Gor Mahia begin their latest continental adventure with a game versus Malawi soccer giants Nyasa Big Bullets.
This will be Gor Mahia’s 105th game in continental competitions but only the third time they will be taking to the field against Malawian opposition – having previously faced Yamaha Wanderers in a two -legged first round fixture in 1977.
On that occasion, the Malawians stunned K’Ogalo 2-1 at City Stadium with Andrew Obunga scoring the consolation for Gor Mahia.
Just when the Malawians were expected to wrap up qualifications in the in the second leg, Allan Thigo’s brace took the match into penalty shoot-outs where Gor won 5-3 thus eliminating the Malawians.
The next time Gor Mahia would face Malawian opposition was during the 1980 CECAFA semi-finals when Ugandan Tim Ayieko’s goal ensured a 1-1 draw against Limbe Leaf. Gor Mahia would go on to win the penalty shootouts before lifting their inaugural CECAFA cup by beating Abaluhya (now AFC Leopards) in the final.
It would take another Ugandan to force a draw the next time Gor Mahia met Malawi opposition, once again in the CECAFA tournament. Abbey Nassur’s goal forced a 1-1 draw against the current opponents – by then known as Bata Bullets.
Berec Power Pack came calling during the 1984 CECAFA semi-finals and it took an own goal from them to enable Gor Mahia prevail 1-0 and book a final date with arch-rivals AFC Leopards.
Gor Mahia’s last match against Malawian opposition would occur in 1985 as a brace from James Goro Oronge and another goal by George Nyangi Odembo ensured a 3-0 win over Limbe Leaf to go ahead to win the 1985 CECAFA Cup.
After a magnificent run in this year’s continental competition, expectations are high among the Green Army – that Gor Mahia will produce a performance that will take them beyond the Malawians.