Dawo: Gor Mahia legend remembers Dragons game when Caf history was made

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Gor Mahia.

Gor Mahia legend Peter Dawo has picked the most memorable moment as the club went on to make history by clinching the Caf Cup Winners Cup in 1987.

Dawo, who scored the goal that handed the Kenyan club their first-ever major title in a 1-1 draw against Esperance of Tunisia at Kasarani Stadium, insists his most memorable game was in the semi-finals against Benin’s Dragons de l'Ouémé, where they eventually won 3-2.

“We had drawn the first leg away from home 0-0. But it was the second leg that was particularly tough,” Dawo explained to CafOnline. “We were scoring, they equalise and it happened twice.

“It was almost the 90th minute of the game and we were staring elimination. We won a throw-in and Tobias [Ocholla] went to take it. It came swinging and I attacked it with so much power and headed it home. We won 3-2.

“I cannot even explain the feeling, fans were already leaving the stadium, knowing that we were eliminated. But we never gave up and kept fighting. When those who had left heard the few in the stadium celebrating, they all ran back and it was a huge carnival. I will never forget that game.”

Ochola, now a Sports Officer with Kenyatta University in Nairobi remembers the days with nostalgia.

“We knew it was a strong point and we really tried to exploit it. We worked on different variations whether we could take it long or short and to who and we perfected it. It was a textbook training ground routine. I was blessed enough to throw well and Dawo was always there with the head,” Ochola states.

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It was a great year for the Gor family. Not only did they win the Caf Cup Winners’ Cup, christened Mandela Cup, but also clinched the league title and almost half of the team were starters in the national team when Kenya hosted the All Africa Games, losing 1-0 to Egypt in the final.

“We were a motivated and self-driven team. We would castigate each other when we made mistakes and we pushed each other to work hard. There were no monetary incentives but we played for the badge and because we loved football,” says Dawo, adding at that time, their winning bonus was just 1.5 US Dollars.

Having drawn 2-2 away against the Tunisian giants, K’Ogalo needed a low scoring draw or a win of any kind in Nairobi to secure the title and they went ahead to manage a 1-1 draw with Dawo scoring for the Kenyan side.