August 5, 2021

Vaz Pinto: Gor Mahia ‘penalty specialist Mathews’ made me not panic vs Bidco United

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The Portuguese tactician praises K’Ogalo goalkeeper Gad Mathews saying he knew he will save penalties against the Thika-based club

Gor Mahia coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto has revealed why he did not panic when his team was forced to penalties by Bidco United in their FKF Shield Cup semi-final clash on Sunday.

K’Ogalo managed to keep their hopes of winning the double this season alive following a 4-1 penalty win against the Thika-based side after a 1-1 score in regulation time at Utalii grounds.

It was Gor Mahia who scored first through midfielder Kenneth Muguna but Bidco levelled matters through David Orem to take the game to penalties.

K’Ogalo then scored all their penalties through Alpha Onyango, Clifton Miheso, John Macharia, and Samuel Onyango to set up a Mashemeji Derby final against AFC Leopards who beat Equity FC 6-5 on penalties on July 4.

But what caught the eye of the Portuguese tactician is goalkeeper Gad Mathews, who saved a Zacharia Gathu penalty with Orem shooting wide while Anthony Simasi managed to beat the goalkeeper.

Pinto has told Goal he did not panic even a minute when the game went to penalties because he knew “penalty specialist” Mathews will save a couple and they had also trained enough on penalties heading into the last eight fixture.

What has been said?

“I was very calm [when the game went to penalties] because I knew our goalkeeper is good in penalties, Gad [Mathews] is a specialist in this type of things and we have seven or eight players they kick very well the penalties and very calm,” Vaz Pinto told Goal on Monday.

“We also prepared for the penalties ahead of the game and we prepared very well because of that we decided to bring Samuel [Onyango] because we know Samuel is good in penalties and because of that one we changed some players and we put in James [Macharia] and Samuel because they are very good in penalties.

“We also put in Sydney [Ochieng] if they go more than five, then Sydney can kick the extra one.

“Because of that when we made the substitutions we made them thinking about the penalties because it can happen and is important to put the strong players out there, so we knew how to handle the penalty situation.”

What about the Bidco United game?

On the overall game against Bidco United, Vaz pinto said: “It was a tough game, always tough and I just say it was difficult for Bidco and for us because we have played a lot of matches and this schedule is very tough for the players, some players are tired and we knew the game will be tough.

“We conceded one goal they [Bidco] didn’t have many chances to score but got one chance and used it and we had more players in the box than Bidco but we conceded that goal but in first we needed to score more goals, two or three, Miheso had two chances, Karim Nikiema one more but we don’t score and of course after it becomes tough.

“But we are in the final and that is the most important thing.”

The winner of the final will take home Ksh2million from the title sponsors and a ticket to represent the country in the Caf Confederation Cup next season.