Gor Mahia eliminated from CAF Confederations cup

Gor Mahia have lost 2-1 to USM Alger. And with Rayon Sports winning their tie against Yanga 1-0, Gor Mahia are out of the tournament. Jacque Tuyisenge scored Gor Mahia’s goal.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia on Wednesday failed in their bid to reach the quarter-finals of the Caf Confederation Cup after losing 2-1 away to USM Alger at the 5th July Stadium in Algiers, Algeria in their final preliminary match.

Goals from Prince Ibara and Amis Sayoud propelled the hosts to victory as they finished top of group D with 11 points, with Rayon Sports grabbing second spot after a 1-0 win over Yanga at home to finish on nine points and seal the final quarter-final slot.

The lanky Caleb Bimenyimana, who scored when Rayon beat Gor in Nairobi last week, netted the all-important goal in this match.

K’Ogalo finished third in the pool with eight points and miss out on a last eight berth.

Jacques Tuyisenge pulled a goal back for Gor but it proved to be too late as the Algerians held on for the win.

The Kenyan champions will rue their loss against Rayon on August 18 in Nairobi in a match that they only needed a point from to confirm their place in the group stages with a game to spare.

A point against USM would have seen Gor go through ahead of Rayon on goal difference.

As expected, K’Ogalo began the match on the back foot in the wake of a myriad of attacking moves from the hosts and at some point had to thank reserve goalkeeper Fredrick Odhiambo for stopping a ninth-minute Ahmed Koudri penalty, which was awarded after Harun Shakava appeared to handle in the box.

Ibara would, however, hand his side the lead on 36 minutes, after escaping his markers to power a header past a stranded Odhiambo from a corner kick.

The Kenyan side also survived a scare towards the end of the half when Ernest Wendo was forced to clear a goal-bound shot off the line with Odhiambo well beaten.

Backed by a noisy crowd at their backyard, Alger came back forcefully in the second half, and added the second goal against the run of play.

As a result, Gor, who earned Sh27.5 million in prize money for making it to this stage of the competition, have missed an extra Sh8 million reserved for the eight teams which make it to the quarters.

The tournament’s winning team will pocket Sh125 million.

Gor, who clinched the 2018 Kenyan Premier League title with six matches to spare last weekend, will now turn their attentions to the FKF SportPesa Shield, where they take on Kariobangi Sharks at the Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on Saturday.


President bails out Kogalo for Algeria trip

President Uhuru Kenyatta has come to the rescue of Gor Mahia who were in danger of missing their trip to Algeria for the crucial return leg of the 2018 CAF Confederations cup. On Friday, the president donated Ksh 6 million towards purchase or tickets for the Algiers trip. Gor Mahia need at least a point to qualify for the next stage.

Additional reporting from the Nation
President Uhuru Kenyatta has come to the rescue of Gor Mahia after facilitating the team’s travel to Algeria for their continental assignment.

Gor treasurer Sally Bolo on Friday confirmed that the head of state had bought air tickets for the team worth Sh6 million.

She said the club’s management was stranded and wondering how to offset the Sh8 million expense to North Africa for the team’s last group match of the Caf Confederation Cup against USM Algers on Wednesday.

“We wrote to the Ministry of Sports through Football Kenya Federation and they responded telling us they didn’t have the money,” said Bolo.

“This morning, we received a call from State House who offered to buy the team air tickets. We are very grateful and excited because the President has also wished us well.”

“Now our remaining task is to raise an extra Sh2 million to cover the team’s expenses including accommodation and food for the period we will reside in Algeria.”

Thus, Gor are expected to depart for Algiers on Monday ahead of the clash in which Dylan Kerr’s team have to pick atleast a point to be assured of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Rwanda’s Rayon Sport will play host to Tanzania’s Young Africans in Kigali in the other group match which has great significance to the Kenyan champions.


