K’Ogalo, Ingwe derby draws near
It is arguably the most important game in the country’s football league calendar.
Whenever Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards play, the local football fraternity stands still to take notice.
The two giants of Kenyan football will once renew their age-long rivalry at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday beginning 3pm.
Although 12-time champions, AFC Leopards are the hosts, they head into the derby as underdogs going by current form, financial struggles as well as turbulence within their technical bench that has marred their campaign.
Ingwe have blown hot and cold posting two wins, two draws and a loss in five outings, while Gor Mahia have notched three straight victories.
The only blot for K’Ogalo so far has been their exit from the Caf Champions League at the hands of Congolese side AC Leopards who eliminated them 2-0 on aggregate.
However, based on domestic form and performance so far Gor Mahia will start as favourites to win the match.
But this is football; you can never rule out anything in the derby. In Croat Zdravko Logarusic, they have a master tactician who understands Gor Mahia very well having coached the club just two years ago.
During his stint, Logarusic was a constant thorn in the backside of Leopards and the Ingwe Nation will be hoping he does the same to his former employers.
So far the Croat’s stay at the Den has not been a very comfortable one. After the 1-0 defeat to Ulinzi Stars at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, he tore into his players.
“The team is full of passengers, who do not deserve to don the club jersey. I will have to undertake a major rebuilding in June. Most of them are also unfit and not ready for the rigorous matches,” Logarusic lamented.
For now, the club fans will be hoping that he focuses on the team’s preparation for Sunday’s match rather engaging in sideshows.
Regardless, a meeting of the two teams in any day is sure to produce a fierce football contest.
Meanwhile, GOtv Shield holders Sofapaka come from a goal down to salvage a draw against host Muhoroni Youth in a Kenyan Premier League match played on Wednesday at Muhoroni Stadium.
Collins Shivachi scored the equalizer to cancel out Abass Akinyemi penalty in the first half that saw Muhoroni dominate proceedings from the first minute.
“The game was tough and snatching a draw against such a tough opponent isn’t bad for my boys,” said Muhoroni Youth Mike Mururi.
His opposite number Sam Timbe was on the contrary not pleased with his team’s performance.
“We all saw the game and am not impressed with the result although our opponents were a better side,” he said.
Sofapaka remain placed 11th in the log with six points, a tally they share with their opponents but are separated on goal difference.