How Gor Mahia used the Sofapaka match to fill the CHAMPIONS acronym

Nothing in the football world beats the feeling of watching your favourite team lift the domestic cup. It’s a culmination of a season’s LONG hard work, the justification of reward after a hard work done and the satisfaction that after all the toils, all the tears and fears- success can literally heal wounds.

2012 is a year the Green army would love to forget, final day heartbreak and tears littered the city stadium but all that seemed to have been washed away in the delight of a Dani strike that ensured the title race was near full realisation (save the Sony Sugar Fc board room madness or a few matches to spare). Superfoota Lead blogger was at the MISC Kasarani- watched the full 90 and for what would best be described as a ‘reflection of what Gor Mahia’s season’ has been- The acronym CHAMPION was well and thoroughly defined.

Here is a breakdown;

Screenshot_2013-11-04-16-10-28-1Character;

In a match that many would agree, Gor Mahia for most parts of the match made Sofapaka look more of the better side. Thoroughly battered and raided- watching Bobby calmly stand on the touchline without making a single sub for slightly over 66 minutes, gave a not so good feeling, frustration rent the air and for every Sofapaka cross into the box- you thought they were getting more than ever closer to ‘postponing success’ for Bobby’s men.

I bet many would agree with me, it takes absolute character- that after all the assault, a frustrated fan base behind you and the clock winding down, instead of defending what best would be described as calming a ‘sickening feeling every time Sofapaka attacked’ Gor Mahia still went for the kill.

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Heroics;

I think for most parts of the season- Several pundits felt were it not for Jerry, then maybe Gor Mahia would have lost or drawn so many matches they ended up winning. It’s not just the saves he pulls when between the sticks- it’s the confidence he commands and the ability to lead from the back. Kasolo and Baraza must be thinking the defenders did a pretty decent job- which I think is true, but it’s like all the time at the end of every killer pass that Sofapaka seemed to make- Jerry either got off his line to clear it or communicated with his defensive line to clear it well.

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Ambition;

Reading a lot of papers last year after that KPL final day drama must have been sickening for most Gor Mahia fans- I bet not any more. Every single match day this crop of players made their way onto the pitch, the desire to correct the past coupled by the desire to impress a legion showed in their faces.

Buying wisely is an understatement for what the administration did, invested in the right crop of players and then when it mattered most, they made a big gamble on the coach and boy, it’s paid off.

In the Sofapaka match, one would argue- sitting back and going for the draw would have been a good idea, top of the table, still a few matches to go- not so much pressure. A little bit different though was the case, always pushing themselves to the limit- again, that needs a strong desire and will.

 

Mesmerize;

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines ‘mesmerize’ as- ‘hold the attention of (someone) to the exclusion of all else or so as to transfix them’. I don’t think any better football move in the Gor v Sofapaka match yesterday described this than the moment leading to the goal.

Been trying to look back at all the accusations levelled against Oboya, in just a single flick he changed the perspective of many regarding his way of play. It just wasn’t a flick that gives you a reason to appreciate the beauty in an assist- it’s a pass that opens up a whole world of opportunities for a striker, well taken defines the moment, lucky for him, it was Dani and boy, defining the moment, didn’t he?

 

Patience

2010 was such a heart break but having in mind Ulinzi Stars were ahead of Gor Mahia going into the final day- it was going to be hard for Gor to pip Ulinzi to the title. As it happened though Ulinzi won in Nakuru as Gor Mahia drew at City Stadium- title gone but a whole new year to look up to- that was 2011, of course that never ended well but one thing in that squad stands out.

Amongst all the players who took part in that season, Gor Mahia kept a few good faces, some of whom took part in yesterday’s match and of course led Gor’s match to the dream.

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Jerry (2010) Kevin Omondi (2010). Akumu Anthony (2010),Musa(2010) all must be on cloud nine- stayed with the club through the highs and lows, now here to enjoy the fruits. Great deal of patience from the lads and from the club.

 

Indebted

The fans- better known as the Green Army; thoroughly tried, tested to the extremist of limits- frustrated in equal measure. Patiently waited for the moment- and when it finally came.

It would be hard to describe the feeling from the stands- the transition from a forest of tense faces to the jubilation of an overexcited crowd in the span of an Oboya flick to the thunderbolt of a Dani strike explained the relief of an 18 year wait.

For all their faith, the pay was there- right before their eyes. As they scrambled for the final pieces of a Jerry towel he threw onto the stands, Sofapaka stood in a circle at the centre of the pitch, dejected and wishing their jersey’s had the green and white of their opponents.

 

O and N represent the Opta Numbers;

All credit to the Stats guy- @89_59

2 – Sofapaka were also occupying 2nd spot on the league table in their last 3 league meetings against Gor Mahia. Constant

2 – Today Gor played the team 2nd on the league table. Their next league match is against Homeboyz who are 2nd from bottom. Homestretch

2 – All wins to be registered by home teams at Kasarani in #TPL2013 are against Sofapaka (defeats to AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia). Victims

1134 – Sofapaka have now gone 1134 days without scoring a league goal against Gor Mahia: since 15/9/2010. Dry spell

And then the BIG ONE!

18 – Dan Serunkuma has won 18 for Gor in #TPL2013. They are now a point away from a 1st league title in 18 years. Horizon

Check out more @89_59 stats on his blog www.theredbackpack.wordpress.com

 

Sequel

Take nothing away from the Sofapaka performance it’s just unfortunate I had to pick this match to fill a CHAMPIONS ACRONYM- Know what that means? Sofapaka tested Gor Mahia literally, pushed them to the limit and if I would remember what Logarusic (ex Gor Coach) once said- Gor Mahia v Sofapaka remains the hardest match for Gor Mahia.

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With Sofapaka’s faintest hopes dimmed, Gor Mahia not only gives Sofapaka and other teams food for thought regarding (signings, chance taking just to mention a few) – Gor Mahia in every aspect on the pitch this season thoroughly deserves to be Champions.