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K’Ogalo in crisis as Bandari rise

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BOB-WILLIAMSONNAIROBI, Kenya, March 30 – Some are calling it a curse. Others are screaming for the team to show character and win matches. A few are calling for Bobby Williamson’s head. It can only mean that Gor Mahia, the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions are in crisis.

The Green Army is up in arms after their beloved troops slumped to a second loss of the season to a struggling side when Bandari put aside their own woes to topple the champions 2-1 at Mombasa County Stadium on Sunday.

It came a week after basement side Top Fry stunned them 2-0 and in between, they contrived to draw against log leaders Tusker FC 1-1 despite dominating the game and playing against nine men for over 10 minutes.

They say it never rains, it pours and for K’Ogalo, the high of a first title in 18 years is quickly turning to a nightmare. The side that swatted everyone aside with panache last season is a pale shadow of itself amid reports of ongoing unrest within their ranks.

“We must start playing Football. We don’t want blame games. We are the defending Champions we must show character.

“We must start winning games. The solution is in us (as) fans we will always support the team but we need results, score goals even if it’s (like) Suarez period!” Barrack ‘head surgery’ posted on the club’s Face book wall.

There are those who maintained the club was hexed.

“We failed to visit Kanyamwa to thank Gor Mahia wuod Ogalo after taking the league after 18yrs of dry spell. The spirits of Wuod Ogalo are now haunting us. We will take the league again after 100 years, thank you,” Dancun Kosele held.

Williamson, the Scot who led them to the crown after succeeding fan favourite, Croatian Zradvko Logarusic, also came for some stick.

“Besides Uganda Cranes which other football team has Bobby Williamson successfully coached? (I) think the guy is just an opportunist. He thrives on efforts of others. In short he is a tourist,” Owino Aminer wrote.

Others quoting some media outlets, posted Williamson, who has enjoyed a frosty relationship with the Gor faithful, had been sent packing with his assistant, Bobby Ogolla, taking over in an interim basis.

However, club secretary, Chris Omondi, told Capital FM the reports saying the Scot was still in charge.

Omondi disclosed the club that will have no sponsor on Tuesday will announce a new partner within a fortnight with Bamburi Cement among those being considered.

Besides not securing a sponsor yet, the club is said to have been rocked by a row between players and management over bonuses accruing to them from the reward for winning the league and featuring in the GOtv Shield final.

For Bandari who moved up to 12th on seven points, the win served to calm the waters after Twahir Muhiddin’s side failed to improve on their fifth finish last season to endure a torrid start to the season.

Amid concern, the rank and file of the team met to discuss the rot last week and Gor were the unfortunate victims of their resolve.

“We did well last week and we had the momentum swinging our way going into this match.

“Majid and David Naftali made use of the gaps in the Gor Mahia midfield to capitalize on the space for our advantage. We are fortunate they were missing key players,” the former Harambee Stars head coach told SuperSport.com.

Gor, who would be top of the table had they beaten Top Fry and Bandari, trail Tusker by four points in sixth on 11 points, the manifestation of how thin the margins of victory and defeat are even though it is too early to write their title defense yet.

Alloyce Maingi opened the scoring for the Dockers in the 40th minute before talisman Dan Sserunkuma levelled in added time.

Victor Majid sealed the win in the 75th to give Muhiddin a sigh of relief after losing four matches and drawing one.

In other results, Ulinzi Stars keeper Francis Ochieng scored from his own half in injury time to help new coach Robert Matano claim a point from visiting Thika United to see the tie end 1-1 at Afraha Stadium.

Michael Olunga opened the scores in the 44th before Ochieng restored parity in injury time.

Elsewhere, Mathare United held Sony Sugar to a barren draw after current KPL top scorer Edwin Oduor missed a second half penalty at Awendo Green Stadium.

Before they could settle in the game, Majid released a shot that beat Onyango in the 75th to take over the lead that they ended up winning and move to 12th on the table with seven points while K’Ogalo dropped to sixth with 11 points.

In other results keeper Francis Ochieng scored from his own half in injury time to help new Ulinzi Stars coach Robert Matano claim a point from visiting Thika United to see the tie end 1-1 at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium.

Michael Olunga opened the scores in the 44th after receiving a fine pass from substitute David King’atua to beat defender Mulinge Ndeto and score with his powerful left foot shot that beat Ochieng to enjoy 1-0 in the better part of the game.

Thika had to thank Simon Mbugua who cleared the ball from the goal line after keeper Muwonge failed to hold onto it in the 25th.

The soldiers levelled in added time through Ochieng’s free-kick that bounced before his opposite number to salvage a point as the crunch ended 1-1.

In Awendo, Mathare United held Sony Sugar to a barren draw after current KPL top scorer Edwin Oduor missed a second half penalty.

After seven rounds of the game Tusker is at the top of the table with 15 points, two ahead of Chemelil Sugar and Western Stima who are tied in second.

At the bottom lies Mathare United (six), KCB and Top Fry Nakuru who have three a piece.

ROUND SEVEN RESULTS

Sunday

Ulinzi Stars 1 – 1 Thika United Afraha
Sony Sugar 0 – 0 Mathare United Awendo
Bandari 2 – 1 Gor Mahia Mombasa

Saturday

Chemelil Sugar 0 – 0 KRA Chemelil
Sofapaka 1 – 2 City Stars Machakos
Muhoroni Youth 1 – 1 Tusker Muhoroni
KCB 0 – 3 Western Stima Nyayo
AFC Leopards 1 – 0 Top Fry Nakuru Mumias

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