Gor, arise, go win the match!


Gor Mahia FC head coach Dylan Kerr and his players applaud the home fans following ...
(FILE)Gor Mahia FC head coach Dylan Kerr and his players applaud the home fans following their 3-0 win over JKU SC of Zanzibar on Sunday, June 3 2018 in Nakuru. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

In Summary

  • Gor Mahia face a battle of nerves this evening when they tackle AS Ports of Djibouti in their final Group B game of the Cecafa Kagame Cup chasing for a win of any kind to safeguard a place in the Cup quarters.
  • What had seemed a sure bet has turned out to be a constant pain on their backs if not a bad smell after they drew their first two matches against Rayon Sports and Lydia Ludic.
  • K'Ogalo, the bookmakers favourites in the pre-tourney shot themselves on the foot when they rested on their laurels after assuming a 2-0 lead against Rwandan opposition Rayon to end up 2-2.

Isaac Swila in Dar, Tanzania

Gor Mahia face a battle of nerves this evening when they tackle AS Ports of Djibouti in their final Group B game of the Cecafa Kagame Cup chasing for a win of any kind to safeguard a place in the quarters.

What had seemed a sure bet has turned out to be a constant pain on their backs if not a bad smell after they drew their first two matches against Rayon Sports and Lydia Ludic.

K’Ogalo, the bookmakers favourites in the pre-tourney shot themselves on the foot when they rested on their laurels after assuming a 2-0 lead against Rwandan opposition Rayon to end up 2-2.

This draw,  seemingly,  had a knock-on effect on the players with coach Dylan Kerr citing fatigue and off-pitch issues as the contributing factor to the second half capitulation.

However, two days later, against Ludic, Gor were awful, conceding a goal in the second minute and needed a last-gasp penalty by Rwandan man Jacques Tuyisenge to salvage them a point in another battling 2-2 draw.

Kerr was not pleased with the display and remarked: “They are not not players. I’ll have to pick players who are ready to fight for the badge,”he said in the wake of the draw at the Azam Sports Complex.

These outcomes have put Gor in a tight corner from where they must box their way out.

George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo of Gor Mahia FC takes on Oliver Niyonzima (left) and Abdoul Rwatubaye (center) of Rayon Sports during their CECAFA Kagame Cup clash at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on July 1, 2018. (PHOTO/Sportpicha)
(file)George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo of Gor Mahia FC takes on Oliver Niyonzima (left) and Abdoul Rwatubaye (center) of Rayon Sports during their CECAFA Kagame Cup clash at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on July 1, 2018. (PHOTO/Sportpicha)

With Ports winning their first game against Lydia and drawing with Rayon, the Djibouti side sit atop the table on four points and are as good as through no matter the direction the 6pm clash takes.

So delicate is the dice that whoever wins between Gor, Rayon and Ports can emerge as the group leaders. Losing has huge ramifications with an early flight home a not so far remote option.

The top two group finishers automatically earn the quarters chances while there are two best losers slots up for grabs across the group .

With Jeshi La Kujenga Uchumi(JKU) having earned four points in Group A to finish third behind Azam(7 points) and Vipers SC(5 points),  it means only one slot for the best losers is up for grabs and this compounds the matrix even further for Gor, Ludic and Rayon.

From Group C, Simba and Singida United, all on 7 points, are already through to the last eight.

Gor’s participation in the 40th edition of the competition has been marred by endless speculation linking their play-maker Francis Kahata to Simba and Kerr lashed at the Tanzanian outfit for unsettling his player.

“There is  a lot of pressure on Kahata because Simba is illegally talking to my player.That may be affecting him.It affects all the players as well because Francis is a good player,” Kerr lamented.

However, ahead of today’s match, Kerr has drawn the line insisting that his boys will win the match and storm to the last eight.

We do it in training; to try and score goals because we create a lot of chances. We gonna just be more composed.We want to score.We want to score.That is the difference. We are on 2(points), Rayon are on 2, Ports are on 4. So Ports want to win the game and we definitely got to win the game with the shout of qualifying,” he noted.

A win for Gor will all but turn around the narrative here which has been dominated by off the pitch- issues with skipper Harun Shakava intimating in the wake of the 2-2 draw with Lydia Ludic that the team was no-longer motivated.

In the meantime, the squad will have to temporarily forget the troubles and give a performance worthy of the shirt if they are to romp into the quarters.

Fixtures

Ports v Gor Mahia- 6pm- National Stadium

Lydia v Rayon- 6pm- Chamazi

Yesterday’s Results

Vipers 3-0 Kator

Azam 2-1 JKU

APR 4-1 Dakadaha

Simba 1-1 Singida

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Story By Isaac Swila
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