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Gor Mahia are back to reclaim their lost glory

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | November 2nd 2021
Gor Mahia's Boniface Omondi (left) and Peter Lwasa celebrating their victory against Kariobangi Sharks during FKF Premier League match at The Moi International Sports centre on Wednesday, October 27, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia have maintained their perfect start to the 2021-2022 FKF Premier League after edging out Sofapaka over the weekend.

Five rounds into season and K’Ogalo are still unbeaten in the four rounds of matches played.

The former champion's victories against KCB (2-1), AFC Leopards (1-0), Kariobangi Sharks (2-0) and Sofapaka (1-0) rekindles their form last when they dominated the league from 2017 to 2020 where they won four consecutive titles.

Even more encouraging for the 19-time Premier League champions is their steel defence that has only shipped in one goal in four fixtures.

The four wins have propelled Gor to joint top in the league standings with 12 points alongside Bandari and Kakamega Homeboyz and with a game in hand.

This begs the question, is K’Ogalo back to reclaim its lost glory?

Gor Mahia head coach Mark Harrison believes they still have a lot of work to do but he is happy with their current position.

“We have been controlling our matches well in the first half, which was also evident against Sofapaka where we denied them the ball and stifle their attacks. In the final half, we are poor by always allowing our opponents space to attack, but am happy with the defense,” said Harrison.

“We still have a long way to go. We have to learn to stay composed, stay in control and keep the ball moving,” added the tactician who replaced Portuguese coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto. 

The English tactician, who joined Gor two months ago, insists a strong defense will win them the title this season and called on his players to keep working hard.

“We have been defending the box well in our last three matches including goalkeepers making crucial saves and I'm happy with that. Tight defense will help us get more wins,” said the coach who was happy with the return of fans.

Gor are not the only side with an unblemished record. Kakamega Homeboyz are also unbeaten after winning their four matches.

Homeboyz have edged out Kenya Police 1-0, Wazito 1-0, Posta Rangers 2-0 and recently defeated rivals Vihiga Bullets 3-2 in a five-goal thriller on Sunday.

The Kakamega-based club alongside Gor are tied on 12 points each and are behind league leaders Bandari on goal difference. Homeboyz are second due to the number of goals scored with Gor third.

Meanwhile, a new star has been born at Kariobangi Sharks in striker Felix Oluoch.

Sharks were left with a big void to fill when their captain and 2020/21 Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot winner Erick Kapaito left the club for Ethiopia’s Arba Minch in September.

Kapaito scored an incredible 24 goals to bag the awards. However, the problem seems to be solved with Oluoch showing early signs of stepping up to fill the void.

After opening his account with a brace in Sharks’ 3-0 win over Vihiga Bullets on October 20, Oluoch shone again on Sunday with his first hat-trick in their 6-0 win over Mathare United that propelled him to the summit of the top scorers chart with five goals.

Elsewhere, defending champions Tusker registered their first win of the season in a 2-1 win over Wazito. Despite breaking the bank to sign 10-new players, the brewers got off to a terrible start with 1-0 and 2-1 losses to AFC Leopards and Talanta.

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