Gor face test

K’Ogalo in crit­i­cal four day make or break pe­riod as clubs bat­tle

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - FRAN­CIS WADEGU @fwadegu198

A crit­i­cal four-day make or break pe­riod for cham­pi­ons Gor Mahia be­gin today when they host West­ern stima in a mid­week SportPesa Pre­mier League clash at Nyayo Sta­dium.

K’Ogalo will then duel with se­rial neme­sis AFC Leop­ards this Sun­day.

Last Sun­day, Gor re­lin­quished the sec­ond of the three tro­phies they won last year when they were beaten by un­fan­cied Muhoroni Youth in the fi­nal of the KPL Top 8, forc­ing their fans to in­vade the sta­dium in frus­tra­tion.

It’s easy for the K’Ogallo play­ers to feel sorry for them­selves, hav­ing dom­i­nated the fi­nal against plucky Muhoroni.

How­ever whether they have put be­hind them that dis­ap­point­ment and the ‘heart in mouth’ mo­ment when fans charges after them, re­mains to be seen today

Al­ready the cham­pi­ons al­beit hav­ing played a game less are seven points adrift of ti­tle favourites Tusker and have lit­tle win­dow to ne­go­ti­ate if they are to claim an un­prece­dented fourth suc­ces­sive top flight ti­tle.

What has been K’Ogalo’s un­do­ing this sea­son is the lack of goals by their strik­ers.

It has un­der­mined their bid to be­come the first team to win backto-back Top 8 crowns and it has seen them drop cru­cial points in oth­er­wise winnable games.

Much of the blames will be put to Rwan­dese record sign­ing Jac­ques Tuyisenge, who has failed to add onto his eight league goals since com­pa­triot Medie Kagere was brought to ease the goal scor­ing bur­den on him.

That re­spon­si­bil­ity is one which Kagere has failed to leave up to as he is yet to score in the league de­spite be­ing a reg­u­lar starter. Coach Ze Maria, whose fu­ture also hangs in the bal­ance this week hav­ing failed to con­vince the pow­ers that be at Kenya’s most suc­cess­ful club that he can take them to the next level, must take his share of blame for the po­si­tion Gor find them­selves in.

His tin­ker­ing habits have not en­deared him to the club’s rank and file hence the in­con­sis­tent per­for­mances. There is no bet­ter team to take ad­van­tage of that than Stima who also har­bour am­bi­tions of fin­ish­ing higher than their cur­rent fourth place.

Un­der the tute­lage of two-time KPL/SJAK/Fidelity In­surance coach of the month, Henry Omino, Stima have been a force to reckon with in the sec­ond half and had they had a sim­i­lar start to the cam­paign as their cur­rent form, they would have been un­likely chal­lengers for the top flight ti­tle.

/ PIC-CEN­TRE

Aaron Shakava (L) of Gor Mahia tack­les Moses Arita of Muhoroni Youth dur­ing their 2016 KPL Top 8 Knock­out tour­na­ment fi­nal at Nyayo Sta­dium on Oc­to­ber 16.

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