Gor, Muhoroni Top 8 final to be played in October


Muhoroni Youth FC players celebrate after making the KPL Top 8 final on away goals following ...
(FILE)Muhoroni Youth FC players celebrate after making the KPL Top 8 final on away goals following their 1-1 draw with Ulinzi Stars FC on June 19, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicvha

The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) has set the Top 8 final for October in welcome news for the underdogs Muhoroni Youth who missed two of their dependable players in Sunday’s semifinal besides seeing top scorer, Wycliffe Ochomo limp off injured in the second half.

KPL Operations, Liaison and Logistics manager, Frank Okoth told Citizen Digital on Monday that the decider for the knock-out competition will be contested between champions Gor and Muhoroni on the weekend of October 15 and 16.

“Gor are travelling for Cecafa and the fixture list is full since we must play the final at the weekend. This will give the chance for Gor to have finished their regional duties and also most of their league fixtures,” Okoth said.

On the possibility of playing the final in the coastal city of Mombasa, the KPL official ruled it out highlighting renovations to the Mombasa Municipal Stadium were yet to be complete.

The development comes as a relief for Muhoroni after playing on Sunday without midfielder Henry Rono who was ill while first choice goalkeeper Farouk Shikhalo was serving a one match suspension.

Ochomo was then forced out in the 62nd minute of their 1-1 draw against Ulinzi Stars that saw them progress on the away goals rule.

Assistant coach Tom Juma, who took over from sacked James Omondi last month led the Kisumu side to qualify for their maiden final after a barren stalemate in the opening leg hosted by Muhoroni.

The former Harambee Stars international warned Gor the final will not be a walk in the park.

“Gor has fans’ advantage and generally has good team which has been together for long, everybody is expecting us to lose but we will give it to our best.

“We are reporting to training tomorrow but we are really focused we want to see if we can win the cup. We know Gor is a very difficult team, it has good players but we will look at their strong point and weakness and come up with a winning strategy.

“For now Ochomo who limped off yesterday (Sunday) and Rono who fell sick are recovering, they are both crucial players to the team,’’ Juma told.

 

Moses Adagala, the chairman of the club, hailed his team for the unprecedented achievement.

“I want to congratulate my players, my able technical bench and anyone associated with this team. This is a big achievement for Muhoroni Youth family. We have been growing year by year and I am happy that we have qualified for Top 8 final.

“I would also like to thank God for guiding this team always, we are a self-sponsored team but we are competing favorably with the big clubs in the country. Our aim is winning the title and we direct all our energies towards that,” the elated Adagala proclaimed.

Gor’s head coach Marcello ‘Ze Maria’ Fereirra said he respects the Awasi based side, but insisted they are going to retain their crown.

“Muhoroni is a good team, I saw their match during the first leg with Ulinzi so I think the final will be a good game. This is our mentality, upon the finals we have to fight until we secure a win and nothing less, remarked the Brazilian.

K’Ogalo Captain Jerimy Onyango underscored the KPL 15-times champions will leave nothing to chance in the finals.

“I’m very happy to be in the 2016 finals, whenever Gor wins, I feel like I am the one who has won, we are very confident to lift the title.

Muhoroni are planning to make history as this is their first time to reach the finals where the winner will pocket Ksh1m.

K’Ogalo secured a 2-0 win against Tusker in the first leg before sealing their slot by silencing the Brewers 1-0 in the return.

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