Calabar’s damning verdict on Gor
Published on: February 15, 2021 11:34 (EAT)
Kenyan international David ‘Calabar’ Owino says Gor Mahia has lost the quality it enjoyed in his days at the club, adding it will be difficult for the Kenyan champions to go past the CAF Confederation Cup playoffs. Owino, was at the heart of Napsa Stars’ defence as the Zambian side edged a jaded Gor 1-0 in the first leg of the playoffs at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday. Ahead of the return match next week, Owino says the ticket to the CAF Cup group stage is in their hands, noting Gor will need an extraordinary show to turn the tables. “Honestly things have really changed, and that’s football. Back in my days at Gor we had the quality to push any team in Africa, which is not the case now. However most of the players in the current squad are young and still learning, so with time maybe they will blossom,” said the ever industrious defender on the pitch. Ahead of their return match on Sunday, Owino who joined Napsa from Zesco United is confident his side is one foot into the group stages. “Our plan was to close the game as much as possible, and try to strike even with half a chance. The idea was to get at least a point away from home, but luckily we bagged maximum points. At home it will definitely be different and for sure we have a better chance,” added the experienced defender. Owino, Christened Calabar for his exploits against African powerhouses Nigeria in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in June 2013 as Harambee Stars forced a 1-1 draw thanks to a Francis Kahata wonder strike, says Kenyan league is steps behind Zambia’s. “The standards are not much different but one major variance is that in Zambia football is seriously taken as a job, so players are treated in a more professional way. You will not hear leadership wrangles every now and then like it happens here, which really affects the players,” he noted, reflecting on his seven-year football journey in Zambia. To his K’Ogalo fans who recall his dedicated performance at the club between 2012 and 2014, Owino had a simple message after forming the solid wall against Manuel Vaz Pinto’s men. “Gor remains special to me to date, but I have to work, you know. When it comes to work we put everything aside and deliver professionally, we must put bread on table,” a laughing Owino said. Gor were relegated from the Champions League to the Confederation Cup following a humiliating 8-1 defeat to Algerian side CR Belouizdad last month, having eliminated Rwanda’s APR in the first round of the preliminaries.