Lobi Stars coach Solomon Ogbeide ascribed Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Gor Mahia in the Champions League first round first leg match at the Kasarani Stadium to “altitude” and “not coaching.”
Samuel Onyango was the hero for K’Ogalo, grabbing a brace with Rwandan import Jacques Tiyisenge scoring the other to secure the convincing win ahead of the return leg next weekend Saturday in Nigeria.
Samad Kadiri scored the important away goal for the visitors.
“Today’s match as a matter of fact was altitude, not coaching. We lost to altitude,” Ogbeide said.
The team had planned to arrive as late as possible in Nairobi, play and leave to beat effects of high altitude.
Compared to Makurdi, Lobi Stars’ base in Benue – Nigeria, Nairobi’s elevation is at 1,795m – 1,682m higher.
Athletes from lower altitude areas generally experience reduced oxygen intake in higher altitude regions which could limit their ability to perform better.
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Gor Mahia’s new Turkish Cypriot coach Hassan Oktay on the other hand hailed his players for adopting well to his style.
“They did very well actually – the adaptation, of course the way I want them to play, temp and high intensity football, every day I see them get better and better,” said Oktay.
A draw or a loss of less than two straight goals will see Gor Mahia through to the group stage of Africa’s top club competition for the very first time.
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