Zakaria, 25. Murwan Salih, 16. Wagdi Wad Abdalla [10. Domenic Abul 53’], 8. Amin Ibrahim Elmani, 19. Ousmaila Baba [18. Hassan Eldon 73’], 17. Ahmed Adan Mahamoud, 11. Atif Khalid Eltayeb

Unused Subs:  30. Mohammed Ibrahim, 4. Moawia Elamin, 6. Salah Eldin, 20. Badru Eldin


Gor Mahia floor KMKM

Gor Mahia were in sensational form as they beat KMKM of Zanzibar 3-1 in their second CECAFA club cup match. Goals were scored by Meddie Kagere and Michael Olunga who scored twice.

Gor Mahia were in scintillating form throughout the match. They took a 2nd minute lead. Michael Olunga made a good run down the flank and sent a cross to Kagere for an easy tap. Gor Mahia were up 1-0.

KMKM came back into the game strongly, searching for an equalizer. The equalizer came at minute 12. A Tizzo Chomba corner kick found was met by Anthony Simon who had been given too much space by the Gor Mahia rear guard. Simon rose unchallenged and headed home to level the score.

Olunga who was in fine form throughout continued to torment the Zanzibaris each time he had the ball. In the 50th minute, his well taken free kick was parried by the KMKM custodian. The resulting rebound fell to Kagere whose effort was also saved by the keeper.

Gor Mahia took control of the game in the second half and were more dominant as the game proceeded. The Zanzibaris seemed to tire as the game progressed which is shocking since they are used to the climate.

Coach Frank Nuttall rung changes in the second half and as usual, his substitutions were on point and effective. Ronald Omino  was replaced by Eric Ochieng while Godfrey Walusimbi departed for Enock Agwanda. The KMKM coach also made changes benching Nassor Omar and Faki Sharif for Haji Simba and Maulid Ibrahim.

The winner came in the 69th minute when Karim Nizigiyimana yet again effected one of his pinpoint crosses which Olunga headed home. The third goal came in the 78th minute. Substitute Enock Agwanda sent a long throw which Olunga took with textbook ball control  and firmly planted in the net.

The win puts Gor Mahia in excellent position to qualify for the next stage.



Nuttall focused as Gor Mahia take on KMKM

Gor Mahia coach Frank Nuttall while happy that Gor Mahia beat Yanga of Tanzania in their first game, has urged his players not to get too high on that win. The journey ahead is still long and paved with potential pitfalls.

“It is just three points in a first group stage match. It doesn’t mean much. Against ten men, it looked easy but there is a psychological element attached to the whole situation.” said Nuttall after the game.

But winning what is likely the most difficult match of the group in front of a partisan crowd has put Gor Mahia in the driving seat.

“It was never easy, our first game of the tournament away from home in front of such a big ground cheering the home team, the red card was never an advantage, Nuttal added.” continued Nuttall.

Gor Mahia silenced Yanga fans


Gor Mahia will now take on KMKM (Kikosi Maalum cha Kuzuia Magendo) of Zanzibar.  Matches between Gor Mahia and KMKM are few and far between. In 1981, Gor Mahia played KMKM in the opening match of the CECAFA club cup. The match was played in Kisumu. Gor Mahia emerged victorious by a score of 2-0 and went on to win the tournament.

Nut Nuttall is correct not to under-rate the Zanzibaris. They gave a good account of themselves in the 2015 Africa champions league. They lost to Al Hilal of Sudan 2-1 in the preliminary round. But Al Hilal went to beat Bullets of Malawi 5-1 and Sanga Balende of Congo DRC 2-0. They are now atop group A. The last time KMKM played Kenyan opposition was at the 2014 Mapinduzi cup when they held AFC Leopards 0-0.

But Gor Mahia will be playing with plenty of confidence , buoyed by their opening game win. Their good performance was capped by the fact that Meddie Kagere was voted man of the match.

Skipper Musa Mohamed is certain that the side will perform better this time due to a higher level of experience.

“When you look at the current squad, you can see a lot of maturity. Most of the guys on the team are internationals and I guess this is a big reason behind the good form. There are lots of options. The squad is big and full of quality this time round. The bench is as good as the starters.” said Musa Mohamed after the match.



Winning start for Gor Mahia

Shakava and Glay celebrate

Gor Mahia opened their 2015 CECAFA club cup campaign with a solid 2-1 win over Young Africans of Tanzania. This is unlike last time when Gor Mahia started by not only losing to KCCA of Uganda but were comprehensively outplayed. This time Gor Mahia were in the driving seat.

It was Yanga who took an early lead due to an unfortunate error by Gor Mahia central defender Dirkir Glay : Glay had attempted to clear a dangerous cross from winger Donald Ngoma, but his mis-timed clearance ended up sending the ball over goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch.

Gor Mahia equalized in the 18th minute from a freekick. The freekick resulted when Godfrey Walusimbi was fouled. Karim Nigiziyimana sent one of his inch perfect deliveries into the danger area and Haron Shakava headed past Ali Mustafa in the Yanga goal. The towering Shakava is quickly joining the ranks of other Gor Mahia heading legends like George Otieno “Vigo”, Allan Odhiambo and of course Peter Dawo.

