By Stephen Ochieng
Record Kenya Premier League champions Gor Mahia will begin their title defense at home when they face 2009 league winners Sofapaka at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday 26 August 2023.
The 20-time league holders ended their two-season trophy drought when they beat Robert Matano’s Tusker to the 2022/2023 gong by a mere one point.
Their dramatic 1-4 win over Nairobi City Stars, where they had to come from a goal down in the do-or-die tie, got the job done as they added another accolade to their trophy cabinet.
Ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, head coach Johnathan McKinstry has called upon the K’Ogalo faithful to turn up for their match as the team embarks on defending their title.
“It all starts again on Saturday. We look forward to welcoming you at Kasarani stadium as Gor Mahia set off in pursuit of another Football Kenya Federation Premier League title.
Be part of the journey from day 1 and play your part in our continued success,” the Northern Irishman posted on his social media account.
Gor begun the season on a high as they clinched the curtain raising Football Kenya Federation Charity Shield after edging Kakamega Homeboyz on post-match penalties (4-2) after the game ended in a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
Elsewhere, moneybags Kenya Police will be hosted by Kariobangi Sharks at the Kasarani Annex as last season overachievers Nzoia Sugar, who finished fourth just six points behind Gor, take on Ulinzi Stars.
Having roped in title-winning Kenyan international Kenneth Muguna to their squad alongside Tyson Otieno who was one of their standout performers last season.
Additionally, the law enforcers further strengthened their technical bench with the acquisition of Salim Babu who led Nzoia Sugar to the impressive finish last season. Babu will deputize Francis Baraza as an assistant coach.
The other highlight fixture will see Bandari lock horns with Tusker at Mbaraki Grounds in Mombasa.
On Sunday, 12-time champions AFC Leopards will begin new life under Tom Juma when they host Talanta at Nyayo Stadium.
Top-flight debutants Murang’a Seal will face a familiar foe in Shabana who have also been promoted back to the top tier after 17 years. Their clash is slated to take place at the Raila Odinga Stadium in Homabay.
Kakamega Homeboyz clash against KCB has been postponed owing to the latter’s participation in the CAF Confederation Cup where they are preparing to face Libyan side Al Hilal Benghazi in the second leg of the First Preliminary Round.