By: ISAAC SWILA
The last time Gor Mahia and Western Stima went head-to-head in a league match on May 10 at the Kisumu County Stadium, the match ended in a barren draw.
Prior to the match, Stima’s head coach Henry Omino had warned K’Ogalo not to expect free points as he “was not Father Christmas”.
Omino kept his word ensuring that the charging champions did not beat them.
Fast forward, the two sides clash again Wednesday evening in the return leg at the same venue.
Gor, who have already won the league title, still remain unbeaten after 28 matches.
Stima will, just like the other 14 teams, want to end the champions’ record but Omino, as opposed to the first leg when he sounded assured, remained coy Tuesday.
“My players are fatigued. They have had a long road trip from Mombasa. Some of them have swollen legs because of the distance and the bus was not very comfortable,” he told Daily Nation Sport Tuesday.
“They need some rest and that is why we just had a light work out.”
Stima head into this match in the wake of a 3-1 defeat in the hands of Bandari at the Mbaraki Sports Club in Mombasa at the weekend and will be keen to bounce back while Gor beat Tusker 1-0 in their last match on Sunday.
Stima first choice custodian Gabriel Andika is still doubtful for the game.
The shot-stopper picked up an injury following a collision with Bandari’s George Abege and will undergo further assessment this morning.
“We didn’t take our chances in Mombasa (against Bandari). It’s something I’m hoping we can improve on. The aim is to hit the target,” he said.
With just two matches to go, Stima at position 12 on 34 points, are outsiders to earn a Top Eight finish but will be motivated by the prospects of spoiling the champions’ impeccable run.
Gor, on the other hand, have pitched camp in the lakeside city since their weekend clash with Tusker and will be aiming to switch off Stima.
Rwandan fullback Abouba Sibomana and Ugandan utility man Godfrey Walusimbi are still nursing and will not feature.
The K’Ogalo camp is, however, upbeat and will be counting on the scoring prowess of their deadly attacking duo of Michael Olunga and Meddie Kagere to fire them to victory.