Gor Mahia redeems self, eyes greatness

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021 00:00 |
Gor Mahia goalkeeper Gad Mathews drinks water during Sunday’s penalty shoot-out against AFC Leopards, in the FKF Cup final. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

His move to Gor Mahia was heralded as a masterstroke though some felt he was not the real deal to dislodge Boniface Oluoch from goal.

However, lately Gad Matthews Otieno is proving not only valuable but reliable between the sticks.

Such doubts emanated from the fact that Matthews had conceded 14 goals in three matches at the onset of the 2020/21 Betking Premier League besides letting six more when Gor were eliminated by USM Alger of Algeria in 2019 to be demoted to CAF Confederation Cup campaign.

The former Kisumu Day High School alumnus has in recent times been the talk of the Premier League with his showman skills particularly in spot-kicks, a specialty he has taken to like a fish in water.

His calm demeanour between the sticks almost wows even opponents and creates fear on penalty takers. 

Out of the eight penalties the first choice goalkeeper has faced in the past four months, he has only conceded twice which is bound to attract interest from national team selectors.

His exploits on Sunday afternoon in the final of the FKF Shiled Cup when Gor beat their Mashemeji AFC Leopards captured the imagination of many.

Matthews saved penalty kicks from Isaac Kipyegon and Said Tsuma which charged up the small party of K’Ogalo fans in the Nyayo Stadium while at the same time hushing the opposing Ingwe fans in the match that ended 4-1 in favour of the 19 time League Champions.

He laughs it off but insists this is just a job he loves and is always keen to perfect.

“I practice a lot and I watch videos of even some of the best goalkeepers out there.

A good goalkeeper is one who communicates and is aware of his surroundings in match situations.

I feel like I have grown so much and this is mainly because I was patient with my Craft and worked hard at making it better. 

I am happy now that things are going well, there was a time things were looking bad and it was a really frustrating phase but I thank God for patience, commitment and extra hours I put in to become better. 

The encouragement of my teammates and family was also a plus really,” said the Nyalenda born stopper who has formerly also plied his trade with Wazito, Kisumu All-Stars and Kariobangi Sharks.

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