Daniel Otieno looming large as resilient Mathare United face Gor Mahia in midweek encounter

@Mathare United

FKFPL Daniel Otieno looming large as resilient Mathare United face Gor Mahia in midweek encounter

Festus Chuma 08:28 - 28.02.2023

Former K'Ogalo Youth striker has made a habit of inflicting killer blows against old club

One time Kenyan champions Mathare United face a herculean challenge of trying to stymie leaders Gor Mahia when the old rivals collide in a Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKPL) match at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on Wednesday.

The Slum Boys only claimed their fourth win of the season with a 1-0 scoreline at home over struggling Wazito FC last weekend.

The club have been struggling in recent matches and have only gathered six points in their seven home matches this season.

The sequence of results in all matches has brought Slum Boys 13 points from a possible 45 as they remain just above the relegation zone.

Caretaker coach Samuel Koko is impressed by his charges and the general output. The team has lost only two matches from the five that he has overseen since taking over from Boniface Omondi.

"The poor start to the season is now behind us. We are focused on winning our matches.

We are training hard and doing a lot of talking with the boys so that they can focus on their football careers. I'm happy the efforts are paying off on the pitch," said Koko in a recent interview.

Mathare will be missing the services of lanky forward Daniel Ange and Francis Wasike, who are nursing injuries.

Koko's hopes hinge on prolific Daniel Otieno, who has enjoyed a splendid season in the elite league, netting four match winning goals to offer the club hope. The former Gor Mahia Youth player is determined to inspire Mathare United once more against his old club.

Gor Mahia extended their lead at the top of the table to four points when they defeated Kenya Police 2-1 at home on February 25. This was their fourth win from their last five league matches - a sequence of results that brought them 13 points from a possible 15.

K'Ogalo are unbeaten away from home so far this season, with a fine return of four wins and three draws out of seven games on the road. Their last away win was against Vihiga Bullets in Bungoma in late January.

K'Ogalo tactician Jonathan McKinstry will once again rely on center forward Benson Omalla to get the goods in their quest for another star on their premier league crown. 

McKinstry is oozing confidence, having secured maximum points against Police FC in their last match.

"You should have noticed that for K'Ogalo, we dont talk much on the media.For us is to get into the pitch because it doesnt matter how much you talk in this game it is ninety minutes on the grass that is where you dou your talking," he said.

The last time Mathare United defeated Gor was in November 2019, with Daniel Otieno scoring in a 1-0 win at Kasarani.

In head-to-head stats since the 2014 season, Mathare United and Gor Mahia have clashed in 16 league matches. 

K'Ogalo has dominated this fixture, having registered eight wins compared to three for the Slum Boys, while five matches ended in draws.