For casual local soccer fans, it may be difficult to fully understand the tough journey towards Gor Mahia’s eventual triumph.
To say it was difficult journey is an understatement particularly considering that the KPL had tightly squeezed fixtures combined with continental assignments on K’Ogalo’s plate There was no way one would believe in the possibility of accomplishing this seemingly mission impossible.
A mixture of upsets, hopeful moments and moments of hopelessness were some of emotional intrigues in the K’ogalo family. In fact, at one point there was little hope that anything tangible would happen in Gor Mahia den with all local teams laughing at the shaky “Mayienga”.
Teams would find it so easy to sail through to victory when playing against Gor Mahia. Bandari registered a 2-1 victory at the Mbaraki sports grounds in Mombasa on the 8th of December 2018 casting doubts if Gor Mahia would be anywhere close to the title race.
Gor would later meet Zoo Kericho and register a convincing win that revealed mighty Gor was back to winning ways. Skeptics though were not convinced with some indicating that Zoo Kericho were minnows with little experience thus could not be a measure of prowess.
K’Ogalo would later meet Kariobangi Sharks and the result was a sad loss, a loss that would cause much bickering within K’ogalo fraternity.
With all that was happening locally and concurrent continental assignments, Gor Mahia were perceived to be on survival mode even after a narrow win against Malawian giants – Nyasa Big Bullets in a CAF preliminary match. (read Ondiek grabs late winner as Gor Mahia beat Big Bullets).
January 2nd 2019: Gor Mahia vs Chemelil Sugar
Gor Mahia would start the new year against Chemelil sugar and win 2:0, with goals courtesy of Nicholas Kipkirui and Boniface Omondi. The win rejuvenated the green army as other teams bragged while dancing on the KPL summit.
Meeting Mathare United on the 6th of January dented the hopeful mood in the Gor camp after a 1-1 draw registered at the Moi Sports Center – Kasarani. K’Ogalo were surely on the path to uncertain times.
Despite the lackluster performance in the domestic league Gor Mahia were averagely good at the CAF level after going through round one in the preliminary round, beating Nyasa Big Bullets away from home in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 goal aggregate. The win was attributed to custodian Boniface Oluoch’s fantastic saves. (read Gor Mahia win in Malawi, sail to next stage of CAF competition)
Gor Mahia later met Posta Rangers, winning 2-1 with goals coming from striker Denis Oliech and Charles Momanyi. Another positive result came after beating Mount Kenya United 4-1, bringing back hope to passionate followers. The game that followed was devastating with Gor Mahia losing 1-0 to KCB.
After the KCB match, Gor Mahia went on to win four games consecutively, beating arch rivals AFC Leopards, close league contenders Sofapaka in the process. These results could be attributed to the CAF positive outings where Gor beat African giants Zamalek and Algerian side Hussein Dey at home.
After bowing out of the CAF Confederation Cup, Gor Mahia embarked on only one mission, to win the local title and get back the ticket to the prestigious continental soccer league. They pumped more energy on the KPL and the end result was positive with only one loss against Nzoia Sugar at the Mumias sports Complex.
As the saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, Gor Mahia started with one step and made it.
We conclude with the Clubs’ treasurer message :
“It gives me great pleasure to say that I am part of an amazing Club who have given their absolute best to retain the KPL title 3 times in a row.
What a joy to have been there at the games, traveled with the multitude of fans, supported our players at home and in foreign lands to see them attain victory after victory.
We are indeed so proud and motivated by the success of the team and the overall teamwork that has been unrivaled and humbling to see.
As we await the trophy presentation this Saturday, we can only reiterate that football in this country has come a long way, and with proper management, this sport will change the lives of many young men and women who have chosen to eke a living from it.
We look forward to the next season with hope and expectation because we intend to better ourselves and learn from every mishap. Well done Sirkal…..Well done. We came, We played, We conquered. Let the celebrations begin”…