Super Cup history favours Gor Mahia against Kariobangi Sharks

Goal Kenya.
K’Ogalo will lock horns with the FKF Shield Cup winners in the eagerly awaited curtain raiser that will usher in the new season

The debate whether Gor Mahia will grab a historic sixth KPL Super Cup title or it will be the first time Kariobangi Sharks will lay their hands on the trophy, will finally come to an end on Sunday.

Cup holders, Gor Mahia beat AFC Leopards in January to lift their fifth title; the highest by any Kenyan club in this competition. But Sharks will also step out to share a piece of the history for the traditional KPL curtain raiser.

K’Ogalo have lifted the title five times in the past nine years - 2009, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018 save for 2012 and 2013 when they lost to Tusker and 2015 to Bandari.

Other than 2010 when Sofapaka played AFC Leopards, the other Super Cup final where Gor Mahia were not involved was in 2011 where Sofapaka beat Ulinzi Stars by a solitary goal.

Zedekiah Otieno of Gor Mahia.j

Gor Mahia, the record Kenyan Premier League champions with 17 titles will face off with the Shield champions - Sharks at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday, the very venue where Gor Mahia struggled to squeeze a slim win over Nyasa Big Bullets in the Caf Champions League on Wednesday.

On the contrary, the Sharks will be returning to the same ground they attacked a hapless Djibouti side, Arta Solar 6-1 in the first leg of the Caf Confederation Cup on Tuesday.

But back to Super Cup, it is worth noting that this will be the first time both sides will be facing off in the competition. History favours Gor Mahia if the outcome of the last five games between the two sides is anything to go by. K’Ogalo have won four of those meetings, scoring 11 goals in the process, at regulation time.

Even though Gor Mahia have kept three clean sheets is the last two games with Sharks, it must be remembered that they are going to face the very same side that knocked them out of the Shield Cup quarter-finals.

Sharks beat K’Ogalo in a penalty shootout after both sides settled for a 0-0 draw, in normal time, the only time that they have managed to beat their next opponents.

Kariobangi Sharks coach William Muluya.

Gor Mahia pumped six goals on the hearts of Sharks in their first two meetings in 2017, and then confirmed their dominance with a 2-1 win in the first leg of their league clash only to stretch their supremacy with a 3-0 victory. But Shark finally ended the poor run against K’Ogalo with a 4-2 win in the shootout, a result that saw them go all the way to clinch the Shield title.

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But Gor Mahia heads into the game with no clear cut leadership in the technical bench following the exit of Dylan Kerr. Zedekia 'Zico' Otieno will be in charge, albeit on a temporary basis as the club continues with their desperate search for a replacement.

This is a stark contrast of Sharks that will be led by a confident William Muluya, whose work at the slum-based side cannot be over emphasized.

The availability of Pascal Ogweno in Gor Mahia’s defence is also expected to bring a different dimension and flavour into the game. Ogweno crossed to the league champions after two seasons with the Sharks in the top tier.