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Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay: We will treat Sofapaka just like any other game

11:12 AM GMT+4 11/05/2019
Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay Zedekiah Otieno and Jolawi Abondo.
The outcome of Sunday's clash between the two league leaders will have serious ramifications in the title race

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay has downplayed claims that their match against Sofapaka will decide the destiny of the title this season.

The Kenyan champions will host Batoto ba Mungu at Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Sunday, and are sitting at the summit of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) table on 63 points, seven more than their rivals.

However, with Sofapaka having six matches (and Gor Mahia with seven matches) remaining to conclude the season, K’Ogalo will know that a victory for them would make it extremely difficult for their rivals to keep up.

“I don’t think the game will decide who wins the title. That is a match just like any other in the Kenyan league and that is what we are preparing to play,” Oktay told Goal in an exclusive interview.

“It is like playing against Western Stima, Bandari or even Tusker, it is that simple. There is nothing much to talk about the match. It is a fixture in the calendar of the KPL and we will treat it that way.”

Gor Mahia won the reverse fixture by a solitary goal courtesy of Samuel Onyango and coach Oktay is adamant that they can seal a double over Sofapaka if his players finish their opportunities.

“My worry always has been the chances we keep creating in a single match, does not reflect the outcome of a match. We create so many chances but when you look at the final result, it does not reflect the dominance.

“That is why I am challenging my players to start taking the chances they create very seriously. The chances can win you a match and they should be used to the maximum. Like against KCB in the 3-3 draw, we created over eight clear cut chances, but we ended up dropping points,” Oktay said.

Gor Mahia are struggling with injuries with key striker Jacques Tuyisenge and Ugandan left back Shafik Batambuze doubtful for the tie while Sofapaka will miss the services of lead striker Umaru Kasumba and Brian Magonya, who are both nursing knee injuries.