5 minutes later, Zambia winger Ngoma received a second yellow card for attacking Shakava, and he was sent off as Gor Mahia and Simba fans cheered. Simba fans were actively chanting “Gor Biro”. This raised Gor Mahia’s morale and they dominated the exchanges with far more attempts on goal.

At minute 32, a wide open Olunga controlled the ball well but sent his shot over the bar, thus missing a glorious opportunity.  5 minutes later, a the dangerous Olunga was felled by a Yanga defender but the referee waved play on thus denying Gor Mahia what should have been a penalty.

Michael Olunga who had been active all day saw his efforts rewarded when he scored the second goal soon after the start of the second half.

Godfrey Walusimbi also found himself in the referees book when he was cautioned for a foul in the 62nd minute.

In the 73rd minute, Boniface Oluoch became a hero when  he saved a penalty from veteran Kelvin Yondani.



Gor Mahia vs Young Africans through the years

Gor Mahia will face off with hosts Young Africans (Yanga) of Dar es salaam in the opening encounter of the 2015 CECAFA club cup aka Kagame cup.

In previous years, Gor Mahia has had a torrid time playing against Simba FC. Their results against Yanga, while better, also show that Yanga FC are no walk in the park.

Encounters between these two sides go back to the 1970s and 1980s. In 1982, the CECAFA club cup was played in Kenya and Gor Mahia were placed in group B which was based in Kisumu. This was a Gor Mahia unit with players like Bobby Ogolla, Abbey Nassur, Tim Ayieko, Sammy Owino “Kempes”, Austin Oduor. George Ayuka and Nahashon Oluoch among others. Gor Mahia played Yanga in the 3rd match after having drawn 1-1 with Bata Bullets of Malawi and beating KCC of Uganda 1-0. On that occasion, Gor Mahia beat Yanga 3-1 to top their group.

The period around 1980 was when Tanzanian football was at its peak. That year they thrashed Kenya 5-0 in a world cup qualifier and had qualified for the Africa nations cup. Among the Yanga players in Taifa stars was Juma Mukambi who scored against Nigeria at AFCON 1980 and Charles Boniface

In 1984, Gor Mahia faced off with Yanga in the opening round of the Africa champions cup. Prior to traveling to Dar es Salaam, Gor Mahia camped in Mombasa for 2 weeks in order to acclimatize to the hot and humid conditions in Dar es Salaam. In addition to the experienced duo of Boniface and Mukambi and Boniface, Yanga also had Ahmed Amasha who was far and away the best left full back in the CECAFA region at the time. All were household names in Kenya.

On that occassion, the first leg was played in Dar es Salaam. In the Gor Mahia line-up on that occasion were were two Tanzanians who had defected to Kenya: Abdallah Shebe and Abbas Magongo. Both returned to their old stomping grounds to reign terror on their compatriots.

The match ended 1-1. Gor Mahia had taken the lead in the 67th minute via new signing, the 18 year old  John Okello “Zangi” before Yanga scored a late equalizer. The return leg was a tense encounter as Yanga played Gor Mahia tough and gave as much as they received. Gor Mahia prevailed 1-0 thanks to an 84th minute goal by Sammy Onyango “Jogoo” who beat Joseph Fungo in the Tanzanian goal with one of his long range grass cutters. It was a thunderous drive.

The following day, the daily Nation headline read as follows: “Sammy Onyango blasts Gor Mahia into round 2”.

The line-ups on that day:

Gor Mahia: Tirus Omondi, Peter Otieno Bassanga, George Otieno Vigo, Austin Oduor, Abbas Magongo, Hezborn Omollo, Abbey Nassur, John Okello Zangi, Abdallah Shebe, George Onyango Fundi, Sammy Onyango

Yanga: Joseph Fungo, Yusuf Bana, Ahmed Amasha, Athumani Chama, Ishtaka Hassan, Juma Mukambi, Hussein Iddi, Charles Boniface, Abeid Mziba, Elisha John, Ali Mchumila.

In 1996, The CECAFA club cup was played in Tanzania and Gor Mahia faced Yanga yet again in the preliminary round. It was a strong Gor Mahia side with players like Joseph Asembo, Dan Shikanda, Tom Ochieng, Joseph Owino, Dan Ogada, Tom Okaya, Allan Odhiambo. They had just won the league for the fourth time in six years.

On that occasion, Gor Mahia held the hosts 1-1. They topped group B but lost 0-1 to Simba in the semis.


The 2015 edition will not be an easy encounter either. Yanga warmed up for the match by beating Police Combined 3-0.  After the match, their Dutch coach Hans van Pluijm signified that they still had room for improvements.
“I don’t want to judge my players after two matches…we still have one week to prepare for the tournament and that’s when I will be in a position to comment on their performance”, Pluijm said.

“Some new players have come in and have yet to synchronise. But we have new players like (Deus) Kaseke that have been impressive…we can get better in time”.
Yanga are a star studded squad. Among the players to watch are Rwandan international of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) origin, Mbuyu Twite who is an excellent passer and playmaker.
Right Winger Simon Msuva who recently attended trials in South Africa  will keep Sibomana, Musa Mohamed and Nigiziyimana busy all day. Despite his short stature he is a handful. He is fast, a good dribbler , good crosser and scores plenty of goals. He is the reigning top scorer in the Tanzanian league.
Defender Nadir “Cannavaro” Haroub is one of the most experienced players. he is a good reader of the game and will have studied and prepared for the Kagere-Olunga combination.