August 2, 2021

Mashemeji Derby: How Gor Mahia vs AFC Leopards will be settled – Polack

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The former K’Ogalo tactician believes the team with the right attitude will emerge victorious in the derby set for Sunday

Steven Polack has explained the key aspects that will decide the FKF Premier League derby between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards on Sunday.

The two Kenyan giants will meet for the first time in the 2020-21 season with both teams riding high on the local scene, especially Ingwe who are in a run of three straight wins.

After losing the two matches – 2-0 and 1-0 – Ingwe have gone ahead to register three straight wins – 2-1 against KCB, 2-0 against Kariobangi Sharks, and 2-1 against Posta Rangers.

On the other hand, K’Ogalo, who are the defending champions, have also recovered from the shock 1-0 defeat against Vihiga United to win two straight matches – 3-0 against Zoo FC and 3-1 against Bandari.

But according to the British tactician, who oversaw two derbies and won all of them during his time with Gor Mahia in the 2019-20 season, has now told Goal the team which will go into the match with the right desire, passion, patience, and attitude will carry the day.

“AFC Leopards have started the current season well but Gor Mahia are now getting into their rhythm as well,” former Gor Mahia coach Polack told Goal from his base in England.

“So I am expecting a good game, but if we look at recent results by both teams either one of the clubs can have the bragging rights at the end of the game.

“We can look at the statistics and see Gor Mahia have had the upper hand in the last few years, but this is a derby and anything can happen.

“The team who comes into this game with the right desire, passion, patience, and attitude will win the day. So I believe it is going to be a good game between two teams who are doing well at the moment.”

His sentiments come a day after former international custodian Mike Kisaghi tipped champions Gor Mahia to take the bragging rights at Kasarani Stadium.

“I have a strong feeling they [Gor Mahia] will carry the day, I have experienced it and mostly being on form counts for very little in the derby especially when they play against AFC Leopards,” Kisaghi told Goal on Tuesday.

“But it will be a close contest bearing in mind AFC Leopards are on a good run of form, but at the same time Gor Mahia always relishes this moment of playing against AFC and always come up with the good results, they always come out with the bragging rights, and even win convincingly.”

Last season, Gor Mahia won both encounters, beating Ingwe 4-1 in the first round match before edging them out by a solitary goal en-route to winning their fourth straight league title.

AFC Leopards are yet to beat Gor Mahia in their last seven matches with the best result against their rivals coming in the 1-1 draw of the 2017-18 season with Gor Mahia winning the second round fixture 1-0.