(Photo courtesy of The Star)
By Arthur Watenda
The Mashemeji derby, pitting AFC Leopards against Gor Mahia will be played this Saturday at the Kasarani stadium with bragging rights at stake as the FKF Premier League enters round six.
In their most recent encounter, AFC Leopards ended a seven-year winless streak against Gor Mahia, securing a memorable win with Maxwell Otieno’s towering header from Eugene Mukangula’s corner. Victor Omune and Austin Odhiambo also contributed to the scoreline, resulting in a gripping contest that took place on May 14, 2023.
This upcoming match marks the 97th face-off between these two teams, with Gor Mahia holding a superior head-to-head record, having claimed victory 33 times, while AFC Leopards triumphed 29 times, and 35 matches ended in draws.
AFC Leopards enters the derby in a challenging position, having struggled in the early stages of the season, with no wins in their first five games.
The Tom Juma’s charges have lost once and head into the derby on the back of a 1-1 draw against Shabana FC which was the fourth of the season.
Goals have been hard to come by for Leopards, scoring only three while conceding four. The pressure is mounting on manager Tom Juma, who is at risk of facing the same fate as some other sacked coaches, with AFC Leopards sitting 15th in the league, just a point away from the relegation play-off spot.
On the other hand, reigning champions Gor Mahia have experienced mixed results but remain unbeaten after five rounds of play. Currently, they sit in second place on the league table with nine points, trailing league leaders Posta Rangers by four points. Gor Mahia has won twice, drawn thrice, and scored eight goals while conceding four.
Adding to the excitement, this Mashemeji derby will make history as the first match to be broadcast by Azam TV, the official broadcast partners of the league. The federation signed a 7-year deal with the Tanzanian broadcaster worth 145 million weeks ago and it will be the second time they will be airing the derby.
Kick-off for the derby is scheduled for 4 pm.
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