Connect with us


Eternal rivals Leopards, Gor clash in ‘Mashemeji derby’



More by this Author

Red-hot AFC Leopards host league leaders Gor Mahia in what is anticipated to be an explosive ‘Mashemeji derby’ pitting the most successful football clubs in Kenya at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Sunday afternoon.

The eagerly-awaited Kenyan Premier League match between the two giants which boast 31 league titles between them, kicks off at 3pm. Gor Mahia won the first leg encounter 4-1.

The 18-time Kenyan champions are yet to lose to AFC Leopards since 2016, something Ingwe coach Anthony ‘Modo’ Kimani has said will not count in this match.

AFC Leopards head into the match on a high, having won seven out of their last nine matches. The big cats lost 2-1 to Posta Rangers on January 8 and went down 1-0 to Tusker on February 2. Reigning champions K’Ogalo have been blowing hot and cold this season even as they look to continue their dominance over their arch-rivals.

Even more worrying for Gor is the team’s leaking defence which has conceded eight goals in the last five league matches.

K’Ogalo have registered narrow 3-2 victories in the last two league matches against Zoo Kericho and Western Stima. Before the two matches, K’Ogalo were forced to come from behind to beat FKF Division One team Naivas 3-2 in the FKF Cup.


This should worry Gor coach Steven Polack who has termed AFC Leopards “a tough opponent” and has called on his charges to do the job on the pitch so as silence their opponents, and to give their fans something to cheer about.

“I don’t care what they say but I have heard they are talking as if they have won the match. We will not fall for their mind games and trash talk but we will stay focused to ensure we silence them by doing the job on the pitch,” Polack told Nation Sport.

He was reacting to war of words between AFC Leopards fans and those of Gor in which ‘Ingwe’ supporters bragged that the team will maul Gor Mahia.

Kimani has said that his team has lacked mental strength in previous meetings between the two clubs, something he said he has been working on in the team’s training sessions.

“We have lost to Gor Mahia in recent derbies not because we were the poor team but due to lack of mental strength and character. We have worked on that and I have urged my players to stay focused throughout the match. We are confident of a win,” said the former Kenyan international, who also played for AFC Leopards in both legs of the 2013 ‘Mashemeji derby.’

K’Ogalo will welcoming back Joash Onyango, who was red-carded in the team’s match against Western Stima three weeks ago. A notable absentee for Gor Mahia will be defender Wellington Ochieng who is still sidelined with an ankle injury.

If selected, Gor Mahia’s Cliffton Miheso will be the only player to have played for both sides in the current ‘K’Ogalo’ squad.

Ugandan import Juma Balinya could also feature in his first ‘Mashemeji derby’ for Gor Mahia if he is included in the match day squad.

AFC Leopards will also miss the services of Marvin Nabwire who is injured.

Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier and his AFC Leopards counterpart Dan Shikanda have called on fans from both sides to shun acts of hooliganism witnessed in the first leg irrespective of the result on the pitch.

A win for ‘K’Ogalo’ will help them cement their lead on top of the table.

Source link