Hassan Oktay impressed with Sofapaka forward but bemoans CAFCC exit
Gor Mahia moved to within a touching distance of the 2018-2019 Kenyan Premier League with a 2-0 win over fellow title challengers Sofapaka with head coach Hassan Oktay revealing his admiration for John Avire and bemoaning an exit in the CAF Confederations Cup.
Goals from Samuel Onyango and Jaques Tuyisenge ensured K'Ogalo opened up a 10 point gap over second-placed Sofapaka while still having a game in hand. The win also extended Gor Mahia's unbeaten run in the league to 21 games with their last defeat coming at the turn of the year against KCB.
Oktay revealed his season target was to play in the finals of the Confederations Cup, "My target was to play the final as you know Zamalek and Berkane are in the final and our boys reached the quarter-finals which is a good achievement, coming up against Petro (Atletico), Hussein Dey, Zamalek, financially very strong teams and we got out of the group stage, sometimes you have to give them (players) credit."
After a long and gruesome season that has seen them play close to 40 games this season, Oktay was impressed with the win, "Good result, great three points and I'm very happy. Very close I can say to the title, we are in a stage where it is very close, I think so. I lost one of my best strikers, one of my left back, Lawrence is finally on form but is injured, Oliech is injured, Batambuze is injured, we had a lot of injuries and every three days we play a game."
The Turkish-Cypriot also made public his admiration for John Avire who joined Sofapaka at the start of the season from Nakumatt (now Mount Kenya United), "He is a good player, he played in a wrong position today but he is a good player." When asked if he would sign him, Oktay replied, "I did not speak to anyone and I don't like changing a lot but definitely, every team brings two or three players."