Gor Mahia shift focus on misfiring Ulinzi

By nesta kizito
Apr 09, 2013
  • Gor Mahia coach Zdravko Logarusic is hoping to gt his injured players back in shape for the coming matches.(Photo:SNA File)

Sometime last week, Gor Mahia voiced concern about congested fixtures and even indicated that they were having second thoughts about their participation in the KPL Top 8 tournament.

Over the last few days there has been some good and bad news for Gor. The bad news was obviously their elimination from the Caf Confederations Cup at the weekend; the good news is that their ouster will definitely decongest their fixtures.

Already out of one competition, they have found motivation for their crunch Top 8 fixture against Ulinzi Stars on Wednesday night at the Nyayo National Stadium.

That Ulinzi have already beaten Gor this season in the league is another reason why K’Ogalo cannot even think of giving the soldiers a walkover.

Injury has dogged the team so early in the season and of greater concern to coach Zdravko Logarusic is regrouping his troops and getting his injured men back in shape for the coming matches.

Ulinzi’s story is quite different. The soldiers have been busy on the domestic front but theirs has been an impressive start to the 2013 campaign.

In seven matches, they have only won twice, the rest of their matches ending in three draws and two defeats. Significantly, they have failed to win in their last two matches since they beat Gor 2-0 three weeks ago.

Soldiers firing blanks

They lost 0-2 to leaders KCB before managing an uninspiring barren draw against Kakamega Homeboyz last weekend.

Ulinzi been firing blanks, in the practical sense of it, with just three goals in the seven matches they have played.

But a meeting between these two sides always provides some great talking points. This will be their third straight meeting in consecutive Top 8 tournaments.

In the tournament’s inaugural edition in 2011, Ulinzi were handed victory against Gor Mahia after the latter’s fans disrupted their semifinal encounter.

The soldiers went on to win the cup by beating Western Stima 2-1 in the final. Last year Gor avenged that defeat by beating the soldiers 2-0 in the final at the Moi International Sports Centre. Logarusic has revealed that his team will be missing the services of Edwin Lavatsa, Paul Kiongera, David Owino and Anthony Akumu.

While Lavatsa, Kiongera and Owino are all nursing injuries, an exhausted Akumu has been granted time off.

KCB on top of log

“Akumu is tired, he requested and has been granted time off to recharge his batteries. He has played so many matches and will start the match on the bench,” Logarusic said.

Meanwhile, it’s now seven rounds of league matches with KCB perched at the top. The bankers benefited from a 0-0 draw against AFC Leopards last weekend in Mumias to move to 15 points from seven matches.

Thika United are second on 13 points with a match in hand while Sofapaka inched closer to the top with a 2-0 blanking of Sony Sugar to take their points tally to 12. Muhoroni Youth is fourth with 11 points while, Bandari, AFC Leopards, Chemelil Sugar and Ulinzi Stars are all tied on 9 points.

With just three matches played, defending champions Tusker occupy a lowly thirteenth place with 5 points while last season’s runners up Gor Mahia are two places above them with 6 points from an equal number of matches.

Debutants Kakamega Homeboyz and the winless Sony Sugar occupy the regulation spots with 4 and 3 points respectively.