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 lose in Kagame cup final

Gor Mahia went down 0-2 to Azam of Tanzania in the 2015 Kagame cup final.

courtesy of goal.com

Kenyan champions came into the match as favorites after impressive run in the competition but John Bocco and Kipre Tchetche scored for Azam FC

Gor Mahia’s 24 match unbeaten run in all competition came to a sorry end on Sunday after they fell 2-0 to Tanzania’s Azam in Cecafa final played in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The Kenyan champions came into the match as favorites after impressive run in the competition, but goals from John Bocco and Kipre Tchetche were enough to hand Stewart Hall first title for the club.

Gor Mahia will blame themselves for the first goal as they started in a low fashion as compared to the home team, who had fans cheering the side from kick-off, and the pressure paid off as early as 15th minute when Bocco converted a low cross to hand his side the lead.

K’ogalo were unlucky to escape punishment when Khalid Aucho seemingly elbowed the opponent, but the referee decided to have a word with him when punishment seemed necessary. That however, did not kill the spirit of Azam, who kept the competitions top scorer Michael Olunga at bay, with no space to make things even for the fourteen times Kenyan Premier League champions.

The only realistic chance the Kenyans got was in the 28th minute when Ugandan import Innocent Wafula shot wide from seven yards out. After the break, Azam came looking determined to maintain their record of not conceding in the tournament, as Pascal Wawa stood strong in central defense which further frustrated their opponents.

Frank Nuttall’s side looked out of ideas in the back as pressure from Tchetche and Bocco was too hard to handle, and they were lucky not to concede a second in the 50th minute, when the former was gifted a chance but failed to convert.

Aucho finally went into the referee’s notebook when he fouled the dangerous Kapombe 25 yards from the goal. Tchetche rose to the occasion and buried the resultant free-kick into Boniface Oluoch’s goal to the amazement of the custodian, who assumed the shot was off target.

Dangerman Olunga was sneaked in by Meddie Kagere in the 75th minute, but this time round, the ever clinical lanky striker could not find the net as he shot across the goal. Nothing changed for the Green Army even with the introduction of Ali Abondo and George Odhiambo, as the side could not find way past the opponents defense that has kept a clean sheet in the entire tournament.


Ghana’s world cup coach admits Kogalo are a class above

James Kwesi Appiah, the Ghanaian coach who steered Ghana to qualification of the 2014 world cup with a memorable 6-1 win  over Egypt and a creditable 2-2 draw with eventual winners Germany, has admitted that his side Al Khartoum were comprehensively outplayed by Gor Mahia.

“Gor Mahia was a better side and deserved victory by all accounts. They (Gor Mahia) were a joy to watch. They deserve to be in the final and I don’t think they will be stopped now,”.

His counterpart Frank Nuttall credited his team’s team-work and commitment for the victory.

“We are happy to be unbeaten and to make sure we won the game today. We were well organized and prepared coming into the game. We were a little disappointed to concede the early goal but we knew we would score.  People and individuals make headlines but it is always all about team work” said Nuttal.

It has indeed been a superb effort with different players stepping forward to play crucial roles. Though Olunga may get much credit, players like Aucho, Wafula, Sibomana, Shakava and Walusimbi have been superb in the last two games. Many will say that it is the forward line that carries the team but of late the entire unit has been hitting on all cylinders.

FKF chair Sam Nyamweya for his part has announced that the federation will reward Gor Mahia with Ksh 250,000 should they win the torunament.

“We want to confirm that we will reward Gor Mahia with Sh250, 000 if they emerge winners of the competition. As we await the final match we join hands with all other Kenyan fans in supporting the team as it aims to clinch this year’s trophy.” he said according to goal.com

President Kenyatta also joined in congratulating Gor Mahia via his twitter handle.

Well played #GorMahia. Congratulations for reaching the finals of the #CECAFAKagameCup. Best of luck as you prepare to win in the finals.”

It will be remembered that the president facilitated return tickets for the club after FKF declined to provide them.


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 vs Al Khartoum preview

Gor Mahia will be on a high after two convincing wins in the 2015 CECAFA club cup aka Kagame cup. It is a stark contrast to what pertained in the 2014 edition where Gor Mahia put on a listless performance even against minnows like Djibouti Telecom.

This is the confident backdrop against which Gor Mahia will take on Al Khartoum. The Sudanese side are also full of confidence, having beaten Djibouti Telecom 5-0 and KMKM 2-1.

In the Al Khartoum line-up will be former Gor Mahia midfield ace Anthony Akumu. It was he who scored the winning goal when his side beat KMKM.

Though he (Akumu) says he supported the club as a youngster and still has friends at the club, Akumu says he will be a professional first.

“I still have many friends in the club but I don’t think that will complicate things for me. Winning the title is our ambition in this tournament and I know that I have a great responsibility to make that happen. The coach has spoken to us about the match and I am planning to give my best performance to ensure that we record a winning result,” he said to the Nation.

Akumu also thinks that a good performance at the Kagame cup will open up doors to Europe.

“My ambition is to play in Europe but in the mean time I want to focus on giving my best performances for Khartoum. We have a job to do here and nothing else will be on my mind on Friday other that victory,” he continued.

So Gor Mahia will be facing a familiar but  determined foe. But truth be told, unlike last season, this year Gor Mahia has enough petrol in the tank to neutralize Akumu. For one thing, Collins Okoth is preferred ahead of Akumu at national team level. And even if Okoth is still stifled by his thigh injury, there is the ebullient Khalid Aucho whose performances have been impressive of late along with Walusimbi, Abondo and Wafula plus Nizigiziyimana and Sibomana whose playmaking and passing skills are as good or better than any midfieder at this tournament.

The Sudanese side have in John Kwesi Appiah, a good coach with vast experience. He guided Ghana to qualification of the 2014 world cup, a feat which included beating the mighty Egypt 6-1. Ghana played extremely well at the world cup including a 2-2 draw with eventual winners Germany.

However in coach Frank Nuttall, Gor Mahia have an imaginative coach who has proven that he can match wits with any coach. He comprehensively the Young Africans coach Hans Van De Pluijm despite the latter having coached in the Dutch first division.

Al Khartoum who finished 4th in the 2014 Sudanese league, have a squad that is made primarily of Sudanese players with the exception of Akumu, Léonard Njousso (Cameroun) and John Arthur (Ghana). Of the Sudanese players, none of them feature in the current national team which is dominated by players from their more illustrious rivals, Al Merreikh and Al Hilal.

Salah Bilal is the one player Gor Mahia will need to watch closely. He has scored three goals so far in the tournament.


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.