After guiding Gor Mahia to their 18th SportPesa Premier League title, Gor Mahia coach Hasan Oktay has turned his focus in conquering Africa when the club returns to the CAF Champions League.
Gor claimed the title yesterday after playing Vihiga United to a 1-1 draw at Kenyatta Stadium—an outcome which gave them the green light to represent the country in the elite Champions League. Oktay wants to better last edition’s results after bowing out in quarterfinals.
“Gor have been winning the league every year and now it’s time to conquer Africa. Gor is one of the best teams in Africa and we have to better our results continentally. We have to strengthen our squad by making few but quality additions. We will not release many players for it will disrupt the cohesion in the playing unit.”
Oktay, who took over the reins at the start of the season, began his tenure on a losing note, bowing 2-1 to Bandari but recovered in the subsequent matches to eventually guide the club to their third consecutive league title.
“I am happy to win my first title with Gor. We began poorly but I was confident of recovering and winning the title despite the fixture congestion throughout the season. Even though I wanted to win by 15 or 20 point margin between us and the second team, I am glad we have won it. Special thanks to our players, the rest of the coaching staff and management of the club.”
Oktay, who earlier guided Gor to the historic CAF Confederations Cup quarter-finals said his short term success earned him offers but turned them down.
“I have received numerous offers after our Caf matches but I chose to stay in Gor. The club is my second family.”
Elsewhere, as the league meanders to the homestretch, Sofapaka coach John Baraza is a disappointed man after watching his charges settle for a barren draw with Chemelil Sugar to squander an open opportunity of finishing second. A wasteful Sofapaka failed to hit the mark at Kenyatta Stadium Machakos forcing Baraza to lose his cool as their chances of finishing as league runners up could have slipped through their hands.
Baraza fumed at his players for underrating the visiting team whose watertight defence and goalkeeping heroics by Morgan Alube denied them the three points in a match which he observed would have ended in his favour.
“We are fighting for number two and I knew the three points would make our work easier but am disappointed we wasted that opportunity. The rank of our opponents deceived my players and clearly, they underrated them. We now have slim chances but I believe we will get a positive result when we play our direct challengers Bandari this weekend.”
His Chemelil counterpart Francis Baraza hailed his playing unit for the one point gained and playing according to his script.
In other matches, a brace from Andrew Waiswa inspired Sony Sugar to a 2-1 win over Kakamega Homeboyz at Bukhungu Stadium.
Max Ravel netted the home side’s consolation. Mathare United held Bandari to a barren draw while Ulinzi Stars played to a three all draw against a visiting Kariobangi Sharks at Afraha Stadium. Churchill Muloma, Elvis Nandwa and Boniface Onyango were on target for the soldiers while Julius Masaba and Fidel Origa retaliated for Sharks where the former registered a double.
Western Stima switched Posta Rangers 2-1 at Moi Stadium Kisumu while KCB saw off Nzoia Sugar 1-0 at Sudi Stadium.