Seventeen years is a log time for a team that regards itself as the most successful and enjoys fervent support not to win the league. But all those memories of close shave with relegation and near success will be erased today should Gor Mahia beat Thika United to win the 2012 Premier League title.
Just five months ago Gor looked down and out of the title race and another confrontation with their demanding and success starved fans looked ominous until the Croatian Zdravko Logarusic stepped in.
"We have not performed any miracles. It has been all about hard work from the players and good guidance from the coaching staff," said Logarusic ahead of today's epic clash. Under his watch, Gor have only lost once, way back in April against Ulinzi Stars but since then, they have stringed together a 20 match unbeaten run that has put them in pole position.
"We have had more clean sheets than any other team and have 13 players scoring for us in the season. So it is fair that we are where we are now," said Logarusic, a man keen on numbers and statistics.
While they may have had over a dozen different scorers, the one who has scored the most important goals is Danny Sserunkuma and he will be needed to be at his best against Thika.
The Ugandan hot shot has bagged 17 goals this season, 11 for Gor and his partnership with Rama Salim today will be key to unlock the Thika rear guard. Thika beaten in their last three encounter with Gor are determined to finish as high as they can in the KPL standings but coach John Kamau admitted that his side may lack the mental edge to outwit Gor.
"Obviously the pressure will be on Gor to win and how that affects them will determine the outcome of the game. On our part we have young players who may not have played in front of a big crowd so they will have to be mentally tough to cope with the occasion," explained Kamau.
Probable line up: Gor: Jerim Onyango, Solomon Nasio, Christopher Wekesa, Donald Mosoti, Ivan Anguyo, Anthony Akumu, Joseph Njuguna, Victor Ali Abondo, Moses Odhiambo, Rama Salim, Dan Serunkuma; Thika United: Lucas Indeche, Simon Mbugua, Vincent Okello, Dirkir Glay, Tony Kizito, Kuria Joseph, Wycliffe Opondo, John Nairuka, Francis Kahata, Kepha Aswani, Haji Mwachoki.