Gor Mahia 0 AC Leopards 1


Gor Mahia in the dressing room after the match Image courtesy of Duncan Nganyi

Gor Mahia have been eliminated from the 2015 Africa champions league after losing 0-1 to AC Leopards at the Denis Sassou Nguesso stadium. They thus go out 0-2 on aggregate.

C Leopards scored the only goal of the afternoon through forward Magnokele Bissele.

After conceding the goal, Gor Mahia pressured the Congolese but were stifled by poor finishing.

Gor Mahia’s best chance fell on the feet of Olunga shortly after the interval when he pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the area and curled it past the Leopards defence but it went wide.

Nuttall brought on the speedy Ronald Omino for George Odhiambo with ten minutes left but Gor couldn’t get the job done.

In the 84th minute, Olunga was cautioned for scoring after the whistle had been blown.

All in all , the players are to be commended for putting up a fight considering the issues that the club has dealt with this past week


Starting XI:

1.Boniface Oluoch, 2.Musa Mohammed, 3.Kevin Oluoch, 4.Glay Dikir, 5.Harun Shakira, 6.Collins Okoth, 7.Timothy Otieno, 8.Ali Hassan , Abondo, 9.Michael Olunga, 10.George Odhiambo, 11.Godfrey Walusimbi


Gor Mahia aiming for a miracle

Gor Mahia traoining in Doliesie image courtesy of Duncan Nganyi

Having watched Gor Mahia play international football for a long time now, I have never seen a match where they faced such tall odds to win away.

To begin with, the team barely made it to Brazzaville and probably would not have made it had it not been for the bailout from the KPL. The coach has been away for a few days now and the team missed several days of training this past week due to a player strike.

AC Leopards for their part warmed up for the match with a 2-0 league over rivals Inter club de Brazzaville in a Congo league match. Gor Mahia will not be at full strength. Aside from missing the Rwandese trio of Sibomana, Nizigiyimana and Kagere who are ineligible for this tournament, they will also be missing the services of Khalid Aucho who is suspended due to multiple yellow cards.

Still coach Frank Nuttall is confident that the team will be able to pull through despite the missed training sessions.

“I don’t think the situation will affect us at all. At the end of the day, they only missed one training session but they are back on track and should no have be affected when get to the pitch on Sunday,” Nuttall told goal.com.

Gor Mahia will be attempting to improve from their performance in 2014 when they exited at teh same stage. They will also be trying to exorcise the ghosts of of 1988 when Gor Mahia lost to Inter Club of Brazzaville after enduring harsh treatment at the hands of their hosts.

To advance, Gor Mahia will be hoping to win by a score of 2-1. Any type of draw will eliminate them. And Nuttall thinks Gor Mahia are capable of scoring in Brazzaville.

“They scored one goal in Nairobi. We can do the same away. If we are able to score a goal then we will have the match back on track and this is what we intend to do.”said Nutall to goal.com




Gor Mahia to leave for Congo Friday

Gor Mahia are set to leave for Congo on Friday. The original plan was to leave on Wednesday but that came a cropper due to lack of funds.

In February, Gor Mahia’s trip to Madagascar was saved thanks to assistance from former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth. This time it was the KPL that gave Gor Mahia a grant.

“We’ve been given a grant by the Kenyan Premier League Limited and we shall travel to Brazzaville tomorrow (today) before we make

our way to Dolisie,” said Rachier to the Nation. He also said players have been paid part of the money owed to the in salaries.

The match will take place on Sunday afternoon. Gor Mahia will be battling against the odds having lost the first leg at home 0-1. And they will try to win despite missing two days of practise due to a player strike.

Rachier has re-iterated that the club’s primary focus is the Kenya Premier League.

“Our targets as a club focus more on retaining the KPL title than winning the Caf Champions League trophy. Besides, the national league, will have matches to honour long after the champion’s league tournament is over and that is why we were willing to forgo the competitions and instead use the little money we have to make the players comfortable. We have today given the players part of the money owed to them,” he continued.


Congo trip now in doubt

Having failed to raise enough money for their trip to Congo, Gor Mahia are now staring the prospects of not being able to fulfill their obligations in the Africa champions league.

“We fear we may not travel to Congo because we do not have the money to honour the match. The tickets to Congo alone for 30 people, including players and members of the technical bench, cost Sh2.8 million,” said chairman Rachier.
Rachier continued to reach out to fans.
He added: “It is possible that we can get tickets and travel, but the real issue is being able to take care of the team in Congo. We will be in a foreign country with no money to pay for accommodation and transport costs. “We are appealing to our fans and other well-wishers to come to our aid, otherwise it will be difficult to travel.” he said to the Standard.
Should Gor Mahia not travel to Congo, they could be staring at the prospect of a CAF ban.
“We are aware of the implications of not honouring the match, but we find ourselves in a situation whereby even if we are able to acquire air-tickets, we will have problems staying in Congo because of inadequate finances.” he said/
Aside from Tuesday’s Fundraiser, Gor Mahia also held in fundraiser in November that was attended by a number of politicians but fell well short of its targets.

