Joash, the defensive stalwart or simply the’dirty’ boy ?


Joash, the defensive stalwart or simply the'dirty' boy ?
Joash Onyango (L) of Kenya contest for the ball with Christian Atsu Twasam of Ghana during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on September 08, 2018. Kenya won 1-0. Photo/Sila Kiplagat/Sportpicha.

In Summary

  • Is Joash Onyango the menacing defensive stalwart that marks his territory with panache or simply the 'dirty' boy in the beautiful game of football?
  • Since the weekend game, the player has gained attraction and fame under the 'Joash-Act tag, and is today the most talked about Kenyan footballer.
  • So, who is Onyango? He is 25.Calm.Shy off the pitch. He joined Gor on Jan 1, 2017 from Western Stima and quickly established himself as an important cog at the heart of the team's defence,

Is Joash Onyango the menacing defensive stalwart that marks his territory with panache or simply the ‘dirty’ boy in the beautiful game ?

Since the weekend game, the player has gained fame under the ‘Joash-Act’ tag, and is today the most talked about Kenyan footballer.

On Saturday, he probably made the most important tackle of his football career when he hacked Ghana’s forward Majeed Warris from behind in the D-area when the forward was dashing for goal, ready to pull the trigger.

Unknown to Warris, Onyango who was closing in had other ideals, sweeping him off the ball and with it a free-kick at the edge of the box awarded to Ghana.

With it,  the Moi international Sports Centre terraces grew numb as they feared for the worst from the resultant free kick which fortunately ran into a defensive wall.

With his exit, the Stars had to fight tooth and nail for  a handsome 30 minutes to protect the slender win they had.

And with that, Stars earned a famous victory over the fancied Black Stars of Ghana, rekindling their hopes for a slot in next year’s Afcon finals set for Cameroon.

Joash Onyango (L) of Gor Mahia FC (L) tackle Collins Neto of Chemelil Sugar FC during their SporPesa Premier League match at the Moi stadium in Kisumu on September 14, 2017. Gor Mahia FC won 3-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

The  victory took Stars points tally to 3, thrusting the group wide open as each team has same points.

But beneath the adrenaline on the terraces, beneath the drama that ensued on the pitch, beneath the celebrations that went into the dressing room… beneath it all, a star was born and his football light  seems to shine  even brighter.

Flashback to May 16 as Gor Mahia tackled USM Algers at the same venue in a Caf-Confederations match, Onyago suffered the same fate, leaving K’Ogalo to sweat it out a man less for more than 60 minutes.

It’s however his latest act that has earned him admirers the most with fans, coaches and even striker Michael Olunga applauding him.

So, who is Onyango? He is 25.Calm.Shy off the pitch. He joined Gor on Jan 1, 2017 from Western Stima and quickly established himself as an important cog at the heart of the team’s defence, seamlessly fitting into the big shoes left by former skipper Musa Mohamed , who interestingly partnered him at the heart of the defence during Saturday’s knife-edge battle.

Meanwhile, Gor Mahia assistant coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno, a former K’Oalo great and ex-defender says there was “nothing wrong” with the action taken by Onyango that led to the red card last Saturday.

In fact Zico opines that at times, as coaches, they encourage defenders to ‘die’ for the team even if it means getting marching orders.

He lauded Onyango for his action saying he actually saved the nation from what was going to be a clear goal by the four- time African champions.

Zico related Onyango’s Saturday incident to the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals match where Uruguay player Luis Suarez stopped the ball with his hands to hand Ghana a missed penalty right at the death which would have made the Black Stars the first African team ever to cruise to the World Cup semi finals.

Suarez  got the red card, but Asamoah Gyan , failed to convert the resultant penalty,crushing the African dream while handing Uruguay the chance to sail to the semis after a painful penalty shoot-outs.

Gor Mahia FC assistant coach coach Zedekiah Zico Otieno. (PHOTO/File/Sportpicha.com)
Gor Mahia FC assistant coach coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno. (PHOTO/File/Sportpicha.

 According to ‘Zico’ , the tackle was bookable but for the good of Harambee Stars.

Zico however thinks that the red-card meted on Onyango against Algers was a blunder by the centre official.

Gor Mahia assistant secretary general Ronald Ngala also lauded the centre-back.

 ‘”When an opponent is attacking, you must use any means possible to stop him even if it means sustaining bruises. It is normal for a defender, goalkeeper and defensive midfielder to be given marching orders due to their defensive roles’’ Said Ngala.     

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