Football Football

Ogolla evokes the spirit of 87′


BOB-WILLIAMSONNAIROBI, Kenya, February 26-Gor Mahia assistant coach John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla, says history will be on their side on Saturday when they host Esperance Sportive de Tunis in the opening leg of their first round CAF Champions League tie at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.

Ogolla who was in the celebrated 1987 squad that won the treble, CAF Cup Winner’s Cup (Mandela Cup), league and domestic cup, told Capital Sport they have a formidable team capable of aping their legendary forerunners.

“Since we took the Cup against them we have not met again. I know they will be coming knowing its Gor who denied them the trophy and I want to urge the boys not to be intimated because they are Arabs.

“I know they are well organised but I think we should do what we did 27 years back and excel. I know we can beat them, I would have wished to start away but since we are beginning at home, I want us to maximize all the home ground advantages so that come second leg we know where we stand,” the grey haired assistant coach told.

The assistant to Scot Bobby Williamson is however, concerned by lacking the suspended Harambee Stars stopper David ‘Calabar’ Owino, who was red carded in the return leg preliminary round clash against Gabonese side US Bitam.

Ogolla, who was nicknamed the six million dollar man due to his incredible physical strength, was sidelined for the finals of Mandela Cup after picking a knee injury.

“I did not play in the finals because the same year, Harambee Stars were in All African Games and Gor were in the continental cup. But I participated in the semis and I’m glad those who played in the finals lifted the cup. It was magnificent because eight years earlier (1979) we had reached the finals of the same competition but were humiliated by Cameroon outfit Canon Sportif de Yaoundé.

“After those years we finally won the cup and that was a milestone up to date since Gor is the only team in this region that has lifted the continental trophy  and that’s why it was very important for K’Ogalo,” Bobby who captained the national team that won silver at All African Games, explained.

He will be at the touchline this time round as his charges take on the two-time winners who are set to arrive in the country on Thursday for the crunch that has seen Gor officials invite their legend Peter Dawo, who scored the lone goal in the 1987 triumph.