Cautious Gor out to finish Tusker Top 8 job
Gor Mahia will leave nothing to chance in their second leg of the KPL Top 8 semi-final against Tusker FC on Sunday despite carrying a commanding 2-0 lead, assistant coach Tom Ogweno declared.
The former Harambee Stars international also talked up the team’s potential of clinching the league, Top 8 and GOtv Shield treble this season.
“It won’t be an easy match. Tusker are a big team and they want to turn around last weekend’s result. The complaint they raised on the fielding of Baron Oketch hit the wall which makes them more of a wounded lion heading to the match.
“We will give our best we have no chance for mistakes,” the former Ulinzi Stars coach told.
Rwanda international Jacques Tuyisenge and former Sofapaka striker Enoch Agwanda were on target as K’Ogalo strolled to a healthy advantage in the away leg against a surprisingly limp Tusker side, a result that demands Paul Nkata’s charges to score three unanswered goals to progress to the finals.
“We started the game badly which is the main reason we lost. They got two early goals and continued pressing a high line making it difficult for us to create any meaningful chance. We now have to go back and prepare for the second leg and see if we can overturn the deficit,” Nkata lamented after the loss.
And his captain James Situma believes Sunday’s game will be a different affair.
“Yes, we can overturn the first leg score. As much as we have respect for Gor who have a good team, we also have the character to bounce back from a two-goal deficit. We have experienced players who can do it.
“We need to have the right attitude considering we will be playing away. Within 45 minutes they had scored the two goals so you can’t rule out anything when 90 have not been played,” the former Sofapaka skipper charged.
He also backed his teammate, Humphrey Mieno, not to be distracted by the club rejecting his transfer to Gor.
“Humphrey Mieno is a mature player, he may have wished to join Gor but now that the deal has not gone through he can focus on his current club. If the coach fields him I expect maximum output,” he added.
“I think it’s too early for anyone to make conclusions. Even the eventual result cannot judge who will win the league. These are different competitions which teams play with different approaches. In a scenario of knock-out competition you tend to play more open football which is different with the league,” the defender said in dismissing their rival’s treble-winning claims.
The 15-times KPL champions head coach Marcello ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira and Team Manager Jolawi Obondo are on record saying the team is gunning for the treble.
With the additions of Wellington Ochieng, Oketch and Thiago da Silva thus far in the transfer window competition in the squad for starting places including Sunday’s fixture has increased.
“We are all training hard since you never know what awaits you. The best thing about our coach is that you can’t predict him. Last weekend many did not expect him to start with some of the players he fielded against Tusker,” Amos Nondi, the side’s under-20 ace who featured in the first leg win told.
Captain Jerim Onyango enjoyed a rare start ahead of regular Boniface Oluoch while Agwanda got the nod ahead of George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo.
“This is the way to go. Sunday is another different day with its different things. All players in Gor are there because they are good. The changes we are doing should not amuse anyone,” Ogweno explained.
At the same time, Marco Aurelio, the new assistant coach at K’Ogalo has settled in the club and was visibly calling the shots at Friday’s training at Nairobi’s Camp Toyoyo grounds on Friday.
A player who sought anonymity told Citizen Digital that the Brazilian has added more professionalism in the way training is conducted.
“Like Ze Maria he has played football in big stage and there is no guess work here. I really appreciate his professionalism,” the player told.
Aurelio, who was recommended by Ze Maria arrived on June 3 alongside compatriot Thiago who is yet to acquire the International Transfer Certificate ITC.
Gor’s match will be preceded by Ulinzi Stars versus Muhoroni Youth at 2pm local time (+3GMT) with both deadlocked at 0-0 after the first leg.