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Gor ready for Tusker in City Stadium rumble

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NAIROBI, Kenya, October 26- Until the 1980s, Nairobi City Stadium was the biggest sporting cathedral in the country having been inherited from the colonial masters that ruled the nation until 1963.

Nyayo National and the even bigger Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani have since stolen the thunder from the 15,000-seater stadium but on Sunday, the spotlight will firmly shine on the facility located east of the City Centre.

Hosts Gor Mahia welcome champions and leaders Tusker in a match that could well decide who shall be crowned the national league champions with only three matches left.

Two points separate the top two sides, with the Brewers on the front foot on 54 as they seek to win their third crown in five years following their success in 2007 and last season.

K’Ogalo
on the other hand have not won a national title since 1995 and their religious supporters commonly known as the Green Army are on the cusp of breaking their long drought for the second time in two seasons.

In 2010, they lost the crown to Ulinzi Stars after chasing the then front runners until the final day when they lost the title by three points but as their captain Jerim Onyango says, this time fate is in their hands.

“In 2010, we were always chasing Ulinzi. On Sunday, we have the chance to decide our destiny by beating Tusker,” the skipper told SuperSport.com.

Having declined to switch the match to the larger Nyayo, Gor’s management held a meeting on Friday with Football Kenya Federation (FKF) bosses and security officials to finalise arrangements for the potentially explosive league encounter.

The meeting was led by FKF chair Sam Nyamweya and attended by KPL chief executive Jack Oguda and senior police officers from Makongeni and Industrial area police stations as well stadium officials and other security providers.

Gor secretary general, George Bwana said only 12,000 tickets would be sold retailing at Sh500 for VIP and Sh200 for terraces with the sale commencing on Friday through the official ticketing agent Wells Fargo.

Fans can procure them from Wells Fargo security vans parked at Kenya Cinema, 20th Century, City Stadium, Kibera’s DO camp, Koinange Street, Buru Buru Shopping centre and at the Kenol/Kobil petrol station along Lusaka road with no tickets being sold on match day.

Due to security reasons no vehicles will be parked inside the stadium and all fans will be screened on entry and gates open early at 10.00am and will close 15 minutes to the game.

“As a federation we laud Gor Mahia club officials for their civic education to the fans during their recent matches since no ugly incidents have occurred,” Nyamweya noted.

While Gor have charged through the table during the second leg following the arrival of Croat coach, Zradvko Logarusic, Tusker have found solidity under Robert Matano following a mid-season wobble that saw Sammy Omollo, who led them to the title last season dismissed.

The Brewers have won their last four that followed draws against Sofapaka and former leaders AFC Leopards who are third three points adrift under Matano and have only lost once away in eight, a 1-0 reverse to Mathare that saw Omollo axed.

K’Ogalo on the other hand have won six of their last seven matches since drawing 2-2 against Mathare in August and will be out to avenge the 2-0 stuffing they got from the Brewers in the first leg in March.

Gor have won seven out of eight home matches and it is not a surprise they opted to play the game at City as they seek the advantage over a side that has proved to be the hardest nut to crack in the league.

“I will tell my boys to play without fear since they are the champions. They have remembered what it feels to be winners and this will be just another game,” Tusker coach Matano asserted.

For a stadium that has hosted the legendary athletes, Edwin Moses (two Olympics and world titles in 400m), Alberto Salazar (retired distance great and coach of Mo Farah) as well as retired multiple world record holder, Henry Rono, City Stadium will once again be the toast of a nation come Sunday.

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