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Remembering never-say-die Gor lads who wrestled down Esperance

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By TOM OSANJO
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December 5 remains a very special day in the history of this country and in the world.

It is on this day 32 years ago that Gor Mahia became the first and only Kenyan and East African club to win a continental title, the Africa Cup Winners Cup.

This cup had just been renamed the Nelson Mandela Cup in honour of South Africa’s freedom fighter and first black president Nelson Mandela.

On December 5, 2013, the world was sent into mourning after one of the greatest sons of Africa Nelson Mandela passed on.

The coincidence of the two events is very interesting.

I look back with nostalgia, the day Austin “Makamu” Oduor lifted the Nelson Mandela Cup at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani after edging out Tunisian team Esperance.

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Just like many other ecstatic K’Ogalo fans, I had trekked from our humble abode in Dandora to Kasarani Stadium early in the morning to be part of this historic moment.

My beloved Gor Mahia had fought gallantly to hold Esperance 2-2 in Tunis and Kasarani was pregnant on this day, the title was going to be delivered.

A few pessimists feared a repeat of the 1979 finals when Gor Mahia was mauled by Cameroon side Canon Younde.

But as it is said, lightning does not strike twice, Gor Mahia was never going to allow this title to leave Kenya.

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Gor Mahia had come all the way to the finals unbeaten. They beat El-Mereikh of Sudan in the second round, Entente Sportif of Togo in the quarter-finals and Benin moneybag side Dragons in the semi-finals before a date with Esperance.

Fought like wounded lions

At Kasarani Stadium, Esperance used all the dirty tricks just as they had in the first leg, but Gor Mahia players, led by Austin Oduor, were never going to be put down.

At some point, a Tunisia player tried to poke Peter ‘Omuga’ Dawo’s eyes but that never worked to kill the spirit.

And when Dawo rose to head home Gor Mahia’s goal, the newly-built Moi International Sports Complex nearly came down.

Despite the Tunisians forcing an equaliser, Gor Mahia were declared champions. I spare this space to honour the great players who brought glory to this country.

David Ochieng, Tobias Ocholla, George Otieno Solo, Peter Otieno Bassanga, Austin Oduor, Isaiah Omondi, Charles Otieno, George Nyangi, Peter ‘Artillery’ Ochieng Pierre, Peter Dawo, Sammy Onyango, Tom Gundo, Jaffer Mwidau, Dan Miswa, Anthony Ndolo, Ben ‘Breakdance’ Oloo, Ahmed Shero

Valentine Odongo, Swaleh Ochieng, Fanuel Oluoch, Hezborn Omollo, Abbas Magongo, George Onyango, Tirus Omondi. Thank you very much.

These are the true heroes of Kenyan football. The legends of K’Ogalo.

And as December 5 came to pass, I looked back on this day years ago when this group of players brought pride to Kenyan and East African football.

I pray for another success story from Gor Mahia one day. The spirit of K’Ogalo and the spirit of Nelson Mandela lives on.

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Solskjaer hopes fans will cheer not jeer on return to Old Trafford

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LONDON, United Kingdom, May 17 – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Manchester United fans will ditch their protests against club owners, the Glazer family, and cheer on the team when supporters return to Old Trafford for the first time in more than a year on Tuesday.

United’s last three home games have featured fans protesting against the Glazers after they signed up to the European Super League before the supporters furious reaction saw them withdraw hastily.

United’s home game with Liverpool had to be postponed earlier this month when fans broke into the stadium and got onto the pitch.

The re-scheduled game last Thursday also featured protests outside the ground — as did last Tuesday’s home defeat to Leicester.

Solskjaer wants to hear more positive sounds when they host relegated Fulham where victory would secure them second place in the table.

Around 10,000 fans are expected to attend as the latest easing of the British government’s coronavirus restrictions comes into force.

Although some clubs welcomed back around 2,000 fans for a short spell last December the last time a club entertained a sell out crowd was Leicester’s 4-0 win against Aston Villa at the King Power Stadium on March 9, 2020.

“We’ve been waiting for a long, long time to welcome the fans back,” said Solskjaer at his eve-of-match press conference.

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“Of course the last couple of home games, especially the Liverpool ones with the protests…

“It’s never nice to see a club that is not united, fans with the team, so we’re hoping that Tuesday is going to be a positive day that we move together, that we play a good game of football.”

– ‘Harry is our leader’ –

Solskjaer, though, blames the protests for their last two home defeats to Leicester and Liverpool.

Even without the protests United’a overall home form this season has been poor — six defeats in all — and effectively cost them giving champions Manchester City a run for their money in the title race.

Their away form by contrast has been scintillating — unbeaten on the road in the Premier League this season and have not lost an away league game in 15 months.

“I just didn’t want to use it as an excuse because we lost two games but surely it’s a reason behind the performances,” he replied when asked if the protests had affected his players.

The last two home defeats have also come with defensive talisman Harry Maguire out of action with an ankle injury suffered in the win over Aston Villa on May 9.

The England star will not play again in the league — United have two matches remaining — but Solskjaer reiterated he would be given right up to the last moment to prove his fitness for the Europa League final against Spanish side Villarreal on May 26.

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“We’ve known it all along but maybe some people open their eyes more when he’s not playing,” said Solskjaer.

“Harry is our leader and our captain. We’re consciously taking the route of not testing him out too early because we don’t want to aggravate something.”

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Top team by June 30 to represent Kenya in CAF Champions League

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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has agreed that the team which will top the BetKing Premier League standings by June 30 will represent Kenya in the 2021-22 CAF Champions League.

In a circular sent to clubs on Monday evening, the Federation has stated that CAF’s directive to have names forwarded to them for representatives in Inter-Club competitions has necessitated the decision.

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“Consequently, and in consideration that the BetKing Premier League calendar may not be concluded before the aforementioned date, due to the disruption occasioned by the COVID 19 pandemic, the FKF Leagues and Competitions Committee, in a meeting held on May 7, 2021, resolved that the FKF PL representative in the CAF Champions League shall be the team at the top of the table, as at June 30, 2021,” a letter to clubs, signed by FKF CEO Barry Otieno stated.

Eleven-time champions Tusker FC currently lead the standings with 34 points, two ahead of second placed AFC Leopards.

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Woman gang raped in Mathare as chaos continues

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Tension is still high in Mathare’s Mlango Kubwa following tribal clashes that rocked the area on Sunday morning.

Today morning a woman was allegedly gang raped by one tribal faction that was reportedly seeking revenge from the other.

The woman was taken to the MSF Hospital in Mathare where she was treated and discharged.

A section of youth who spoke to Ghetto Radio news says that the rape incident irked them hence the resumption of the chaos.

ALSO READ;http://16 People Injured In Mathare Tribal Clashes

“We had cooled down but now they have gang raped a woman. This is the second day that we are experiencing chaos,” stated Moha an area resident.

More than 16 people and four police officers were injured in the chaos that lasted the whole morning on Sunday.

At least 40 people were arrested in the chaos.


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