Tag Archives: K’ogalo

TUSKER FC: ONE FOOT ALREADY IN THE GRAVE, CAN THEY RECOVER?

One game into the Kenya Premier League, and Tusker F.C, one of our country’s most prolific football clubs, is sitting one position above the bottom of the table. The only thing separating the Brewers from the last place Sony Sugar is the goals scored, with the former having at least managed two more than the latter.

Shocking! Who would have ever imagined Tusker’s 2019/20 KPL season getting off to such a horrible start?

But, when you consider who they were playing against in this first match of the season, and how in-form their opponents were, then you can begin to cut the Brewers some slack.

For the first match of the season, Tusker FC went up against the formidable Gor Mahia, losing marvelously by 5 goals to 2.

In their last five matches, Tusker has only managed one win over their rivals, and secured a draw, with K’ogalo winning the rest. But, the most goals Gor has been able to score against Tusker in the most recent games is 2 goals.

This time around, however, they produced a stunning display against their opponents, managing to put 5 past them!

That just goes to show how ruthless Gor is planning to be this season.

Kenneth Muguna, Charles Momanyi, Nicholas Kipkirui, and Boniface Omondi were all on the scoresheet for K’ogalo, with the captain securing a brace for his team in that match.

Here goes Kipkirui celebrating his solitary goal against Tusker FC…

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These names might sound pretty familiar, and this is why…

…just less than a week before K’ogalo’s opening match against Tusker, the former was fighting it out with Aigle Noir for a chance to get into the next round of the CAF Champions League. They did so emphatically, thrashing their Burundian opponents 5 goals to 1. Kipkirui and Omondi were both on the scoresheet that day while Muguna was a force to reckon with in midfield.

Anyway, back to Tusker…

They weren’t sore losers though. They managed to pull back two goals during this horrendous game, thanks to Boniface Muchiri, their midfielder who also plays for the national team.

Here’s a glance at one of his incredible goals:

I think Muchiri’s input was the only bright spot for the Brewers, as everything else about them absolutely tanked!

Defending by Hillary Wandera and his cohorts was abysmal to say the least, with the left-back easily dispossessed by Kipkirui who seconds later scored Gor’s first goal of the afternoon.

Gabriel Wandera blundered his tackle on Wellington Ochieng, and subsequently, the Green Army was awarded a penalty in the 49th minute. Captain Muguna managed to score from the rebound as Mboya was unable to keep a lid on it.

Speaking of, Robert Mboya has definitely seen better goalkeeping days as any notable saves during the match were too few and far in between. He seemed helpless throughout the match as Gor continued to rain goals on its opponent.

What this goes to show is that the Brewers have a serious problem at the back, and there will be many teams looking to capitalize on this every time the opportunity presents itself.

 

The addition of three youthful players into the team, i.e., Marion Sifuna, Eric Zakayo, and Peter Waithaka could be a boost to Tusker’s campaign if everything goes according to plan. Maybe then, they can forget this nightmarish start to the season.

Sempala is also back to Tusker after a short stint at Gor Mahia. He signed a two-year contract with the Brewers, and I hope fans can start feeling his impact sooner rather than later.

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This weekend, Tusker will be up against a revitalized Mathare United that finished sixth last season.

The SlumBoys held last season’s title runner’s up, Bandari FC, to a barren draw in the first match of the season.

It is a bit premature to predict which of these teams can be able to stand up to the Green Army this season, but Tusker FC is already behind most of the obvious title challengers.

I’ll be waiting to see if they can indeed catch up with the rest of the contenders.

 

Good luck to the Brewers, and thank heavens for the Kenya Premier League!!

Tigwa bwega!!

spring

GOR MAHIA VS USM ALGER: A LOOK AT K’OGALO’S STRONG AND NOT SO STRONG POINTS

What a pleasant surprise to see Gor Mahia out of the preliminary stages and into the next round of the CAF Champions League.

For a minute there, after a goalless draw between K’ogalo and Aigle Noir in the first round of the preliminary stages, I was a bit worried about their chances of moving on to the next round. Honestly, I was a lot worried, not just a bit.

But, yes! They did it, and they did it so emphatically that now they are looking like a major threat in this premier African soccer tournament.

5 goals to 1 read the scoresheet once the final whistle was blown.

5 goals to 1!

It feels so good writing that, I had to do it twice.

K’ogalo and Kenyan fans, in general, have a lot to thank Nicholas Kipkirui for. His hattrick on this special day has propelled us a step closer to the group stages of the CAF tournament. He was a threat to the Burundian opponents from the first minute of the game, and his sustained attacks earned him a place on the scoresheet twice.

Now that we have done away with Aigle Noir, we move on to our next opponent, USM Alger. The last time that Gor played against this team was during the group stages of last season’s CAF Confederation Cup. Gor lost to the Algerians 2-1 on aggregate and were subsequently knocked out of the competition.

If the Kenyans can manage to beat this Algerian team this time around, Gor would have earned its place in the group stages of the CAF championship for the first time in the tournament’s history.

Their chances might improve significantly as reports have emerged that the Algerian team might not be able to continue with their CAF Championship journey due to financial constraints.

However, this does not mean that Gor should rest easy. If the matches proceed, then the Kenyan side needs to be ready as ever to exact revenge on the Algerians for last season’s thumping in the CAF Confederation.

K’ogalo

Strong Points

  • Threat at goal

Gor was impressive at goal in the second round of the preliminary stages, and I hope they can show the same excellence going forward.

