Hall slams players after Gor Mahia derby defeat

By alex wafula
May 07, 2021
  • Gor Mahia Timothy Otieno beats AFC Ian Otieno.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Got Mahia's Timothy Otieno led celebration after Gor Mahia's third goal at the Nyayo National Stadium.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Meddie Kagere scrambles past AFC Leopards Sam Ndungu to score the second goal.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Stewart Hall, the AFC Leopards coach was disappointed as he watched his side slump to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of arch rivals Gor Mahia at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday.

Hall has slammed his players for failing to rise up to the occasion when it mattered most. He now says his charges must take responsibility for the loss.

“It’s a terrible performance; the players have to take responsibility. We were totally nervous and did not perform in this game. I have been trying to play that down all week by saying it’s another game just to take the pressure off the players. But we just couldn’t handle the pressure. The team just didn’t show up today; nobody played well,” a disappointed Hall said after the match.

First half goals from Meddie Kagere and George Odhiambo put Gor in the driving seat. Timothy Otieno’s 83rd minute header sealed the deal for K’Ogalo who retain second spot on the Kenyan Premier League log, two points shy of leaders Posta Rangers.

Hall further blamed the loss on a squad which had players who were playing the derby for the first time.

The Briton said his inexperienced squad couldn’t handle the pressure that came with the expectation of the match and crumbled.

On the contrary, Hall further noted that Gor had a squad built together over close to four seasons and all their players had prior derby experience.

“You have to put this behind and make sure you make them understand they have to take responsibility for that performance and I hope as decent human beings, they will go out and do something about that,” Hall said.

They face Sony Sugar away on Wednesday.

Tactical changes by Gor

In terms of personnel, Gor had a stronger squad and AFC Leopards couldn’t match Gor man. Allan Katterega, usually played out as a left wingback or a number 10 was thrown in as a right wingback.

Gor’s Ferreira also made a tactical change with Godfrey Walusimbi, usually a left wingback being dragged into midfield.

Of concern to AFC Leopards as well was their defense which was unstable and jittery.

In the second minute of the match, Salim ‘Shittu’ Abdallah’s attempt to square a ball over his defensive partner Robinson Kamura was almost suicidal.

Timothy Otieno intercepted before sending Kagere through, but the striker’s attempt to cut back to his right and shoot was futile after he slipped and fell.

In the 17th minute, the defense was on a similar error, this time Kamura, a former Mathare United man lifted the ball towards Abdallah and Kagere intercepted.

Luckily, the striker’s attempt at goal ended up with a shot high above the goal with Otieno screaming for it.

Gor were more relaxed, passing the ball around with ease. Ernest Wendo in midfield was superb, doing well to win all the second balls and spraying the forward passes with ease.

Gor were rewarded for their approach with Kagere hitting the back of the net in the 19th minute. Timothy Otieno beat Ian Otieno in the AFC goal lifting the ball over the advancing keeper and Kagere was left with the simple task of tapping the ball into an empty net.

The hosts, AFC Leopards struggled to make a meaningful response. They couldn’t crack past the midfield which was well manned by Wendo and the few times they did, they met a strong backline commanded by skipper Musa Mohammed.

Gor continued to knock and the doors were opened in the 36th minute. Odhiambo raced on to a Kenneth Muguna pass and the winger simply dinked the ball over Ian Otieno who had come off his line.

Odhiambo was stretchered off

Ferreira was forced into a sub when Odhiambo was stretchered off after picking up an injury. Francis Kahata took his place.

Hall started the second half by pulling out  Salim ‘Shittu’ Abdallah who had a woeful first half and brought in Marcus Abwao. The change saw, Katterega pushed upfront on the right with Kamura now inclining more to the defensive right.

Buit despite the change, Gor still remained solid.

Six minutes after the restart, Walusimbi had a low shot hit the upright after finding space from a short start to a corner. On the hour mark, Ingwe had a chance to half the deficit but Bernard Mang’oli was unable to score from a free kick by Kamura.

Gor kept their tempo up with AFC Leopards struggling to find rhythm and Ian Otieno was forced into a full stretch save to keep away a low shot from Karim Nizigiyimana at the edge of the box.

Hall then made another change, pulling out Ndung’u for Andrew Tololwa. The change meant Tololwa went to the right with Katterega switching back to the left.

For some minutes, AFC flattered to deceive. They began playing the ball well, but Whyvonne Isuza was their biggest weak link in midfield, losing balls easily.

They had a chance 15 minutes to time when Mungai Kiongera picked up Gilbert Fiamenyo inside the box. However, the Ghanaian’s connection was wide.

Gor drove the final nail on AFC’s coffin when Otieno reacted fastest to a save from Ian Otieno, heading the ball into the net with the keeper yet to get back to his feet.

KPL weekend results

Friday: Mathare United 0 Bandari 1, Kariobangi Sharks 2 Sony Sugar 0 (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Nzoia Sugar 1 Nakumatt 1 (Sudi Stadium, Bungoma).

Saturday: Posta Rangers 1 Sofapaka 0 (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru), Tusker FC 1 Kakamega Homeboyz 0 (Ruaraka Complex).

Sunday: AFC Leopards 0 Gor Mahia 3 (Nyayo Stadium), Thika United 2 Ulinzi Stars 3 (Thika Stadium), Western Stima 0 Zoo Kericho 2 (Moi Stadium, Kisumu), Chemelil Sugar 0 Muhoroni Youth 0 (Chemelil Complex).