Gor vow to ‘bottle up’ Tusker
Football Kenya Federation Cup champions Gor Mahia stepped up their psychological assault on Tusker ahead of their Dstv/SuperSport Cup clash on Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium with an outright declaration of victory.
“We are going for nothing less than a win. We will be collecting our first trophy on Sunday,” Gor Mahia captain Jerry Onyango said without batting an eyelid on Thursday.
To show Tusker just how serious Gor Mahia was taking Sunday’s fixture, Onyango threw in information that the “boys” were in residential training at some location in Naivasha, a favourite training destination for Africa’s football giants Ghana.
Straight talking Gor Mahia secretary George Bwana picked up the flow by assuring the Green Army that victory will be theirs.
Bwana urged the club’s fans to come out in large numbers to cheer the team to victory.
League champions Tusker could have been feeling the heat of the verbal battle.
“We will wait for the match and see what happens,” was all Tusker’s acting captain Samuel Odhiambo could offer when asked what he thought of his team’s chances. But it could also be that Tusker, seasoned campaigners at this level, been-there-done-that, were just making the appropriate noise before the big day.
The Dstv/SuperSport Cup protagonists were speaking at The Tribe Hotel during a cheque presentation ceremony for the prize money.
SuperSport head of Africa Gary Rathbone and MultiChoice general manager Stephen Isaboke presented Sh750,000 and Sh500,000 dummy cheques to the two captains. Winners will, obviously, walk away with the fatter cheque in this annual season opening tie between league and FKF Cup champions introduced by KPL last year.
Strengthened their side
While Gor have gone out of Nairobi to prepare Tusker have moved closer to the Central Business District, albeit reluctantly, choosing to train at Utalii Sports Ground because of the temporary closure of their Ruaraka base for refurbishment. Tusker coach Sammy Omollo said he wanted to start the season the way he had ended it last year: winning.
The brewers have strengthened their side with the acquisition of Kenya internationals Jerry Santos (from Simba) and Philip Opiyo (from Thika United) together with promising Fredrick Onyango (from Sony Sugar) and James Macharia (from Karuturi Sports). They will, however, be without captain Joseph Shikokoti who is attending trials in Armenia. Gor Mahia will be eager to get last year’s stand out midfielder Rama Salim, acquired from Congo United, into the frame together with their most expensive purchases, Sh400,000 worth goalkeeper Ivo Mapunda from Bandari and forward Hugo Nzangu from Sony Sugar.
Tickets may be bought at the Nyayo National Stadium ticketing booths, 20th Century Cinema, Kenya Cinema, City Stadium, Mumbai Plaza (Gikomba) and Fine Breeze Grill (Dagoretti). No tickets will be sold at the venue on match day.
Tickets go on sale today at selected outlets in Nairobi priced at VIP Sh400, terraces Sh100 and