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Football | Kenya

Gilbert Fiamenyo @ SS com

Gor, AFC braced for Mashemeji derby

Archrivals Gor Mahia and AFC leopards will face off in the Mashemeji Derby on Sunday with the ultimate prize not only being three points, but bragging rights.

Only two points separate the two sides on the log with Gor second on 16 points while Leopards are fifth with 14.

Both coaches have exuded confidence that they will have the right attitude and mindset to win the game. Gor come into the fixture on the back of a 1-0 loss to Mathare United, but head coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira is unfazed.

“We lost to Mathare because we played badly. That was the first game this season where I can say we played bad football. But that is the past. We have looked at our mistakes and corrected. This is a big game for our fans and us as a team as well,” Ferreira said.

He added, “We want to win the league and to win the league, we have to beat teams like Leopards. They are our biggest competitors.”

The tactician will be without striker Jacques Tuyisenge, who picked up a knee injury in training, but midfielder Kenneth Muguna will return after missing the Mathare match.

Leopards meanwhile will be looking for their sixth win over Gor since 2009 and coach Stewart Hall is not worried or under pressure, despite winning only twice in the last five games.

“I have played many derbies before and in Tanzania I have played against big crowds from Simba and Yanga. It is a tough match but I am trying to take the pressure off the players. We respect Gor and I have seen they have a good team so we should have a great match,” Hall noted.

Ingwe will be without right wingback Dennis Sikhayi, who has just resumed light training after being out for a month with a broken toe. Mungai Kiongera will be in line to start after making his first appearance in over a month in last weekend’s 1-1 draw against table leaders Posta Rangers.

Over the last 16 meetings between the two sides, Gor has won seven, lost five and drawn four. Last season, Leopards won the first leg 1-0, breaking Gor’s 35-match unbeaten run while in the second leg, K’Ogalo were comfortable 2-0 winners.

In the other matches to be played on Sunday, Ulinzi Stars, who have lost back to back matches, will hope for redemption when they face Thika United away from home, while Western Stima will invite Zoo Kericho at their Moi Stadium backyard in Kisumu.


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