Friday, 10 March 2017

The Curse of the New Boys - Hunting the Sharks

The Kenya Premier League is finally back after a delayed start orchastrated by the tussle over the number of teams to participate in the league and the club licensing fiasco. Gor Mahia has been drawn to play debutants Kariobangi Sharks in Thika and the Green Army will be expecting nothing short of a victory. The team has strengthened, notably in the midfield where it was felt that the departure of Ugandan midfield kingpin Khalid Aucho mid last season played a big role in derailing their quest for an unprecendented fourth consecutive league title. Aided by the fact that they will be playing a promoted team will no doubt add to a feeling of optimism.

But wait a second, when did Gor Mahia last win a match in their first encounter with a promoted team? Last year we beat newly promoted Kakamega Homeboyz 3-0 but that was after drawing with Posta Rangers 0-0.  Infact one has to go all the way back to 2010, when a double by Duncan Owiti "Macheda" (remember him?) and a goal by George Odhiambo "Blackberry" condemned Mahakama to a 3-1 defeat. Since then we have drawn 3 (Posta Rangers, Kakamega Homeboyz, Congo United) and lost 2 (Nakuru All Stars and Muhoroni Youth). Infact since 2011 we have not scored a goal in our first match of the season against a promoted team. Our record in the second match is slightly better, beating Kakamega Homeboyz last year and Bandari in 2011. The rest has been draws with a loss against Oserian in 2012.

Duncan Owiti "Macheda" was on the double the last time K'Ogalo won their first meeting against a newly promoted side

Gor Mahia has come a long way since that day in 2011 when Ezekiel Odera and Dan Makori were on the scoresheet against Congo United (the last time we scored a goal in our first match of the season against a promoted team) and fans will hope that the attacking force of Tuyisenge and Timothy Otieno who are the likely starters will finally break that duck.

Below are the results of our first encounters against newly promoted teams

Posta Rangers 0-0
Kakamega Homoboyz 3-0

Nakuru All Stars 0-2
KRA 0-0

Kakamega Homeboyz 0-0
Bandari 0-0

Muhoroni Youth 0-1
Oserian 0-1

Congo 2-2
Bandari 1-0

Mahakama 3-1
Posta Rangers 1-0