Gor Mahia stunned by Rayon Sports

Gor Mahia were on Sunday stunned 2-1 by Rayon Sports in the CAF Confederations cup match. USM Alger were also stunned 2-1 by Yanga in Dar es Salaam. The group is now tight with three teams all with a chance to qualify.
The match was bound to be a difficult one. Rayon sports proved their worth when they almost beat USM Alger in Algiers a month ago. Francis Mutafa equalized to make the score 1-1 at halftime. However Eric Rutanga’s free-kick gave the Rwandese side a win that kept them in contention.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Bonfilscaleb Bimenyimana and Eric Rutanga’s goals on either side of Francis Mustafa’s equaliser gave the visitors a deserved win at a half-packed Kasarani Stadium.

Gor, who face Algerian side USM Alger in the final group stage match in 10 days’ time, remain top of Group D on eight points, two ahead of the Rwandan champions who need a win in their last game against Tanzania’s Young Africans to stand a chance of going through. Rayon will be hoping the Algerians, who remain second on eight points after suffering a shock 2-1 loss to Yanga in Dar es Salaam on Sunday night, beat Gor Mahia in Algiers.

“We came determined to win this match and we got everything right. We shall approach our last game like a final, play our hearts out and hope Gor doesn’t win away,” said left back Eric Rutanga after the game.

Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is also the Gor Mahia patron, had not even settled on his seat at the VVIP stand before Bimenyimana swept the ball past Gor Mahia custodian Shaban Odhoji for the the opening goal barely two minutes after Zimbabwean referee Norman Matemera got the proceedings underway.

Rutanga beat his marker down the left before delivering an inch-perfect cross that resulted into a wild celebration from the few Rayon fans on the opposite stand.

Burundian forward Mustafa restored the buzzing atmosphere at the half-packed Kasarani stands with a 21st minute equaliser after dispossessing Rwatubyaye Abdul to slam a right-footed effort into the back of the net.

Rutanga restored Rayon’s lead in the 54th minute with a well-curled free-kick from the left flank leaving Odhoji with no chance, just like he had scored in the two sides’ first leg tie in Kigali which ended 1-1 two months ago.

George “Blackberry” Odhiambo had brought down speedy winger Kevin Muhire.

Bimenyimana had the ball in the back of the net with 15 minutes to go, but Matemera called for a foul on Odhoji before Gor missed a scoring chance on the other end after George Odhiambo failed to tuck away the ball from the six-yard box.

Last minute efforts by the hosts to get an equaliser bore no fruit as the cash-strapped Rwandans, who travelled with a team of 15 players, broke into jubilation after the final whistle.

In the absence of Godfrey Walusimbi, who is on his way to South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs, Gor coach Dylan Kerr lined up Philemon Otieno on the left as Wellington Ochieng’ took charge of the right back position with Jacques Tuyisenge and Mustafa leading the onslaught.


Gor Mahia edge Young Africans 3-2

Gor Mahia are almost in the quarter-finals of the 2018 CAF confederations cup. This after beating Young Africans of Tanzania 3-2.

At half time, Gor Mahia were leading 2-0 with goals from BlackBerry and Tuyisenge.  Yanga came back strong in the second half and scored twice. Gor Mahia’s 3rd goal came via Harun Shakava.

Additional reporting from the Standard
Classy Gor Mahia put one-foot in the CAF Confederations Cup quarterfinals after beating Tanzanian giants Yanga 3-2 in Sunday’s Group D return leg match at the National Stadium, Dar es Saalam.

George Odhiambo scored in the opening minute of the game followed by Jacques Tuyisenge’s goal on the stroke of halftime and Captain Harun Shakava’s 64th minute effort to complete a double over the Tanzanians.

The victory saw the record Kenyan champions, who thrashed Yanga 4-0 in the first leg tie ten days ago, take their points tally to eight with two matches to go.

Gor took the lead through Odhiambo’s diving header from Samuel Onyango’s delivery in the first minute before Matheo Antony’s shot was deflected out for a fruitless corner on the opposite end.

Kevin Omondi could have doubled the lead in the 13th minute when goalkeeper Rostand Jehu miscued his clearance, but the striker failed to beat the custodian before Francis Kahata feeble shot was stopped by one of the Yanga defenders after a rebound fell on his path.

