Gor Mahia coach McKinstry praises charges for spirited display in win over Shabana despite suffering jetlag

Photo: Gor Mahia

Gor Mahia coach McKinstry praises charges for spirited display in win over Shabana despite suffering jetlag

Mark Kinyanjui 11:00 - 12.05.2024

Gor Mahia players barely slept a wink on Friday night as they had to fly to Kisumu very early Saturday morning before their clash against Shabana.

Gor Mahia head coach Johnathan McKinstry has revealed how he masterminded his side’s victory over a resurgent Shabana in an FKFPL encounter that took place at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Mamboleo, Kisumu county on Saturday.

A goal by Benson Omala, who capitalised on Fredrick Otinda’s poor execution of the ‘basket save’ from Austin Odhiambo’s attempted freekick was enough to separate both teams, getting K’ogalo one step closer to claiming their 21st league crown.

Odhiambo hit the ball straight at the palms of Otinda, but although the former Harambee Stars keeper did well to get the ball hitting his chest before falling down, he could not get his hands on the ball in time, allowing Omala to maximise for his 15th goal of the season.

Speaking to the media after the match, McKinstry, who is now expected to take over as Gambia head coach after he delivers the crown for Gor Mahia -which could be as early as next week against KCB-, was quick to praise Shabana’s intensity.

“Shabana came with everything they had. I thought in the first half, we created a couple of really good chances and got in behind them a few times,” McKinstry said.

“Obviously, we missed a penalty which is a bit unfortunate, but the Shabana goalkeeper made a couple of great saves from Benson and we also had one flash over the bar.”

McKinstry  revealed his players did well to get a victory despite barely getting an ounce of sleep given they had to fly to Kisumu earlier that morning.

“First half we had a lot of good attacking play, and then in the second half, I think our defensive structure was really strong.”

“In addition to the goal, we could have had maybe three or four goals in the first half and in the second half, Shabana threw everything at us with lots of long balls we had to defend and  towards the end of the game, we had to make some fresh legs. 

“We had to be at the airport at 5 this morning, so a lot of guys had to wake up at 3, 3.30 AM.

“You could see the effect it had on the team in the first half but their organisation and discipline was excellent.”

Caleb Omondi has been excellent in goal since the Mashemeji Derby when he came on as a substitute for Kevin Omondi. The youngster made excellent saves and was commanding in the air, easily dealing with any aerial balls that came his way when Tore Bobe went direct.

“Special credit to young Caleb in goal. That was another great performance from him, a well deserved clean sheet.”