Fund Raiser yields Ksh 511,000

The fund raiser that was organized to raise funds to enable Gor Mahia to travel to Congo for the Africa champions league was held on Tuesday at Nairobi club. The event raised Ksh 511,000 according the club.

This falls far below the target of Ksh 9 million that was announced by club organizing secretary Ronald Ngala. And it falls far below the Ksh 5.2 million that David Kilo said is the amount required by the club for travel and logistics in Congo.

Chairman Rachier has urged the club fans to continue to support the club in any way they can.

The fact that AC Leopards are able to travel with a contingent of 96 fans while Gor Mahia struggle to raise funds to send players brings to surface why Gor Mahia will continue to struggle in this event.



Gor Mahia face uphill battle to raise funds

Once again Gor Mahia faces an uphill task as they try to raise enough funds to travel to Congo for the return leg against AC Leopards.

According to goal.com, The team needs more than Sh5.2million to cover air fare and accommodation costs while in Congo, Brazzaville. A top club official admitted the struggles and said they are working round the clock to ensure they are able to honor the fixture.

“It is a very expensive venture. The air tickets alone will cost us Sh2.6million. We have been given a bill of Sh18, 000 per night each for accommodation. We are working hard to ensure the team travels and performs well,” the official told goal.com

When Gor Mahia needed to travel to Madagascar to play CNaPs, it was former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth who came to their rescue.

Dirkir Glay to soon play for Gor Mahia

Dirkir Glay has been conspicuosly missing from Gor Mahia league matches of late due to the fact that his work permit has not been processed.

According to club official Ronald Ngala, his paperwork has already been submitted and the club is awaiting a response from the ministry of labor.
“We have already received communication from the authorities confirming receipt of our documents and soon we’ll get Glay cleared for domestic competition.” said Ngala to the Standard.
One is left to wonder why the club has not had enough foresight to apply for his work permit ahead of time, given that they signed him two months ago.Glay’s inclusion in the defence will help shore up what has proven to be a less than solid department.


Coach and captain confident about return leg

Veteran right full back and current Vice Captain Musa Mohamed is dissappointed that Gor Mahia did not take advantage of their home field to secure a win over AC Leopards.

“We all know we have put ourselves n a tight corner but that will inspire us when we go to the return leg. It will not be easy but we will give it our all. The tie is still open,” he said to supersport.

However Musa is confident that Gor Mahia can overcome the odds and defeat the Congolese side away.

“It is not over yet. When you look at the statistics of the game, we had a greater percentage in possession and we created the chances. We were just unlucky to concede. AC Leopards have been champions very recently, we are just rebuilding and I think we gave a good account of ourselves.” he continued

Musa called on fans not to give up hope as anything is possible in the return leg.

“Our fans should not lose hope. We will fight harder in the return leg”

Nuttall explains Ali Abondo’s absence

Ali Abondo had been in fine form over the past few games scoring four goals in six games. Fans were thus confused when coach Nuttall named a line-up that did not include him in the starting line-up. Fans were even more confused when Nuttall waited until there were only twenty minutes left before introducing Abondo. Nuttall now explains that the Kisumu lad was not in full fitness.

“Ali had a knock in our last friendly match against Rangers so we had to be cautious with him. Nevertheless we were confident that the team we chose could do a job and we are pleased with their output” said Nuttall to supersport.

Based on the way the team played, Nuttall is confident that his side can pull a miraculous victory out of the fire in Congo.

“I am happy with the way we took the game to Leopards. We created some good chances that on a good day we could have won by three goals. We also restricted Leopards to just a couple of chances and we would have gotten a penalty in the second half when Olunga was fouled in the box,”

The overall performance of the team was great and we gave the opponents only one chance. This is just the first half and we are hoping for a good result in the return match,” he said.

 Players gave up

Gor Mahia players seemingly stopped playing when they conceded a goal against the run of play. Building on this, AC Leopards will likely try to go for an early goal knowing that it will demoralize Gor Mahia players. It is therefore incumbent upon Nuttall to impress upon his players that a 2-1 for Gor Mahia can see them through. This AC Leopards side is beatable.

There have been numerous occasions even recently when Gor Mahia’s performance away from home was far better than at home. A case in point was when they played Anse Re-Union.


Nuttall: Gor Mahia played well but unlucky

Gor Mahia coach Frank Nuttall has opined that Gor Mahia played well enough to win the game but luck was not on their side.
“We played very well in both halves as the boys showed a lot of bravery. It is unfortunate that we are never given the credit we deserve especially after such a great performance against a team of this calibre. “As far as I am concerned, we are still in the match and will try and do better in the return leg,” he told journalists after the game.
Nuttall attributed AC leopard’s win to luck. According to him, Gor Mahia played better and deserved to win whereas the Congolese had one chance on which they capitalized.
“I really applaud the players. They dominated the first half and every player’s contribution was very impressive. The opponent had one chance in the second half and nothing else. We’ll see how it goes in the return match,” he said.

