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Date: 26 March 2019

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KENYA: AFC, Gor Mahia set for epic battle

[Posted 16 Mar 2012]
[By Charles Malingha]
KENYA: AFC, Gor Mahia set for epic battle

At exactly 15:00 Hours this Sunday, the premier show of Kenyan football will be staged.

The theatre is Nyayo National Stadium and the protagonists are two traditional rivals of peerless pedigree.

AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia will do an impossibly brilliant battle under the enchanted gaze of 30,000 fanatical fans present and millions more from around the country.

At stake is an almost unimaginable pride, fired by decades of deep rivalry. These, of course, are the most successful clubs in Kenyan history.

In the recent past though, Gor have been the better side. When Leopards were struggling in the Nationwide League, Gor were calling the shots in the Premier League.

When Gor were driving fans to the stadium in their thousands, Leopards were sacking coaches left, right and centre.

’Mzungu’ called Wepukhulu

That was until one mzungu appeared on the scene.

  • In under a year, Jan Koops has transformed Ingwe from a mid-table side to title contenders. The Luhya, the base of the club’s support, last year christened him ’Wepukhulu’.

To his credit, Koops has gelled admirably with his new ’relatives’. He has – by design or sheer luck – enjoyed tremendous success with Leopards in a short period.

His titanic appetite for success has propelled Ingwe forward like a hungry leopard; his wisdom in reading the game and making match-winning substitutions – as he cleverly did against a stubborn Muhoroni Youth last weekend – would make John "Bobby" Ogolla envious.

Won just one match

You may call it Dutch magic. Gor head into the match with worrying statistics: They have won just one match this season and are painfully languishing in the relegation zone, a massive 10 points behind Leopards.

After their midweek 0-2 loss to Tusker, they will need more than a miracle to get anything out of the Sunday game. Theirs is a team in a crisis – bruised egos, low morale and beckoning demotion.

Their strikers, once the best in the league, now fire blanks (Peter Dawo must be a disappointed man). Their midfielders lack creativity and their defenders are just too porous.


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