Whopping 27 points separate table topping Gor Mahia and their long-time rivals AFC Leopards ahead of Sunday’s derby at Kasarani stadium. Nonetheless, Ingwe are determined to end their seven-game winless run against K’Ogalo and further mess their nemesis’ early title hopes.
Gor Mahia will move to within one point of wrapping their 18th league title should they rule the ‘Mashemeji Derby’ but Rwandan tactician Andre Casa Mbungo, credited with lifting the weary cat out of relegation mess to mid table comfort, is drawing a different script.
Mbungo rested three players credited with Ingwe’s recent splendid form in their 1-0 loss to KCB in mid-week. Kayumba Soter, David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng and Paul Were did not start as the bankers completed a double over Ingwe but the trio will be deployed to stop and probably slay K’Ogalo.
Soter and Cheche have helped stabilise Ingwe’s leaky back line while sensational Were is lethal in attack, terrorising defences with lightning pace and mesmerising footwork.
“Bring it on,” Mbungo charged when brought to his attention his side’s head-to-head record against Gor Mahia in recent games.
“We will show what we are made of. The last few games have gone sour but that happens to every team. This derby is however, a big game for us and we must rise to the occasion not just because of pride but we do want to finish in the best possible position. We’ll give them a deserved respect, not too much and i’m confident of walking away with the points,” the Rwandan told Wikendi Sport
Gor Mahia too rested their first team in midweek loss to Nzoia Sugar but will take no chances in the derby. The fastest way of gaining legendary status at Gor Mahia is winning the league and beating AFC Leopards. Oktay knows this and is one match away from completing the feat.
The Turk tactician masterminded Gor Mahia’s first leg victory over Ingwe with Kenneth Muguna and Francis Kahata scoring in the 2-0 victory in February. Oktay’s flirting with the 18th potential title is beginning to cause jitters as Gor Mahia keeping passing the chance to wrap it up. After presiding over the team’s sixth league loss of the season, Oktay wants to close it in style.
“We are not champions yet, but very close. Mathematically, others have a chance so it would be better to finish the job. Leopards is very much improved from the team we played in the first leg but we have played even bigger teams and won so we are not worried. I’m not worried and the boys are not worried,” Oktay said ahead of the duel
Leopards have vastly improved under Casa Mbungo and will definitely give K’Ogalo a run for their money. Ingwe currently play the most attacking football in the division while K’Ogalo, with title in sight, are on a decline. -JAMES MAGAYI