Zico hails K’Ogalo might, mourns deceased fans


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.com)

In Summary

  • Gor Mahia assistant coach Zedekiah 'Zico' Otieno has termed Sunday's 5-2 demolition of Thika United as a statement of the team's zeal to blast to more glory this season.
  • Gor are drawn against Algeria's USM Algiers, Tanzania's Yanga SC and Rwanda's Rayon Sport in the CAF inter-club competition.
  • Gor, who had an enormous task in Pretoria, South Africa on Wednesday where they eliminated SuperSport United from the CAF-Confederations Cup

Gor Mahia assistant coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno has termed Sunday’s 5-2 demolition of Thika United as a statement of the team’s zeal to blast to more glory this season.

The 16-time Kenyan Premier League champions emphatically tore Thika apart despite conceding an early goal at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos, to leap onto the summit of the log on 25 points, two more than closest challenger Mathare United, with three games to spare.

Gor, who had an enormous task in Pretoria, South Africa on Wednesday where they eliminated SuperSport United from the CAF-Confederations Cup, needed only two days to recover  for the local action which they comfortably handled with a largely second string squad.

On rotation, Zico, a former Gor defence ace, argued the club “has no absolute first team”, hence the classy display by the regular bench warmers.

“We didn’t win with a second team, at Gor we have no first team. It is about what you give us in training, that’s why we were so confident we would beat them (Thika) despite going down twice in the match.

“Look, we just insisted to our players, do it how you do in training. Your brothers fought hard in South Africa in the midweek match and so if they are rested, take your place in the team. Evidently, you saw the kind of football they played especially in the second half, second teams do not play that way,” charged Zico.

While early pace setters Mathare United and AFC Leopards appear to struggle to keep up with the pressure, K’Ogalo is comfortable to balance between the continental duty and domestic competition.

Mathare dented their run, falling 1-0 to newcomers Wazito on Saturday, while Leopards fell 1-0 to Bandari FC, allowing Gor to reclaim the top spot.

Gor Mahia FC forward Jacques Tuyisenge (C) challenges Thika United goalkeeper Allan Owiny during their Kenyan Premier League match at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on April 22, 2018. Gor mahia FC won 5-2. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

The 2008 champions are now second on the log with 23 points, while Leopards dropped to sixth giving way to Ulinzi, Bandari and Posta Rangers at third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Beyond the obvious

However, Zico noted the score should not be over-celebrated, saying the task ahead is humongous.

“The players have shown how determined they are to go beyond the obvious this season(challenging for the league title). We are now in the Confederations group stage and the opponents are out.

“There is nothing like easier opponents at this stage, all clubs qualified because they beat worthy rivals. We should therefore focus on the bigger picture, not dwelling on a local win as much as it is important,” Zico averred.

Gor are drawn against Algeria’s USM Algiers, Tanzania’s Yanga SC and Rwanda’s Rayon Sport in the CAF inter-club competition.

Meanwhile, Zico joined the K’Ogalo fraternity in mourning three souls that were lost in a tragic road carnage near Mlolongo along the Nairobi-Mombasa Road on Sunday.The deceased were part of the contingent that were heading to the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos for Sunday’s game.

“It is a sad day, losing ardent fans whose passion takes them miles from their residences to the stadium is a big loss to football at large.

“As we mourn we continue to advocate for proper conduct and sobriety among our supporters whenever they are travelling to watch their beloved team,” observed the tactician.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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