Gor and Simba in chase for dream trip: Daggers drawn as East Africa’s giants clash in Nakuru

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Sunday, June 10th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Geoffrey Walusimbi(right) of Gor Mahia battles for the ball with Salum Kipaga of Singida United during the sportpesa Supercup at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on June 7,2018.Photo:Kipsang Joseph/Standard

The writing is on the wall. The jury is about to deliver the landmark ruling on beneficiaries of the prized tickets to Goodison in England.

And the clash between defending championships Gor Mahia and Simba SC will no doubt send adrenaline levels running high at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru today at 3pm.

Apart from getting a once-in-life time opportunity to play the English Premier League side Everton at their own backyard, in Merseyside, there are also regional bragging rights and Sh3m in cash prize at stake. The showdown, which will be a repeat of the 1981 Kagame Cup final at City Stadium, in which Gor beat Simba 1-0, will be preceded by a 12pm third place play-offs encounter pitting Singida United against Kakamega Homeboyz.

But with a bad blood simmering between Gor coach Dylan Kerr and Simba management, his former employers, has made the final to be labeled a 'classic match'. The Briton has had a frosty relationship with the Wekundu Wa Msimbazi's management since they fired him just six months into his tenure.

Their already fiery relationship hit rock bottom on Thursday when Kerr accused one of the Simba officials of disrespecting him by storming the pitch to congratulate Singida United players after their 2-0 semifinal defeat to the record Kenyan champions.

While Gor have proved to be in a class of their own, scoring five goals without conceding any in their last two matches, Simba prevailed over Kariobangi Sharks (3-2) and Kakamega Homeboyz (5-4) in penalty shoot outs.
But it seems Kerr was the happiest coaches in the semifinals, leaping and punching a fist through the air after Kagere fired in his second goal  an indication that his dream of meeting Simba in the final had come to fruition.
"I have nothing to prove against Simba, but it is a final that i really wanted. It is a final and the winner goes to England. Whether we win it on penalties or in 90 minutes we want to go to Goodison Park," said Kerr.

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"Simba have won two matches through penalties, but the final is a massive opportunity to go and showcase your quality in England. That's a once in lifetime opportunity.

"It will be a tough game and we have to come into that fixture, ready, prepared and with the right attitude. From the fantastic Singida game, I now have a difficult task to pick a team to go and play Simba today."

However, for Simba coach Masoud Djuma, who has been elevated to acting capacity following the exit of Frenchman Pierre Lechantre, they are in Kenya on a mission possible.

"We are here on a mission. We have had a very good domestic season and we want to go back home with the trophy Gor Mahia took away from us last year," said Djuma.

"Whether we win it through shoot outs or not, we want to end our season on a high note."

Today's Super Cup finals
Singida United v Kakamega Homeboyz-Third place playoffs (12)
Gor Mahia v Simba-Final (3pm)
Today's SPL fixtures
Mathare United v Thika United-Machakos (3pm)
Sony Sugar v Nakumatt-Awendo (3pm)
Posta Rangers v Tusker-Camp Toyoyo (Camp Toyoyo)
Vihiga United v Zoo Kericho-Mumias (3pm)
Chemelil Sugar v Bandari-Awasi (3pm)