Will Gor Mahia finally wrap up SPL title?

By Gilbert Wandera: Wednesday, May 22nd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Francis Kahata (L) of Gor Mahia FC tackle Paul Were of AFC Leopards SC during their Kenyan Premier League match dubbed Mashemeji Derby at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on May 19, 2019. Gor Mahia continued their march lead towards the 2018/ 2019 SportPesa Premier League title with a convincing 3-1 victory over AFC Leopards. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay has warned his players to be wary of Vihiga United ahead of today’s SportPesa Premier League (SPL) match at Machakos Stadium.

Gor Mahia are two points away from being crowned champions for the 18th time after edging out AFC Leopards 3-1 on Sunday.

But Oktay has urged his players not to underrate their opponents whom he fears will come at them with everything.

“Vihiga United can afford to lose every game but against us. For them, beating Gor Mahia is like winning a World Cup fixture and we have to take the match seriously.

“It is not over yet, until the final game. It is only after that that we can start to celebrate and relax,” he said.

Oktay also admitted that the team is poorer of without injured Dennis Oliech who has been ruled out for six weeks after suffering injury.

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“We were waiting for him to his form. He is such a great striker and had shown great improvement after being out for a long time. That injury was a big blow for us and for him. I believe he would have made it back to the national team Harambee Stars.”

Oktay said even though he is injured, Oliech continues to inspire the players everyone from outside.

He also expressed delight that his key players have picked form towards the end of the season.

“Keneth Muguna is playing very well. He has been fantastic. If I was working somewhere else, I would take him with me. Whatever I say to him, he does and it has been fantastic.

“Samuel Onyango is unbelievable. Joash Onyango and Haroun Shakava are the best partners at the back,” he said.

Vihiga United are battling relegation and unlike Gor Mahia desperately need three points to survive.

The team has fallen down on bad times following reduction of support from the county government.

At its peak, Vihiga United were a force to reckon with and could stand their own against  Gor Mahia.

With the title almost gone, the battle for second place will also play out today.

Second-placed Bandari are at Kasarani against Mathare United with coach Bernard Mwalala insisting he is proud of his team’s performance.

“When you look at the challenges we have gone through as a team, injuries and long travels, we are very proud of our performance and what we have achieved,” he said.

Sofapaka host Chemelil Sugar this afternoon at Machakos Stadium hoping to pick maximum points and pray that Bandari falters for them to be assured of a second place.

Fixtures 

Today - Sofapaka v Chemelil Sugar (Machakos-2p.m), Mathare United v Bandari (Kasarani), Ulinzi Stars v Kariobangi Sharks (Afraha), Nzoia Sugar v KCB (Sudi), Western Stima v Posta Rangers (Kisumu), Kakamega Homeboyz v Sony Sugar (Bukhungu), Gor Mahia v Vihiga United (Machakos 4.15p.m).

Tomorrow - Mt. Kenya United v AFC Leopards (Machakos) and Tusker v Zoo Kericho (Ruaraka). All matches kick off at 3 p.m unless stated.

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