I’m praying that Kipkirui can replicate his performance against the Burundians when playing against USM Alger in their upcoming CAF first-round match. Now, that will be a pleasure to watch!

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There is also the brilliant new signing, Dickson Ambundo, who managed to add his name to the scoresheet during his full debut as a Gor player. He also provided the assist to Omondi’s goal.

Boniface Omondi who was lethal as a midfielder against Aigle Noir, providing an assist as well as scoring the fifth goal for his team, should also be in excellent form to put the much-needed pressure on the Algerian defense.

He did have a chance to open the scoring at the beginning of the game and give his team the earliest of leads, but, he squandered the opportunity. I hope he will not be as wasteful in the upcoming match against the Algerians.

Hopefully, Francis Afiriye will be better at threatening goal than what we witnessed during the match against Bandari.

Areas to Be Concerned About

  • Defense

Aigle Noir were finally able to score a consolation game in the 77th minute mainly because of a miscommunication between the defense. This can prove quite catastrophic against a strong team such as USM Alger, which is bound to take swift advantages of such opportunities whenever they present themselves.

The defense, under the capable leadership of Joash Onyango, needs to bring its A-game against the Algerians. Any porosity on this end and Gor’s goose is cooked for sure!

Gor Mahia have just recently signed their new goalkeeper, David Mapigano, and he has been playing well as witnessed in his performance against Aigle Noir in the CAF preliminaries, and against Bandari in the Super Cup final.

We’ll just have to wait and see if he has the mettle to withstand  Alger’s threatening forwards including the likes of Aymen Mahious, and Oualid Ardji. These two were critical to their team’s defeat over Sonidep of Nigeria in the 2nd round of the CAF preliminary match.

  • Midfield

Not too much to worry about here as the new defensive midfielder, Tobias Otieno, impressed in the Super Cup final. He has the speed that Ernest Wendo lacks, which is a good thing, as it helps temper the opponent’s counter-attack, as well as helps on the break.

The only issue with the former Sony Sugar midfielder is that his timing when it comes to tackles is a problem, and as seen in their match against Bandari, this will result in several bookings if he does not improve on his timing.

He and Muguna should also work on improving their communication, and perfecting their passes for a more effective midfield collaboration.

 

With those few remarks, it’s going to be an entertaining round of matches to watch as September unfolds. Good luck to Gor Mahia.

 

But…

we are yet to determine if the Algerians will be able to make it to their match with Gor, so, K’ogalo fans can breathe easy for the moment, and just focus on the KPL.

SOCCER BLOG (1)

GOR ARE THROUGH TO CAFCC GROUP STAGES, NO THANKS TO THEIR MANAGEMENT

Hearty congratulations to Gor Mahia for making it into the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup. Awesome work guys and I am super proud of you!.

I wish this post would just end there, and I would bid you, dear reader, a wonderful evening. But, there is a poignant downside in this story, and it is a problem that needs to be addressed soon because now it is getting embarassing.

Right now, we should be focusing solely on how amazing this victory is for not only the club, but for our country. Better yet, we should be praising the K’ogalo boys for that rapid comeback  within a minute of their own goal, which demonstrates the character of the team. We should also be applauding them for going through this stage and managing to hold on to their advantage despite not having their best two players on the field. There are so many other beautiful aspects of their game last night that I would like this post to focus on.

Unfortunately, my attention is drawn to the fact that these boys almost did not make it for the second leg of the CAFCC draw in South Africa. In fact, if Mike Sonko had not stepped in and purchased those 30 air tickets for the team in just the nick of time, Gor Mahia would have had to forfeit the game, and we would have been the laughing stock of the entire region.

The Sports Ministry did not release the tickets in advance (because Gor presented a delegation of 40 individuals, I’m assuming), which meant Gor Mahia had to fend for themselves. This begs the question: doesn’t Gor Mahia have its own finances that could at least cater to their traveling expenses if the government is unable to do so? Like a small kitty for a rainy day that is enough to transport the core team (not 30-40 individuals) to a nearby country for a regional tournament? What does the management do with the club’s revenues after deducting salaries and remuneration? K’ogalo claims to be the most popular football club in East Africa so I expect it is attracting a lot of money from fans and the government. Where is this money going if Gor Mahia is being reduced to beggars hoping that a good samaritan will come along and pay their way?

The management knew that they would have to go to SA for a return leg back in March so why didn’t they start sourcing for funds then?

And what about the mixup over the visas for the players and officials? There was a serious delay in processing their visas owing to the club officials blatant disregard for the visa application rules of the SA embassy. They knew it took five days to process visas to South Africa, but the K’ogalo officials applied for them with only four days to go. The officials are blaming each other for the mixups and delays, which is just embarassing. Jeeeeeez!!

As if that wasn’t enough clusterfuckery from the club management, Tuyisenge and Guikan could not get the visas to SA because they did not have the appropriate Kenyan work permits. Problem after problem with no end in sight.

Or so it seems. You see, despite all of these problems, Gor Mahia won the draw, and with that comes a Ksh 27 million payout for reaching the group stages. That, for me, qualifies as an end in sight even if they do not progress in the competition. Let us hope that its management learns from this entire debacle, and saves some of that money to cater for their traveling expenses for the coming international games in the competition.

Let us also hope that they process the visas in time so that we do not go through this mess again.

Finally, this insistence on including unnecessary individuals in the travel delegation should end here! Even Sonko was conned when he had to pay for THIRTY individuals to go abroad for a football match. Keep the delegation small and people (including the govenment) will be more than willing to foot the expense, NKT!

Anyway, good job Kahata, good job. Your country thanks you (for coming through for us).