Samuel Onyango then made a brilliant run down the right flank on the half hour mark, but the former Ulinzi Stars man was denied by the goalkeeper before Shakava’s header went inches over the bar.

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Tuyisenge gave Gor a two goal cushion from a brilliant in-direct free-kick in the box on the stroke of halftime.

Deus Kaseke pulled a goal back for the hosts when pounced on a rebound from a header thirteen minutes into the second half.

However, the Kenyan champions responded in the 64th minute with Shakava capitalizing on Yanga’s defensive lapse to superbly volley home a corner-kick from capitalized on Boniface Oluoch’s goalkeeping error to score Yanga’s second goal.

Despite Yanga’s numerous raids, Gor held their nerves to take their unbeaten run in the group to four matches


Gor Mahia hammer Young Africans 4-0

Tuyisenge celebrates with Ondiek

Gor Mahia recorded a spectacular 4-0 win over Young Africans in the 2018 CAF Confederations cup match at Kasarani on Wednesday. It is a creditable performance given all the on the field issues like fatigue and off the field issues (like payments) that Gor Mahia have been dealing with. Also impressive was the fact that Yanga were well rested and fit while Gor Mahia has had to deal with injury issues and player departures. The goals came via Tuyisenge, Guikan(2) and an own goal by Mwinyi of Yanga.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia put aside their off-the-pitch woes to dismantle visiting Young Africans SC (Yanga) of Tanzania 4-0 in their Caf Confederation Group D match at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Wednesday.

Coming off a week where the club has been in disarray with reports of player revolt over unpaid bonuses, Rwandan striker Jacques Tuyisenge set the tone right on 23 minutes at Kasarani with the opener before Ivorian forward Ephrem Guikan ended his goal duck with a second at the stroke of half-time to ensure the Kenyan champions head into the break 2-0 up.

Defender Haji Mwinyi then scored an own-goal to all but end Yanga’s hopes of a springing a surprise at Kasarani before Guikan added his second of the match and Gor’s fourth with a powerful left-footed shot five minutes from time.

Victory for K’Ogalo, their first in the money-spinning group stages takes them to five points and in second place behind Algerian side USM Algier (seven points), who secured a 2-1 win away to Rwandan side Rayon Sports in the other group match.

Gor made a very bright start to the match, while the opponents were on the back foot throughout the opening stages.

Guikan was put through by Francis Kahata in the 11th minute, but his left footed shot was parried by Yanga custodian Rostand Jehu with the rebound deflected out for a fruitless corner.

Six minutes later, Kahata’s deft cross into the box found Guikan and again the Ivorian failed to tap home from close range.

Yanga’s first sniff at goal came after 19 minutes through successive corners, but Gor defenders led by Skipper Harun Shakava were on the spot to clear their lines.

In the 22nd minute, Samuel Onyango burst forward from the right flank before releasing a grass cutter that Tuyisenge did well to skip away from his marker, before lashing his finish past a hapless Rostand for the opener.

Ibrahim Hajibu’s free kick from outside 18 won after Godfrey Walusimbi fouled Juma Mahadhi went over the bar in the 41st minute and four minutes later, Guikan repaid Kahata’s brilliant passing by beating the offside trap to double the scores.

“It was a performance of class from my players despite missing some key figures. They are ever fantastic and never let me down despite the problems off the pitch,” said Gor coach Dylan Kerr in a post-match interview.

“It’s a painful loss conceding four goals, but we failed to track our opponent’s moves, we go back to work on our weaknesses noted in this game,” said a remorseful Yanga coach Noel Mwandila after the game.

Gor Mahia XI: Shaban Odhoji, Godfrey Walusimbi, Harun Shakava, Philemon Otieno, Charles Momanyi, Bernard Ondiek, Samuel Onyango, Ephrem Guikan, Humphrey Mieno, Francis Kahata and Jacques Tuyisenge (Francis Mustafa).

