Stuttering Gor seek bounce at the hands of City Stars

By alex wafula
Mar 10, 2021
  • Gor Mahia players at a past training session.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Of 14 encounters between Nairobi City Stars and Gor Mahia, the latter has been the more dominant.

City Stars has managed just two wins with K’Ogalo picking up all three points in nine encounters.

The statistics show that simply, City Stars are Gor’s punching bags.

A meeting of the two is an opportune time for the 15-time champions to bounce back to winning ways after a rather disappointing start to the season.

Gor has had a poor week, coming through after their loss to AFC Leopards in the Mashemeji derby.

The following day, coach Frank Nuttall left the side to join Egyptian giants Zamalek SC, tendering his resignation just a day after travelling to Cairo. Gor has since settled on José Marcelo Ferreira to take over.

The coach was initially set to arrive on Friday but will now touch down in Nairobi on Monday afternoon.

Frank Ouna, Nuttall’s assistant over the last two seasons will take charge of the team on Saturday and he will be tasked with reviving the club’s fortunes.

Out of seven competitive matches this season, Gor have won none, drawing three, all in the league.

The most disturbing fact is they have only scored twice, one coming from the penalty spot. But despite the fact they have domineered City Stars over the last few years, they should expect a tough duel.

A man who knows Gor inside out, has served them as a player, coach and finally assistant coach will be leading the enemy lines.

John Bobby Ogollah left Gor at the end of the 2015 season and took on the challenge of managing City Stars.

His side has neither fared well this season picking two points from their first four matches and are yet to win.

The six million dollar man as his peers refer to him as will be keen to not only lift the Kawangware based side into their first win of the season, but mete out a beating on his former employers.

Ingwe away to Chemilil 

While Gor fight to get their season walking again, it is a contrasting picture next door, in the homestead of their arch rivals Leopards.

Ingwe are currently top of the SportPesa Premier League standings, enjoying an unbeaten start to the season.

AFC has three wins and a draw, accumulating ten points thus far. New coach Ivan Minnaert is yet to lose nor concede since taking over the job, but he comes against a side that has always been a hard nut to crack for Leopards, Chemelil Sugar.

To add insult to injury, Minnaert will miss three of his first team starters. Andrew Tololwa (foot), Alfred Wekesa (hamstring) and Andrew Diego (knee) have been ruled out of the Chemelil match. Minnaert told Sports News Arena that Tololwa has a slight chance to play, but the best he can do is be on the bench.

The former Mathare United and Tusker FC man has been a key figure in Ingwe’s midfield and his absence will be a huge concern as they take on the sugar millers.

“I have come to know the history between Leopards and Chemelil and I know it is a tough match expected. But the motivation is we want to go for the international break on top of the standings and the only way we do that is by winning against Chemelil,” Minnaert said.

Leopards have beaten Chemelil only once in the league in the last 14 encounters, that coming way back in 2011.

Francis Baraza’s Chemelil have had a checkered start to the season picking a win, two draws and one loss.

Baraza remains optimistic his new look Chemelil side is oiling well together and will crack Leopards in Nairobi. If Leopards fail to beat Chemelil, then their position at the apex is in danger with Tusker FC, Mathare United, Posta Rangers and Ulinzi Stars breathing on their necks.

Tusker will be at home to Ushuru FC while Mathare travel away to Thika United. Posta will be in Mumias taking on Kakamega Homeboyz and a win for them will propel them to the apex if Ingwe lose.

Ulinzi Stars is one of the three teams not to lose this season while it is the only side yet to concede a goal after four rounds of matches. Robert Matano’s charges are fired up to challenge for the league crown this year and as they prepare to face Western Stima at home in Nakuru.

Muhoroni take on Sony

Elsewhere, under pressure Leonard Odipo will be taking charge of his third match at the Awendo Green Stadium when Sony Sugar welcomes Muhoroni Youth. Odipo, in his first stint as coach is yet to register a win and the sugar millers sit at the bottom of the pile with a single point.

Odipo came within touching distance of resignation two weeks ago, citing hostile working conditions.

However, after a meeting with the club’s top hierarchy, he decided to stay on and soldier despute the growing resistance.

Awendo inhabitants see Odipo as an ‘outsider’ and wanted last season’s caretaker coach Salim Babu to take over the job on a permanent role.

However, since Babu does not have the necessary qualification to work as a top tier head coach, Odipo was brought in.

It is said that whenever Odipo stands on the bench to feed out instruction to his players on match days, he is booed while whenever Babu stands, cheers rent the air.

But Odipo has challenged the Awendo fans to embrace change and support him as he seeks to get the club ticking and pick their first win of the season.

After the round five of matches, the league takes a two week break to allow the national team prepare for the African Cup of Nations Qualifying back to back match against Guinea Bissau.

Sportpesa Premier League weekend fixtures: Saturday: City Stars v Gor Mahia (Nyayo Stadium), Ulinzi Stars v Western Stima (Afraha Stadium), Kakamega Homeboyz v Posta Rangers (Mumias), Sony Sugar v Muhoroni Youth (Awendo) Sunday: AFC Leopards v Chemelil Sugar (Nyayo Stadium), Tusker FC v Ushuru FC (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Thika United v Mathare United (Thika County Stadium)