Nairobi City Stars will be up against reigning and record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia at the Utalii grounds on Sunday 16 May 2021 in the final 2020/21 Premier League first leg tie.
Into the game, Gor Mahia sits eighth with 19 points, two better than eleventh placed Nairobi City Stars with two games in hand.
Ahead of the game, we trace back to the past for fine liners from the archives.
First and last
From their first ever meeting in the 2005/6 season on 4 December 2005 at City Stadium, Gor and City Stars have met a total of 22 times till the 2016 season where the latter fell off the top league to the second tier.
The first game was won by City Stars 1-0 off a lone strike by Samuel Ouma.
The last encounter between the two was back on 24 July 2016 at Nyayo Stadium; a game Gor Mahia won 2-1.
Then, Harun Shakava’s 22nd minute goal was cancelled a minute later by Ezekiel Odera. However, a Collins Okoth goal in the fourth minute of added time saw Gor scoop all available spoils.
From last lot
Rather interestingly, Shakava and Odera will be facing off on Sunday as the two returned to their former clubs after several detours over the past few years.
Shakava is the only surviving member from the Gor Mahia squad that last faced City Stars.
Odera is joined by Oliver Maloba and Calvin Masawa from the squad that played in July 2016.
Goals, Away record
In the previous 22 encounters, Gor boasts the best record having won 11 games compared to City Stars’ four wins. The other seven have been draws.
Gor Mahia has outscored Simba wa Nairobi 30-15 goals.
Scaled down to Gor’s home games, such as the upcoming one on Sunday, Gor has posted six wins in 11 games.
Incidentally, all City Stars three on-the-pitch wins against Gor have been in away games. One home win was awarded when Gor failed to turn up for a game back in June 2006. The other two have been 0-0 draws.
Over the past 11 seasons that they faced off, Gor – City Stars games were predominantly played at City Stadium off the base of Jogoo Road.
12 such games were played at the venue that is now ‘dead’. Another seven were hosted at Nyayo Stadium. Two were played at Hope Centre in Kawangware and only one at Kasarani.
This time round, and for the first time ever, the next Gor-City Stars game will be played at the Utalii grounds off Thika Road.
One other new phenomena in the upcoming game is the men at the touchline. Coach-wise, European feel will be in place.
Gor is under the arms of Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto while City Stars is under the watch of Bosnian Sanjin Alagic who lead the team to promotion at the close of last season.
Never has Pinto been so close to Sanjin but, for the first time, that will happen at Utalii on Sunday.
While Sanjin seeks out a first against Gor, previous coaches that have led City Stars against Gor include; Robert Matano who handled the first four games, John Bobby Ogola (3 games), Oliver Page (1), Ken Odhiambo (4), Gideon Ochieng (2), Bai Malleh Wadda (1), Robinson Ndubuisi (2), Paul Nkata (1), Gabriel Njoroge (1) and Richard Tamale Pinto (1).
The top scorers on either side – Ugandans – in this encounter are no longer part of either establishment.
With three goals, Jimmy Bageya was the best scorer for City Stars against Gor while, with five goals, Danny Sserunkuma was the best for Gor against City Stars.
While Bageya had played for Gor in his hey days, Sserunkuma joined the current Kenyan champions from City Stars.
Bageya’s first, and most memorable goal was in April 2011, as it led City Stars to a 1-0 win at City Stadium.
Danny Sserunkuma scored five times for Gor against City Stars. He is the only Gor player to have scored a hat trick against City Stars – during a 4-1 win at Nyayo Stadium in October 2014.
Sserunkuma has one goal on George Odhiambo who scored four times against City Stars.
While Gor will be hoping to advance their record over City Stars, the visitors will bank on their away record over the Champions for positive results on Sunday.
This is what coach Sanjin had to say ahead of the clash;
“We are excited to start with Championship matches after a long stop,”
“It will be a challenging match against a big team, who have good individual players and a great tradition,”
“But that only goes to motivate my players to give their best. To achieve positive result tomorrow we must at our best level and play one high quality match,”
“To be honest we don’t feel the pressure, I believe that part is more on Gor because they are favorites,”
“You must know that does not mean favorites will always win, that’s the reason why football is so attractive and interesting,”
“I believe with the right approach and attitude, we can achieve positive results.” added Sanjin
KPL games: 22 – Gor (11 wins), City Stars (4 wins), Draws (7)
Gor home games vs City stars
4-Dec-05, Gor Mahia vs World Hope, 0-1 (W)
21-Apr-07, Gor Mahia vs World Hope, 0-0 (D)
12-Jul-08, Gor Mahia vs World Hope, 1-0 (L)
10-Apr-09, Gor Mahia vs City Stars, 1-2 (W)
19-Mar-10, Gor Mahia vs City Stars, 1-0 (L)
9-Apr-11, Gor Mahia vs City Stars, 0-1 (W)
28-Apr-12, Gor Mahia vs City Stars, 2-1 (L)
18-May-13, Gor Mahia vs City Stars, 0-0 (D)
20-Feb-14, Gor Mahia vs City Stars, 2-0 (L)
15-Aug-15, Gor Mahia vs City Stars, 3-1 (L)
24-Jul-16, Gor Mahia vs City Stars, 2-1 (L)
16-May-21, Gor vs City Stars, ?