Gor Mahia chase eighth Top Eight title

By alex wafula
Jun 10, 2021
  • Gor Mahia's new recruit Wellingtone Ochieng against Bonface Odhiambo of Naivas in a friendly match. Ochieng could be fielded against Tusker FC. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Humphrey Mieno is unsettled at Tusker FC and has requested to be transferred.

Gor Mahia chase their third Kenya Premier League Top Eight title by playing against Tusker FC at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.

The Kenyan Premier League defending champions are currently enjoying a good run after winning five straight matches without conceding a goal.

These two sides met at the same stage last year with Gor winning 4-3 on aggregate. The team warmed up for the Sunday duel with a friendly match against Naivas FC at their Camp Toyoyo training ground. They won 1-0 with Rwandese forward Jacques Tuyisenge scoring the lone goal.

Head coach Jose Marcello Ferreira will have two of his new boys available for the match. They are Wellington Ochieng, a defender signed from Muhoroni Youth and Baron Jobita, a forward acquired from Western Stima.

But, Thiago Lima Da Silva, a forward from Brazil is unavailable because he has not been cleared. “We have requested for his ICT but we haven’t received it yet. So in the mean time, he cannot play,” Gor Mahia Secretary General Ronald Ngala said.

Said Ferreira: “We know Tusker is a tough team. We played them before and we know how strong they are. For us, we need to go there and do our best and hopefully we make it to the next round.”

The talking point heading into this game will be the involvement of Tusker midfielder Humphrey Mieno who is said to be interested in a move to Gor.

Mieno requested for a transfer

According to sources close to Sports News Arena, Mieno has requested for a transfer and Tusker have tried to wade that off by increasing his salary. But, the former Sofapaka and Azam FC man seemed to have already settled on a pick to join Gor.

It will be interesting to see whether coach Paul Nkata will field him, especially with his state of mind and commitment to the club being in question. Nkata avoided  the transfer speculation surrounding his players and chose to focus on exerting revenge on Gor over last year’s loss.

“This is a chance for us to win a trophy and we want to take it with both hands. We expect a very tough game but at the end I know my players are well prepared to win,” the Ugandan coach offered.

The game will be preceded by the first semi-final pitting Ulinzi Stars and Muhoroni Youth. The two sides have already met once in the league, Ulinzi winning 2-1 at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.

The military side has been camping in Nanyuki ahead of the game and coach Robert Matano hopes they will be ready to drown Muhoroni.

Since winning the inaugural edition in 2011, Ulinzi has not won a single trophy. He will have several players at his disposal with the return of Stephen Waruru, Mohammed ‘Rio’ Hassan, Ezekiel Otuoma, Elvis Nandwa as well as new signing Samuel Onyango.

All the players have been given game time as the side played four friendly matches in Nanyuki winning all without conceding a goal. “We are ready for this match. Our focus is always to win and it is no different now. We are motivated and our focus is on getting a win in the first leg which will be vital for the second leg,” Matano said.

Muhoroni are making it into the last four for the first time. Deputy coach Tom Juma will handle the team as they expect new coach John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla will take charge beginning of July.