McKinstry's assessment after Gor Mahia's FKF Cup elimination

©Gor Mahia

FOOTBALL McKinstry's assessment after Gor Mahia's FKF Cup elimination

Festus Chuma 07:00 - 26.02.2024

Gor Mahia coach has revealed focus on FKF Premier League after penalty shootout defeat in FKF Cup against Kwale-based Denmak.

Gor Mahia head coach Johnathan McKinstry has spoken out about refocusing the team's ambitions after a heart-wrenching penalty shootout defeat ousted them from the FKF Cup.

The 11-time domestic cup champions faced an unexpected exit at the hands of Kwale-based side Denmak, who clinched a 5-4 victory on penalties.

In a thrilling yet nerve-wracking encounter, Denmak's goalkeeper Omar emerged as the hero, saving crucial penalties from Gor Mahia's skipper Philemon Otieno in the initial rounds, followed by a decisive save against Enock Wanyama in sudden death. 

Despite the setback, McKinstry emphasized the team's readiness and dominance during the match, lamenting missed opportunities. 

"We are very disappointed as we have put a lot of preparations into making sure the team is ready. We dominated the team and created good chances, but their goalkeeper was the man of the match," he stated.

 "Denmak defended like heroes, and they threw themselves in front of the ball. They are willing to go past pain barriers and push the match into penalties. And when it comes to penalties, it is what it is," he added, reflecting on the unpredictable nature of penalty shootouts.

In preparation for the match, Gor Mahia had strategically moved their training ground to Stima Club to simulate the sandy conditions of the Ukunda Showground pitch. 

Despite the loss, McKinstry had previously highlighted the importance of the Cup, not just as a trophy quest but also as a gateway to continental football.

"The Cup is important for us and we want to go far. It is five games to a trophy and a large prize as well as Continental qualification," the coach had remarked before their journey to Ukunda.

Now, with their cup dreams dashed, Gor Mahia's focus sharpens on the FKF Premier League, where they currently lead with a comfortable eight-point lead atop the standings. 

The team boasts 47 points from 22 matches, distancing themselves from second-placed Posta Rangers, who have 39 points. 

The upcoming fixture against Posta Rangers on Saturday, March 2, looms large as a critical juncture in Gor Mahia's quest for league glory.

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