Yanga XI: Youthe Jehu, Kamagi, Abdoul, Haji Shaibu, Chikupe, Haji, Papy Kambamba, Oscar Mkomola, Mahadhi, Charles Buswita and Hajibu.


Kerr: Team is ready for Yanga

Kerr emphasized the importance of getting three points since all four teams still have a chance at qualifying for the next round.

“Its a CAF game that both teams need 3 points. With Yanga coming to Nairobi and us going to Dar in 10 days, its very important how we start the game. ”

Kerr further praised the state of the pitch at Kasarani where the match will take place on Wednesday at 7pm

“We have had the pleasure of training on the field and it looks like a proper field right now. So that will be an advantage to us.” said Kerr.

Kerr briefly touched on the recent financial debacle that set off a firestorm in the playing unit.

“We understand that money is the motivation of African players. I am trying to express to these players that to get that, you have got to be the best. It is not about me. My success comes from the players. ” concluded Kerr.

The Yanga technical bench for their part stated that they used the CECAFA club cup to study Gor Mahia’s strengths and weaknesses and are this ready for the encounter.

Kerr went on to tell the Standard that his playing unit was full of confiedence.

“The mood in the team is good. We are strong and a confident side. Yes, we didn’t get an opportunity to see Yanga play in Kagame Cup, but we are going into this game with one thing in mind; win at home and away, which I confidently believe we can,” said Kerr.

“In football, you must be mentally ready to face challenges and our challenge right now is to reach Confederations Cup quarter-finals. That’s our goal and that’s exactly where the money is. We have come so far in one year that I have been in charge.” said Kerr


Team manager Jolawi Obondo apologized to CECAFA for the team’s refusal to pick up their third place medals. He stated that it all stemmed from the CECAFA official told the players that they would not receive the prize money in cash but instead it would be wired to their accounts.

In reality, that debacle was probably just a last straw from players fed up at being treated poorly by the club officials.

Group D standings

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  USM Alger 2 1 1 0 4 0 +4 4
2 Gor Mahia 2 0 2 0 1 1 0 2
3 Rayon Sports 2 0 2 0 1 1 0 2
4 Young Africans 2 0 1 1 0 4 -4 1

Gor Mahia held by USM Alger 0-0

Gor Mahia’s second CAF Confederations cup group match against USM Alger ended scoreless. This after Gor Mahia were reduced to 10 men with the ejection of Joash Onyango.

Additional Reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia battled to a barren draw with visiting USM Alger of Algeria in their Caf Confederation Cup Group D match at a rain-soaked Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Wednesday despite playing for the last 35 minutes with 10 men.

Centre back Joash Onyango was sent off on 55 minutes for a second bookable offence but the gritty hosts held on to secure their second successive draw in the competition although they could have won the tie as striker Jacques Tuyisenge and winger George Odhiambo had two late chances to kill off the tie.

Dylan Kerr’s men also had two penalty appeals turned down by the centre referee much to the chagrin of the handful fans who had braved the heavy downpour at Kasarani.

Besides the unwelcoming weather conditions, both sides had to endure a torrid trip to the stadium before the tie. A traffic snarl up along the busy Thika Super Highway forced the sides to get to the match venue just under 50 minutes to kick off, drastically reducing the allocated time for warm up.

This result, coupled with a similar scoreline in the group’s other game pitting Tanzania’s Young Africans against Rwanda’s Rayon Sport, implies the Kenyan champions remain second with two points, behind the seven time Algerian champions who have amassed four points in this pool after two rounds of matches. Rayon have a similar point tally to Gor while the Tanzanian outfit are placed last, having picked up a single point.

Gor’s task of picking something from this game was made harder after Onyango was sent off for a second bookable offence after shoving off Farouk Chefai just after the restart in this drama filled contest.

At on the other end, Odhiambo had two penalty appeals waved off by match Malian match referee Mamadou Keita, decisions that clearly infuriated Kerr and the Green Army.

