Big test for Gor without Ze Maria: After Brazilian’s exit, ‘Zico’ is back to guide K’ Ogalo in Kinoru on Sunday

By Gilbert Wandera: Sunday, June 18th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
GOR MAHIA VS CHEMELIL- THIKA STADIUM Gor Mahia Ernest Wendo(L) and Faraj Odenyi of Chemelil battle for ball possession during their Sportpesa Premier League match at Thika Stadium on Wednesday 10/05/17.PHOTO.BONIFACE OKENDO

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Gor Mahia will head to the match against Sofapaka on Sunday at Kinoru Stadium without coach Jose Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ as the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) resumes after a three-week break.

On Thursday, the Brazilian threw in the towel just days after leading Gor in crushing arch-rivals AFC Leopards 3-0 to lift the Sportpesa Super Cup in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In the absence of Ze Maria, former international Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno will guide Gor Mahia. He is no stranger to the club as he coached the side in 2011 where they finished second on the KPL log apart from of course being an ex player at K’Ogalo.

He was also in-charge of Gor Mahia in all Super Cup matches except in the final and would be credited with a fair share of the glory. ‘Zico’ has his work cut out on Sundayas he seeks to win the hearts of Gor fans, most of whom have questioned his ability to guide the club into reclaiming the KPL title this year.

Despite Ze Maria’s exit, Gor Mahia have a pool of talent to beat Sofapaka. Boniface Oluoch, the highly-fancied goalkeeper and a number of key players are back from international duty.

Meddie Kagere is expected to re-enact his goal scoring displays which earned him top scorer prize in the Super Cup tournament.

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Sofapaka are no doubt enjoying a great season after struggling last year and they are expected to pose problems to Gor Mahia.

Coach Sam Ssimbwa said he respects Gor Mahia but ready to give them a run for their money.

“They are a good team but we don’t fear them. We have the squad to compete on equal terms with them,” he said.