Legend Oduor lays it bare as giants Gor, Zamalek prepare for crunch rematch


Gor Mahia FC celebrate Ephrem Guikan's goal during their Kenyan Premier League match at Kasarani ...
Gor Mahia FC celebrate Ephrem Guikan's goal during their Kenyan Premier League match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on December 12, 2018. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha/Citizen

In Summary

  • As the clock ticks to the eagerly awaited CAF Confederations Cup Group ‘D’ match between Kenyan giants Gor Mahia and Egyptian powerhouse Esperance, set for Sunday at the Moi International  Sports Centre, Kasarani, memories of their last encounter 35 years ago, is still fresh in the minds of K'Ogalo legends.
  • Some of the players who featured in that nasty clash in 1984 in Egypt, which resulted into a 2-year ban from continental football for Gor, and suspension of six of its players, are still adamant the record KPL winners can prevail against the White Knights.

As the clock ticks to the eagerly awaited CAF Confederations Cup Group ‘D’ match between Kenyan giants Gor Mahia and Egyptian powerhouse Esperance, set for Sunday at the Moi International  Sports Centre, Kasarani, memories of their last encounter 35 years ago, is still fresh in the minds of K’Ogalo legends.

Some of the players who featured in that nasty clash in 1984 in Egypt, which resulted into a 2-year ban from continental football for Gor, and suspension of six of its players, are still adamant the record KPL winners can prevail against the White Knights, as Zamalek are fondly known.

Then Gor Mahia skipper Austin “Makamu’’ Oduor says with motivation and proper officiating, the Kenyan giants can make a mark, not just in the match but in the competition.

Gor Mahia FC fans cheer their team against Lobi Stars FC of Nigeria during their Caf Confederation Cup first round match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on December 16, 2018. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

“Nowadays Zamalek cannot use comic tactics to win a game since football has matured over the years. With dedication and proper motivation, Gor Mahia can prove a point,’’Oduor,  captain of the all-conquering 1987 squad and father to former ‘ Kenya One’ Arnold Origi said.

Oduor, recalling how the 1984 contest aborted in Cairo due to what he termed as ‘poor officiating”, leading to fracas, is adamant the  Kenyan champions can avenge, but in a positive manner.

‘’We disputed the penalty (that was awarded to Zamalek) but coach Len Julians convinced us to carry on and it was converted. But we were further annoyed by the referee who red carded Abbas(Magongo) after the spot kick, which is contrary to football rules ,” added Oduor.

Irked by the development, Gor players harangued the match referee after George Otieno ‘’Solo’’ had grabbed the red card from the referee, bit and tore it into pieces, prompting a scuffle between players the rival players, as fans invaded the pitch and the match was called off.

FrontRow: David Ochieng, Tom Gundo, Jaffer Mwidau, Dan Miswa, George Otieno Solo, Anthony Ndolo, Peter Ochieng Pierre, Ben Oloo Breakdance, Sammy Onyango Ahmed Shero

What followed thereafter was a suspension of six  Gor players – Abbey Nassur, George Otieno ‘Solo’, Abbas  Khamis Magongo, George Onyango ‘Fundi’, Peter Otieno ‘Bassanga’ and Abdallah Shebe – as well as coach Len Julians.

They were each slapped with a two-year ban by Caf.

Zamalek currently sits at the helm of the 18-team Egyptian Premier League on 41 points from 16 matches, having won 13, drawn twice and lost one.

Zamalek are also an African powerhouse having won the Caf Champions League 5 times. This rich experience and the past rivalry makes for a special meeting between them and Gor and coach Hassan Oktay will be under pressure to get his boys off to a winning start in the group match.

The match kicks off at 4pm at Kasarani . K’Ogalo will thereafter fly out to Angola to play their second Group D match slated for February 13 in Luanda.

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Story By Milton Ochieng
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