K’Ogalo say it is GORTv and Leopards roar INGOTv
SPORTS By Tony Anelka | November 15th 2013
|Gor Mahia’s Edwin Lavatsa and Leopards Seda battle it out in a past derby match played at Nyayo. [PHOTO: STANDARD/FILE]|
By Tony Anelka
In the absence of Kenyan Premier League and foreign leagues, the city of Nairobi will grind to a halt this Sunday when two soccer giants of Kenya Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards go head-to-head at Nyayo national stadium in GoTv finals clash.
The match will mark end of 2013 season football calendar and is expected to be a match of its own kind. It’s all about a derby game that captures the raw emotion and passion of the two large fan bases. Due to the long football rivalry between the two sides, their encounter is always considered the fiercest match in the country ahead of other matches. The derby has been historically marked by massive crowds, excitement and off the pitch colours that do spice up the match day atmosphere.
This will be the third time Gor and AFC will be locking horns this year. In their last meeting – a league match in August this year, the two sides played out a four-goal thriller, with Gor Mahia producing a stirring comeback to earn a 2-2 draw at Kasarani.
Looking at the two sides, they are teams with quality players in various departments and Leopards under their caretaker coach- James Nandwa, the team was in a scintillating form towards the culmination of the Kenyan Premier League though they suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Bandari. There will be so much attacking talent on show that this game can’t produce anything other than goals. Allan Wanga who has been at the peak of his form will be leading Leopards attack together with the speedy Paul Were and Noah Wafula. On the other side, Gor Mahia’s Dan Sserunkuma will be the main man upfront for K’Ogalo and it should be noted that since he came to Kenya, the Ugandan is the only player to have scored anytime he plays against AFC Leopards – six times to be precise.
AFC Leopards coach James Nandwa will be facing Bobby Williamson for the first time in league matches though the two have met before while on international duties as the head coaches of Harambee stars and Uganda cranes respectively. Despite the magnitude of the match, Nandwa insisted that his team is not under pressure. “The most important thing is that we will play at the continental stage next year by virtue of being in the GOtv final. This in itself takes away the pressure from this match and we are therefore relaxed and just looking to enjoy ourselves,” said Nandwa.
Bobby Williamson know the importance of being the head coach of a club like Gor Mahia and what winning matches means to the club. “This is a big club and whenever they get onto the pitch, the expectation is always to win and this does not take it away on Sunday. We still expect to win and we are going for a win,” said Williamson.
- In all competitions which includes league matches, FKF cup matches and top 8 tournament, Gor Mahia have been getting the better side if AFC in the past three years by registering as total of four wins while Leopards just managing one win out of their last seven meetings.
-In the last three years, AFC Leopards have registered the biggest win between the two sides without conceding a goal by pulling a 3-0 win in October 2011.
AFC Leopards v Gor Mahia (0-1, 2-2)- 2013
AFC Leopards v Gor Mahia (1-2 FKF semis, Top 8-Gor awarded walk-over, 1-2, 0-0)-2012
AFC Leopards v Gor Mahia (3-0, 1-3)-2011
Probable line up:
Gor Mahia Starting XI : Jerim Onyango (Gk), Musa Mohammed, David Owino, Israel Emuge, Donald Mosoti, Eric Ochieng, Joseph Njuguna, Joseph Wanyonyi, Dan Sserenkuma, Paul Kiongera, Kevin Omondi
AFC- Starting XI: Martin Musalia (Gk), Augustine Etemesi, Juma Abdallah, Antony Kimani, Jackson Saleh, Martin Imbalambala (Cpt), Peter Opiyo, Paul Were, Noah Wafula, Allan Wanga, Mike Baraza
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