NAIROBI, Kenya, February 18 – There will be no repeat of 1987 when Gor Mahia meet Esperance in the first round of the CAF Champions League next month, the man who scored the goal that sunk the Tunisian giants in the final of the Cup Winners Cup, Peter Dawo, has declared.
Dawo, immortalised in K’Ogalo folklore for firing the header that gave the club a 1-0 win on aggregate, has urged the class of 2014 that booked a date with the Blood and Bold to expect a tough encounter when they welcome the team back to Nairobi on March 2, 27 years after they stunned the Maghreb giants.
To stand a chance of upsetting the two-time continental club champions and qualifying for the second round, Dawo who also featured in the 1988 and 90 Africa Cup of Nations, challenged K’Ogalo to score at least two goals without reply at home.
“A lot has changed from our time and that has made it even difficult for Gor to beat Esperance since most of the teams nowadays have good training facilities and money to play for. Comparing the two, the North African team has an upper-hand because they are far more developed than us.
“Gor have to plan their strategies well since the Arabs are very fast and if they score one goal, it will be difficult to equalise,” Dawo who is an uncle to former Harambee Stars winger, Patrick Oboya, told Capital Sport from Kisumu.
The Gor legend who serves as a counselor in the Department of Social Services is perturbed by club officials who he claims have neglected to seek advice of players who brought glory to the club in the past.
“They should have come for advice from us but none of them has approached. We have the experience and understand how it feels playing against them and with the match coming we could give the boys morale.
“North Africans are committed when playing and that’s why the likes of Al Ahly, Zamalek and Esperance perform well in the continental showpiece. For us we did our part and recorded a history that will stay forever, its now their turn to register good results,” he asserted.
On his crowning moment when he led K’Ogalo to become the only team in East African team to have won continental silverware, Dawo underscored it was achieved with the backing of a potent squad.
Talented players such Gor assistant coach Bobby Ogolla, Abbas Magongo and Austin Oduor, father to Stars shot-stopper Arnold Origi, among others inspired them to lift the Mandela Cup at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani in presence of then Head of State Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi.
“Those were the good sweet old days when we were playing football with all our hearts unlike nowadays where footballers are paid. We were determined to win the trophy after holding Esperance in the first leg in Tunis, after coming from behind to score in the 90th minute and see the match end 2-2.
“In the return leg, we needed only a goal to seal the victory which we got after I headed home Magongo’s corner.”
K’Ogalo qualified for the first round after eliminating US Bitam of Gabon 4-2 on post match penalties in the preliminaries and will travel to Tunis for the return leg a week later.