“The lads have again done brilliant tonight and we could be sitting here and celebrating a two or three goal victory. But that didn’t happen, and they obviously started falling around and suddenly we are left with only have 10 players on the pitch. At that point, the game became more difficult,” said Kerr.

The first of Odhiambo’s appeals at the half hour mark seemed legitimate, coming after Mohammed Benyana stopped the Kenyan international with a high boot in the danger area.

The hosts were, by far, the better team in the opening half, fashioning out six clear chances.

Disappointingly though, none of these efforts found the back of the net.

Ivorian forward Ephrem Guikan, who was standing in for the suspended Meddie Kagere, had three of these chances.

His first on 13 minutes came via a rifled goal bound shot which was superbly blocked by Oussana Chita’s sliding tackle for a corner, even though it seemed the ball had bounced off the defender’s arm just outside the box.

Guikan’s second chance nine minutes later was via a header off Odhiambo’s measured cross, an effort the visiting keeper Mohamed Lamine did well to parry off with a stretched right hand save.

Odhiambo too, had two goal bound shots in succession thwarted by a combination of Lamine’s impressive left handed and the goal post, as the opening stanza wore on.

In between, the Algerians barely threatened but once and even then, Boniface Oluoch did well to gather a feeble header from Ben Yahyia.


Gor Mahia to play USM Alger at Kasarani

Good news for Kogalo fans. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has approved Kasarani as the venue for the CAF Confederations cup match against USM Alger. Club CEO Omondi Aduda confirmed the same.

“Our prayers have been answered and we are now good to go. Caf have written to FKF confirming that they have approved our request to have Kasarani as the main venue for the remaining Caf matches.” said Aduda to goal.com

Earlier on, the match was scheduled for Machakos. With the match now at Kasarani, Gor Mahia are assured of a better attendance due to its closer proximity to the City. Now its up to the club to set reasonable ticket prices in order to pull a larger crowd.

The USM Alger match will be played on Wednesday May 16. Prior to Hull City, Gor Mahia will test their strength against English second tier side Hull City. This match will also be played at Kasarani on May 13.

Coach Dylan Kerr is happy that his side will have a good build up match.

“I am glad that we shall face a tough opponent in Hull City,” he told KweséESPN. “This is not some small team, but a team which will test us in all aspects.

“Playing the English side will be a true test for us a few days before we host Algeria’s USM Alger in the second Group D match,” he added. “We are delighted that we defeated AFC Leopards to qualify to face the visiting Hull side.

“Every team seems much comfortable playing at home,” Kerr continued, looking back at Gor’s draw with Rayon, “but we have what it takes to go win our next game at home and also travel away and pick up points.” concluded Kerr.

USM Alger promises to be a tough encounter. Aside from beating Yanga 4-0 last weekend, they had also beaten Plateau United of Nigeria 4-0 in the previous round. Coach Kerr is under no illusions about how difficult the game will be.

“We need to beat USM Alger to brighten our chances of progressing to the latter stages of the CAF Confederation Cup,” he added. “It makes the game against Hull City very important.

“Everybody thinks they can get out of the group, but it will all depend on who wants it more and we surely have the material, hunger and motivation to make it to the quarter finals.”

Rwandese striker Meddie Kagere is also looking forward to playing Hull City.

“I know we shall use this match as a build-up before we host [USM Alger],” told KweséESPN, “so it will be a very important game that I am looking forward to.”


Gor Mahia may host matches outside the country

This is the current state of Kasarani
Image courtesy of Bonny K’Ochieng

Story from goal.com
The work at Kasarani was initially set to be completed at the end of March but Kenya’s biggest stadium is yet to be opened

Gor Mahia may be forced to play some of their Caf Confederation Cup matches outside the country should Kasarani not be ready in the next three weeks.

At the moment, there is no standard pitch in Kenyan to host a continental assignment following a stringent of regulations issued by Caf.

Caf has ruled out Kenyatta Stadium from hosting any of the Group stage matches on security grounds and with Nyayo and Kasarani still under renovation, Gor Mahia may be forced to look for alternative venues, possibly in Rwanda, Tanzania or even Uganda to stage their home ties.

