Gor hunt for first season win in the Zoo

Gor hunt for first season win in the Zoo

When Gor Mahia’s towering captain Harun Shakava struts out of the dug-out at 4 pm to lead his charges to a potentially bruising league battle against Zoo Kericho at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Wednesday, nothing will be on his mind other than victory.

Rightly so, K’Ogalo have had a horrible start to their title defence losing 2-1 to Bandari last weekend at the coastal city of Mombasa.

This defeat was preceded by a 1-0 loss to Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi in regulation  time in a Caf -Champions League preliminary match, making for a 1-1 aggregate before K’Ogalo prevailed in the penalty lotteries.

Prior to the match in Blantyre, Malawi, Gor had also blown the chance to win their first trophy of the campaign losing 1-0 to Kariobangi Sharks in the season opener, the KPL Super Cup.

This poor spate of results has not gone down too well with their ever demanding fans and Shakava is putting his foot down ahead of the clash.

“We lost to Bandari not because we played badly; we created enough chances and outplayed them in every department,” said Shakava as he underpinned his team’s quality.

“Bandari applied delay tactics because they knew we were attacking them every time and chances were that we could have equalized and even scored the winner. That’s why they chose the wrong tactics,” he said in an apparent slam on the  tactics deployed by the dockers.

Zoo in the cross-hairs

As much as Gor has had a poor start, Zoo aren’t doing well either.

At the weekend, in their season opener, they fell 0-2 in the hands of Nzoia Sugar at home at the Green Stadium, Kericho and when they visit the capital, they’ll hope to go toe-for-toe with the champions.

For Gor probably, the confirmation of Hassan Oktay as the club’s new head coach on a two-year deal taking over from Briton Dylan Kerr who resigned last month should be a motivation.

After the first round of the KPL matches, Zoo sit in the danger zone at position 16 with no point , while Gor, also with no point, are placed three places above them by virtue of the goal they scored against the dockers.

K’Ogalo having raised the bar so high last term, will count on the predatory skills of lead striker Jacques Tuyisenge and Nicholas Kipkirui who will be facing his former side for the first time since he swapped the yellow jersey for the famed green shirt of K’Ogalo.

At the same time, Shakava who alongside George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo is the longest serving member of the K’Ogalo squad maintains the playing unit is still gelling but should fire on all cylinders once they get their groove.

“We are still gelling as a team .We had new players who joined us in pre season but it won’t take us long before you see the best of K’Ogalo,”Shakava asserted.

With the stakes high, the 17- time league champions will want to avoid another defeat by all means having lost three games in all competitions.

With a hectic run of fixtures, K’Ogalo will quickly shift their attention to the Caf-Champions League first round tie against Nigeria’s Lobi Stars on Sunday at Kasarani.

Match Fact-File

Home team-Gor Mahia

Venue- Kasarani

Kick-off time- 4pm