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Kenyan football fans react to Gor Mahia appointing new coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto

FOOTBALL By Robert Abong'o | January 11th 2021
New Gor Mahia head coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto from Portugal. [Photo:Gor Mahia - Twitter]

Kenyan champions Gor Mahia on Sunday, January 10 announced the appointment of tactician Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto as new head coach on a two-year deal.

This development comes three months after Brazilian Roberto Oliveira parted ways with the club following his disqualification from handling the team in the continental competition.

Confirming the appointment via Twitter, the club said: “The new coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto has penned a two-year deal."

The 46-year-old will today watch his new side play against Kariobangi Sharks from the stands at the MISC Kasarani.

His previous stints in Africa saw him managed clubs such as Recreativo do Libolo, Recreativo da Caala in Angola, St. Georges of Ethiopia and also Famalicão U23 of Portugal.

Kenyan football fans took to social media to react to the news, Standard Sports sampling a few:

Gor Mahia will take on Zambian outfit NAPSA Stars in the CAF Confederation Cup group stage play-off following a draw done on Wednesday at CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.

K’Ogalo host NAPSA in the first leg in Nairobi on February 14 with the return leg seven days later.

Gor Mahia FC's Bertrand Konfor (left) and Amir Sayoudof CR Belouizdad, Algeria, during the second leg CAF Champions League at Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday, Jan 6, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Gor Mahia were relegated to the Confederation Cup after being thrashed 8-1 on aggregate by Algerian side CR Belouizdad in the CAF Champions League first round.

NAPSA Stars advanced to the play-offs on the away goal rule following a 1-1 aggregate score against Mozambique’s UD Songo.

The record Kenyan champions were facing an uphill task and needed to score seven unanswered goals to progress to the group stages of the prestigious continental showpiece after suffering a humiliating 6-0 defeat to the seven-time Algerian champions on December 26.

Burundian striker Jules Ulimwengu put Gor Mahia ahead in the 18th minute only for Amir Sayoud, who was the tormentor-in-chief scoring a hat-trick on Boxing Day, to cancel it out with a brilliant free-kick in the 78th minute before setting up Abdelkader Belharane for the winner six minutes later.

Unlike the Algiers trip where Gor’s defensive frailties and profligate attack were heavily exposed as they were reduced to a bunch of mooching, stumbling green-shirted spectators, at Nyayo K’Ogalo looked a bit more organised and comfortable with the ball before they crumbled again in the second half.

While Gor were seeking redemption, the Algerians were out to assert the North African teams’ dominance against the Kenyans.

No broadcast

The return of captain Kenneth Muguna from injury gave Gor Mahia some inspiration as he released through Ulimwengu for the opener in a match that was marred by some broadcast rights (live stream) controversy between the hosts and Football Kenya Federation (FKF).

The unpleasing broadcasting incidents aside, Gor appears to have shot themselves in the foot ahead of the first round encounter. The players had mentally and physiologically lost the two-legged fixture even before stepping onto the pitch.

Just like the first leg, the build-up to this game had been overshadowed by the news of poor preparation from Gor Mahia camp, unstable technical bench and players’ go-slows due to unpaid salaries.

Though Kenyan teams have seen worse losses against North African oppositions in the recent past, Gor’s 8-1 humiliation at the hands of Belouizdad looked like a repeat of the embarrassing 6-0 defeat to Cameroon’s Cannon Yaounde in the reverse tie of the 1979 African Cup Winners’ Cup final. The Cameroonian side won the trophy 8-0 on aggregate following their 2-0 victory in the first leg fixture in Nairobi

Last year, Gor Mahia also lost 6-1 on aggregate to another Algerian side USM Alger at the same stage of this competition.

But from AFC Leopards’ 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Egyptian giants Al Ahly in 1987 to Gor’s 5-0 defeat to Tunisia’s Esperance in 2014 and Zamalek (2011) and Smouha (2017) both hammering Ulinzi Stars 4-0, North African teams have been a hard nut to crack for Kenyan clubs.

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