“For preliminary matches, it could suffice, but at this stage, it is out of the question, as it does not have some of the requirements. Should Kasarani not be ready, then we will have no choice but to play some of our home matches either in Kigali, Algeria or Dar-es-Salaam,” Gor Mahia Chief Executive Lodvick Aduda told the Standard.

“The regulations allow for this kind of arrangement, but we hope it will not reach this level and that those working on Kasarani will ensure it is ready before then.”

The work at Kasarani was initially set to be completed at the end of March but Kenya’s biggest stadium is yet to be opened.

Walusimbi set to return

Gor Mahia’s Ugandan utility player Godfrey Walusimbi could be eligible for selection this weekend when Kogalo take on Mathare United.

“We had solved that issue way before and the only thing that was remaining was actualizing. That has already been done so he should be able to go back to training now,” CEO Omondi Aduda said according to michezoafrika.

Walusimbi’s absence has been felt in the matches against Esperance and Supersport where his presence would have made a significant difference.

“Would things have been different if he was around? Maybe yes, maybe now. But I want to have my best players available. Walusimbi is important to us and we want to have our best players for important games,” Kerr told michezoafrika.

Walusimbi’d absence has caused headaches to coach Kerr given the absence due to injury of Karim Nizigiyimana and Wellington Ochieng.


Gor Mahia land in a very manageable group

The draw for the 2018 CAF Confederations cup is out. Gor Mahia have been placed in group D along with regional rivals Yanga of Tanzania and Rayon Sports of Rwanda. The other team in the group is USM Alger of Algeria. Its a favourable draw that leaves Kogalo an excellent chance at qualifying for the quarter-finals as either group winner or runners up. The draw also makes Gor Mahia’s travel expenses more manageable.

Kogalo kick off their campaign away to Rayon Sport on May 6. They will be playing Meddie Kagere’s former team where he played in 2013 and 2014. The team is coached by former AFC Leopards coach Ivan Minnaert. Its redemption time for Kogalo after their massive 6-0 aggregate loss to another Rwandese side APR in 2008. The only survivor from that team is George Odhiambo “Blackberry” who at the time was barely out of secondary school. He  had been a star for Kamkunji secondary school in 2007, leading them to the Nairobi City title. And that is where he first made his name.

Gor Mahia have played Yanga numerous times, most recently at the 2015 CECAFA cup where Kogalo beat Yanga 2-1 in front of the latter’s own fans. And coach Dylan Kerr knows Yanga well having coached them in 2015.

Gor Mahia floored Yanga in front of a partisan crowd in Dar es Salaam in 2015

“I know Yanga very well,” said Gor Mahia’s English coach Dylan Kerr, to the Nation.

Indeed Gor Mahia’s record against Tanzanian teams has been very good over the years.

Gor Mahia will then host USM Alger on May 16. In its long illustrious history, Gor Mahia have never played a team from Algeria. Yet USM Alger are the clear favourites. They were imprresive when beating Plateau United of Nigeria 4-0 in their most recent match. And they were CAF Champions league runners up in 2015.

“I don’t know much about Rayon and the Algerian team though. Overall, I expect it to be very tough because everyone wants to qualify for the quarter-finals. I believe in the team and the players, we can do this.” added Kerr.

The good news is that unlike Vegeterianos, Kerr will find plenty of video featuring USM Alger matches.

“Now that we have got here, there is nothing to fear. We just play the way we know because in that group we stand a very big chance,” added Gor captain Harun Shakava to the Nation.

In addition to earning Ksh 27 Million in the group stage, Kogalo could earn another Sh8 million should the team qualify for the quarters.

Kogalo stand to gain a total Sh45 million if they progress to the semi-finals, or Sh125 million for going all the way and winning the tournament. They will make a total Sh45 million if they progress to the semi-finals, or Sh125 million for going all the way and winning the tournament.

Early preparations are key. Organization with regard to ticketing and other off the field issues will be key. And hopefully the government will give Kogalo an opportunity to play some home matches in Nairobi.