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Yanga XI; Mustafa- Haroub, Tambwe, Twite, Abdul- Msuva, Kaseke, Niyonzima- Yondani- Haji, Ngoma
Gor Mahia XI; Oluoch- Mohamed, Sibomana, Glay, Nizigiyimana- Shakava, Aucho, Wafula, Walusimbi- Kagere, Olunga
Gor Mahia started without Collins Okoth and one of their marksmen, Abondo, in their usual 4-4-2 formation. With these changes, Shakava was slotted in midfield and Innocent Wafula started on the flanks.
The match started in frenetic fashion with both teams looking to impose their style on the other. It was almost chaotic as the sides pushed higher up the pitch with every turnover and plenty of space was afforded to the attackers to run in-behind. Usually, hyped up games fail to live up to billing so this was festivities to the great turnout in Dar-es-Salaam. Someone was going to be punished soon for the absence of structure and it turned out to be Gor Mahia. Yanga attacker, Ngoma, who had enjoyed a bright start in the game, broke clear of K’ogallo’s highline and his cross was turned in by Dirkik Glay.
It was only from this moment that it became lucid Yanga was benefitting more from the little compaction in the game. They stretched Gor Mahia by pushing their offensive players wide. They transitioned well and swarmed Gor Mahia’s danger area. Gor Mahia was adapting more to Yanga than was happening the other way. Nevertheless, the Kenyan champions nibbled at chances on the break and were rewarded soon enough.
The intensity was great and the game was level but the tactical theatrics we hoped for didn’t play out. Credit for this goes to Ngoma; he had enjoyed a great game but like the rest of his team mates let events overtake him. They were committing childish infringements thus it was no surprise, however unfortunate, they went a man down. That was essentially the end to the gung-ho experience we had witnessed. Van der Pluijm’s side chose the default 10 man system 4-4-1, and clamped down a little on his approach.
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When Gor Mahia took the lead they showed signs of the imperial KPL machine. Olunga was moving around well. Their fullbacks were joining the attack late making them difficult to pick up and, of course, they were sending in crosses. The crosses never caused much threat. One would get the feeling that Gor Mahia underwhelmed because Yanga controlled a lot of the ball with a man down but this is mistaken. K’ogallo is not built off central play building, explaining their labored transitions. They are direct and will hump the ball forward if they cannot run with it as was evident in this game.
Yanga were rewarded for their positivity with a penalty and they couldn’t take it. They were building play well but got really hampered by being a man down. The Gor Mahia players were infact comfortable reverting to the taboo art of man-marking for the latter parts of the second half.
Summary
Ngoma’s antics cost us an even greater spectacle but that won’t matter for Gor Mahia. Once again Nuttall got the approach for an elite game right and the results accompanied him as well. Props have to go to the Tanzanian crowd, the pitch and the high-positioned TV shot; that’s good for tactical analysis.

 

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