Gor Mahia ready to rumble at CECAFA Kagame Cup 2024 after 39-year drought

10th July 2024

K'Ogalo are in Group B alongside Zambian reigning champions Red Arrows, Sudanese giants Al Hilal and Djibouti outfit Djibouti Telkom FC.

PHOTO| SportPesa
PHOTO| SportPesa
  • K'Ogalo named a 24-man travelling squad for the regional assignment, including three new signings.
  • The CECAFA Kagame Cup 2024 will mark the first time new head coach Leo Neiva will lead his side in a match.
  • Gor Mahia have won the regional tournament on three occassions but last lifted it in 1985.

Record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia will be looking to go down memory lane and end their 39-year title drought when they take part in the CECAFA Kagame Cup 2024 which makes its return for the first time since 2021.

The 21-time Kenyan league winners, who last won the regional showpiece in 1985, will face Zambian reigning champions Red Arrows in their Group B opener set to be played at the Azam Complex in Chamazi, Tanzania on Wednesday evening (1900EAT).

K’Ogalo, who will be representing Kenya in the 24/25 CAF Champions League after once again being crowned champions in the 23/24 season, will be using the regional tourney as its preparation for the continental assignment with the preliminary round scheduled to take place from 16-18 August.

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Despite being an off-season event, everything will be at play in the 12-team competition taking place from 9-21 July as only the top team from the three groups - made of four teams each - and the best runner-up will qualify for the semifinals.

The tournament will also mark the first time that new head coach Leonard Martins Neiva, popularly known as Leo Neiva, will lead his side in a match after being appointed at the start of July 2024 to replace Johnathan McKinstry.

“We expect a very competitive tournament in Tanzania. But this came at the right time to help me assess the team since I have just joined a few days ago,” the Brazilian tactician remarked ahead of the tourney.

Apart from the new coach, K’Ogalo also unveiled three players who are expected to get game time in the competition after being included in the travelling party.

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Congolese striker Gedeon Bendeka Mololia joined from Rwandese side Etincelles after finishing third in the top scorer’s list. Ugandan midfielder Chris Akena joined from Greek League 2 side Apollon Pontou FC and attacker Samuel Kapen signed from Nairobi City Stars.

Gor will also face good competition as they landed in a group that also features Sudanese giants Al Hilal and Djibouti outfit Djibouti Telkom FC.

Meanwhile, Al Wadi, Coastal Union and APR got perfect starts in the tournament after winning their opening matches on Tuesday.

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Top winners of the CECAFA Dar Port Kagame Cup

6-time winners

Simba SC (Tanzania): 1974, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2002

AFC Leopards (Kenya): 1967, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1997

5-time winners

Young Africans SC (Tanzania): 1975, 1993, 1999, 2011, 2012

Tusker FC (Kenya): 1988, 1989, 2000, 2001, 2008

Three-time winners

APR FC (Rwanda): 2004, 2027, 2010

Al Merriekh (Sudan): 1986, 1994, 2014

SC Villa (Uganda): 1987, 2003, 2005

Gor Mahia (Kenya): 1980, 1981, 1985

CECAFA Kagame Cup 2024 Groups

Groups A: Coast Union FC (Tanzania), Al Wadi FC (Sudan), JKU SC (Zanzibar), Dekedaha FC (Somalia)

Group B: Al Hilal (Sudan), Gor Mahia FC (Kenya), Red Arrows FC (Zambia), Djibouti Telecom (Djibouti)

Group C: SC Villa (Uganda), APR FC (Rwanda), Singida Black Stars (Tanzania), El Merriekh Bentiu (South Sudan)