By gulping Tusker to their fill, Gor proved why they are the team to beat
- Gor Mahia captain Kenneth Muguna has warned Kenyan Premier League (KPL) rivals there is no lacuna in the playing unit despite several high profile departures in the preseason, after leading his teammates in a 5-2 chastening show over Tusker FC on Sunday.
- Gor used the home ground advantage to silence the visitors who had initially shown an impressive resilience with their marksman Boniface Muchir
Analysis, Jacob Icia
Gor Mahia captain Kenneth Muguna has warned Kenyan Premier League (KPL) rivals there is no lacuna in the playing unit despite several high profile departures in the preseason, after leading his teammates in a 5-2 chastening show over Tusker FC on Sunday.
Gor used the home ground advantage to silence the visitors who had initially shown an impressive resilience with their marksman Boniface Muchiri striking twice to force a 2-2 tie by the hour mark, but an all attacking mentality subdued the Brewers late in the clash to become the most prolific team in the first round of the season.
A side that lost both head coach Hassan Oktay and his assistant Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno in the preseason, especially the former leaving just before the season opener was expected to deflate Gor’s campaign, moreso at the early stages.
Gor also lost the best players of last season in every department. Centre back Harun Shakava, who skippered K’Ogalo since the exit of Musa Mohammed, left for Zambian top league side Nkana Red Devils. Prior to his departure he had lifted five KPL crowns.
In the midfield, Francis Kahata, a man credited for his near impeccable creativity by most of the coaches and teammates who have worked with him, left for Tanzania’s Simba SC while Gor’s most lethal striker since the departure of Medie Kagere, Jacques Tuyisenge found a new home in Angola.
However, with three competitive matches wins so far both at the continental and local scene, Muguna underscores K’Ogalo is not just about to rest on their laurels.
“There was a lot of talk in the preseason that this campaign will offer us an acid test. Many changes in the team occurred and we were doubted, but so far we have demonstrated we are ready than most people thought. Those who left did their part and it’s now our challenge to write a new chapter in Gor’s history,” said Muguna, who led by example to grab a brace in the thriller.
Gor beat Bandari by a solitary goal to lift the season curtain raiser, the KPL Super Cup, before thrashing Burundi champions Aigle Noir 5-1 in the return match of the CAF Champions League preliminary round despite drawing them 0-0 in the away fixture, to get the ball rolling in a super speed for the 2019/20 season.
Notably, the new players in the Gor squad are already settling in well and their impact being felt.
Goalkeeper David Mapigano, an import from Tanzania has stamped his authority between the goal posts and Boniface Oluoch appears to have been completely relegated to the bench. Two clean sheets in four matches credits his scouts for his signature.
Another new blood Tobias Otieno is fast rising to be a darling of the green army due to his skill and work ethic in midfield. Assistant coach Patrick Odhiambo could not leave the youthful Otieno at Awendo when he decamped to Gor, and the dividends are being enjoyed already.
Dickson Ambundo has become a regular starter at Gor, the Tanzanian partnering a terrific Nicholas Kipkirui in the attack. Although the former has not been as clinical as Tuyisenge was, there are tell-tale signs the two can tear apart any local opponent on a good day.
Poignantly, Kipkirui has confidently said he wants the KPL Golden Boot by end of the season as Gor hunt for the fourth straight league title.
Only in the defence does Gor, Charles Momanyi in particular, appears to have a lot of work to do, to fit in Shakava’s shoes while partnering the no nonsense Joash Onyango.
Meanwhile, Tusker head coach Robert Matano slammed his players for what he called four easily given goals in the forgettable defeat.
“We only conceded one acceptable goal by Muguna, the rest were such easy goals. I’m not happy at all; we have to seriously address this. Muchiri did his best, he played how he’s supposed to play but we failed him. He scored twice but we couldn’t support his good job,” an upset Matano said after the match.
Gor next face Chemelil Sugar as Tusker hosts Mathare United, on the September 14, after the international break.
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