Cash Crunch hits Gor Mahia

Gor Mahia are already feeling the financial pinch of taking part in the Champions league. The team, according to Deputy Secretary General Naima Oketch needs at least Sh2.5million to travel to Congo Brazaville for their return match against AC Leopards at the end of March.
“We are spending almost a similar amount in the first leg and have had to borrow heavily to make ends meet. We are urging our supporters and well-wishers to come to our aid,” she said to the Standard. Among the biggest expenses the team has incurred is paying for referees’ tickets, which alone is Sh1.7million.
Matters are made worse by the poor attendance of the match. The Operation Jaza stadi campaign came a cropper. This is the lowest attendance seen for a Gor Mahia international match possibly ever.


Gor Mahia 0 AC Leopards 1

courtesy of goal.com

Gor Mahia face a mountain to climb to progress in Caf Champions League after losing at home to Congolese champions Leopards in first leg contest

Gor Mahia face an uphill task in their return leg clash of Caf Champions League against Congolese champions AC Leopards after going down 1-0 at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday.

The result means, the Kenyan champions must win return leg fixture by two clear goals so as to progress in the competition. Gor Mahia keen for an early goal went on the offensive right from the word go with Michael Olunga’s first chance in the opening minutes ending up in a corner kick after he was denied by Massa Chansel in goal.

The towering striker was denied again in the seventh minute this time near the goal post as he attempted to score from a Godfrey Walusimbi free-kick. Gor Mahia won their first corner of the match from that effort but it ended up on the upright after George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo had attempted to head it inside the net.

The visitors, who took time to settle, had their first go at Gor Mahia’s goal in 14th minute. Makiese Junior won a free-kick just outside Gor Mahia goal and ?Ntella Tychique delivered it well but Boniface Oluoch picked it equally well.

In 20th minute, the visitors got their first corner as they started to settle. However, it was still Gor Mahia, who should have been up by two goals as in 26th minte Khalid Aucho blasted wide from a free-kick.

Makiese Junior had the perfect opportunity to put Leopards ahead in 28th minute. He beat an off-side trap set by the Gor Mahia defenders but still failed to score with Boniface Oluoch beaten. Oluoch then failed to hold onto a corner kick from Lakoko Preston and Barbov Querros hit the cross bar as Gor Mahia survived another scare just before the half time whistle.

On resumption, AC Leopards shocked Gor Mahia with an early goal when ?Ganzbo Ceciria beat Boniface Oluoch from close range to out his side ahead. Shocked but determined the Kenyan champions fought to get back into the match. George Odhiambo could have equalised at the hour mark but he blasted wide after being put through by Michael Olunga.

Musa Mohammed was then cautioned for rough play. The same fate befell Timothy Otieno as Gor Mahia appeared imobalised by the goal and hardly had a scoring opportunity in a good part of the second half.

Gor Mahia rested Timothy Otieno for Ali Abondo in 75th minute to try and create some chances. ?George Odhiambo was also rested for Ronald Omino but nothing just seemed to work in a poor second half by the home side, who must do better in a fortnight.

Starting XI: 23. Boniface Oluoch (GK), 5. Musa Mohammed, 4. Kevin Oluoch, 18. Haron Shakava 26. Glay Dirkir, 2. Godfrey Walusimbi, 10. Khalid Aucho, 6. Collins Okoth, 9. Timothy Otieno, 25. George Odhiambo, 19. Michael Olunga

Reserves: 1. Jerim Onyango (GK), 24. Israel Emuge, 15. Bernard Odhiambo, 8. Jerry Santo 30. Ali Abondo, 7. Ronald Otieno, 17. Eric Ochieng


Simon Pierre knows the Congolese

Gor Mahia’s Camerounian defender Simon Pierre is under no illusions about how difficult the match against AC Leopards will be.

“It is a big game for us and we are looking forward to it. They are well known in the continent and have a number of Congolese internationals and very good foreign players in their side.” he said to supersport.com

Pierre think the club can benefit from his familiarity with Congolese players.

“I know them because we share a lot in terms of our football back in Cameroon and they are feared by many. Many will say that they are the favourites to go through but I know that on our day we can beat any side at any time.”

#Operation Jaza Stadi

Pierre also called upon fans to turn out in large numbers and get behind the team.

“We will be confident and hope that the fans come out in numbers to support us, because we are capable of doing well against them,” he added.

Speaking of filling the stadium, Gor Mahia fans have started a social media campaign (#OperationJazaStadi) to encourage fans to turn out in large numbers. The number of Gor Mahia fans attending matches has been plummetting over the past two years with the club generating less than half the revenue it used to generate from big matches.

Against CNaPs, Gor Mahia were saved by the fact that they did not concede a goal at home. Against AC Leopards, keeping a clean sheet at home will be just as important as Pierre indicates.

“We need a clean sheet. It will boost us if we can keep a clean sheet. It will give us a good chance if we keep the clean sheet,” he added.

Spying on Gor Mahia training sessions

AC Leopards sent an advance team of three officials to Nairobi early this week to monitor the proceedings and the party has been monitoring Gor Mahia’s training sessions ahead of the Sunday tie according the daily Nation. This author does not understand why Gor Mahia’s opponents would be allowed to watch them train.  The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport