NAIROBI, Kenya, September 25 – Champions and leaders Gor Mahia dropped two vital points to keep the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title chase alive after visiting Bandari forced them to a barren stalemate at the City Stadium citadel Wednesday.
The result saw K’Ogalo inch their advantage over closest challengers Sofapaka to two points on 48 while third placed Tusker FC who play Ulinzi Stars on Thursday in Nakuru six adrift with the frontrunners playing 25 games apiece.
K’Ogalo who are yet to lose at home, were determined to continue with their winning run, coming from edging out another title contender Chemelil Sugar 2-0, but none of their forwards; goal poacher Dan Sserunkuma, George ‘Black Berry’ Odhiambo or substitute Patrick Oboya hit the target.
However, they had the ball in the net in the first half but the effort was on evidence of television replays wrongfully chalked off for offside.
For the Dockers who are staring the relegation zone, it was a point gained despite collecting their seventh successive draw as they walked out of the oldest stadium in the country with their heads high, having picked four points from Gor this season.
“We have struggled this season because there were changes in the team during the mid season transfer but I’m happy we played well against a big team to hold them considering they came with a winning mind,” Bandari center-back Sharrif Mohammed said in a post match interview.
It only took five minutes for the hosts to threaten when Sserunkuma was going for his 12th goal of the season but defender Andrew Waiswa did well to keep his side in the game after blocking the Ugandan’s shot in the box for a fruitless corner.
Five minutes later, Harambee Stars custodian Wilson Obungu who made comeback to the team after serving one match suspension, was forced to come off his line to clear Godfrey Walusimbi’s effort.
The Uganda Cranes left-back found the back of the net in the 24th after his fellow country man Sserunkuma weaved past Humphrey Okoti and David Naftali to feed him, but center referee Moses Osano ruled the goal off-side despite the fact the ball deflected off a Bandari defender on its way to Walusimbi in the box.
Bandari got their first chance at the 35th through Kepha Aswani who found space to pull a trigger but Jerim Onyango was well positioned to repel the shot as Victor Ndinya failed to connect the rebound.
Geofrey Kizito responded two minutes later with a thunderbolt that went wide before Sserunkuma broke through from the right to bring in a cross that forced defender Khamis Tole to clear in the line to deny Harun Shakava who was eagerly waiting to tap in as both sides head to the break locked.
Twahir Muhiddin charges resumed a charged side and could have found the opener in the 51st through Ndinya from a counter attack who went past Onyango, only for him to slow down for Musa Mohammed to recover and clear the danger.
Gor head coach Frank Nuttall, pulled out Eric Ochieng for Oboya who set Kizito but the midfielder failed to notch his third goal of the season in the dying minute as Bandari held on to pick a point and remain 13th on 27 points, just two behind struggling AFC Leopards.