AFC Leopards vs Gor Mahia; The two Worlds Collide

 

 

There is nothing much that excites the local football fan as the Mashemeji derby. When perennial rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards meet, the whole country comes to a standstill, waiting for the two worlds to collide.

The rivalry between these two sides dates back from 1968 when they first met in a league match that saw William Ouma score a brace for Gor Mahia commonly known as Kogalo while AFC leopard’s consolation was scored by Henry Misango. A lot has changed since the 60s with players having retired, new once have come and even crossed sides..

Since 2001 Gor has collected 7 wins from this fixture in matches that were played full time while AFC have picked 7 wins as well. The two rivals have also drawn 9 times.

The last corresponding fixture between these two sides Lamine Diallo now at Ushuru tapped in a Yusuf Juma cross to settle the hotly contested fixture played at the Kasarani stadium.

AFC Leopards have had a season to forget and haven’t won a match in their last five outings. Their last win came way back in August when they beat Kakamega Homeboyz 3-2 in Mumias. A 2-2 away draw against Ulinzi Stars was a quite improved performance after a string of defeats that almost threatened their survival in the top flight. This will be the last assignment for stand-in coach Ezekiel Akwana who is paving way for Stewart Hall who takes over reigns next week. Ingwe’s Allan Katerrega is suspended for this match for accumulating five yellow cards and collecting a red card in their previous match against Ulinzi Stars.

Gor Mahia will come into this match from a 1-0 loss to Muhoroni Youth last Sunday followed by a 2-2 draw with Western Stima on Wednesday.

It is evident that the defending champions are struggling and coach Marcelo Ferreira is a man under pressure. The defending champions were at this point last year unplayable thanks to midfield prowess of the departed Khalid Aucho and Collins Okoth ‘Gatusso’. The two were a pillar in midfield and since they were separated, the team is struggling and winning convincingly.

KEY BATTLES:

Edwin Wafula and Eric Ouma

The wingbacks are known for the surging runs but the former has lost some pace in recent times. Ouma commonly known as Marcelo is fast rising star. He broke into Gor Mahia’s first team earlier this year, thanks to Abouba Sibomana’s poor form. Ever since, he has grown from good to better and seems to be improving by day. He is the key to Gor Mahia’s attack and Wafula has to be at his best to stop the Marcelo surge.

Bernard Mangoli and Francis Kahata

The two Kenyan internationals can unlock the game with a single pass. Mang’oli now the Ingwe captain limped out of action against Ulinzi Stars but is fit for selection in the match he loves most. Kahata on the other hand is regarded as the Kogalo engine. The midfielder best remembered for the amazing freekick that beat Vincent Enyeama when Kenya played Nigeria two years ago in Calabar can dictate the pace of the game and initiate attacks deep from his area. If he turns up to the game, Ingwe defenders will be in hot soup. 

Jackson Tuyisenge and Eugene Ambulwa

The Rwanda international Tuyisenge must be relishing for this clash after missing the first leg through injury. He is Gor Mahia’s leading marksman and very dangerous in the box. His wheezy runs and eye for goal should be a worry any defender facing him. On Sunday afternoon he comes face to face with Eugene Ambulwa. This promises to be an interesting battle because of the different fashions both players have. Tuyisenge loves the ball on his feet while Eugene is a hard man who is good at doing the dirty work. The bullish defender will have to be at his best once again to keep out the four million shillings man.

Key players

Boniface Oluoch

He missed the first leg but is set to retain his place ahead of Jerim Onyango. His confidence between the posts is unmatched in the league and that makes him the best goalkeeper locally. Afande however faces Kepha Aswani and Mungai Kiongera who have finally found their scoring touch and would shoot at any given opportunity. How he turns up for the game will however tell the story in the end.

Kepha Aswani

Ingwe’s leading scorer has 12 league goals to his name and cannot be ignored by any defender. His goal against Ulinzi Stars was his first in four games and he is best known for. He does not have much pace but his poacher instincts are second to none. He however has to be at his best to beat Kenya One Boniface Oluoch.

 Last 6 KPL head to head meetings

 

Gor Mahia 0-1 AFC Leopards (Lamine Diallo)

Gor Mahia vs AFC Leopards match was abandoned 2015(Gor Mahia awarded three points, KPL accusing AFC Leopards for causing fan trouble)

AFC Leopards 1-1 Gor Mahia (Jacob Keli, Ali Abondo)

Gor Mahia 2-2 AFC Leopards( Danny Sserunkuma 2, Martin Imbalambala, Noah Wafula)

AFC Leopards 3-1 Gor Mahia (Jacob Keli, Charles Okwemba Bernard Mang’oli, Timmonah Wanyonyi)

Gor Mahia 2-2 AFC Leopards ( Danny Sserunkuma David Owino, Paul Were, Noah Wafula)

Important stat:

 

Gor Mahia has never beaten AFC Leopards on a Sunday*

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