NAIROBI, February 6 – GOtv Shield Champions Bandari are the 2016 DSTV Super Cup champions after edging out 10-man SportPesa Premier League holders Gor Mahia 1-0 in the season curtain raiser hosted in Mombasa on Saturday.
Anthony Kimani’s half volley in the 67th minute was the difference to see the Dockers lift their first trophy of the season and take home Sh750, 000 cash prize.
K’Ogalo finished 10 men after center-half Harun Shakava was sent off in the 40th minute for a high boot on his former team-mate Danny Sserunkuma who was the thorn in Gor’s defenders.
The encounter saw Scotsman Frank Nuttall return to the dugout after being reinstated as Gor head coach, 24 hours following his dismissal.
“I have to commend my players because before the send off we had three chances and we were in control of the game. Many things did not favor us as we were playing in Bandari’s territory.
“The new players are still on a learning process they worked hard in pre-season and are very focused. Luke Ochieng played well, Keli is good but trying to get some fitness,” Nuttall stated after the match.
His opposite number, Twahir Muhhid said the win is a big motivation ahead of their CAF Confederations Cup preliminary round, opening leg against DRC’S St Eloi Lupopo.
“I told the players to relax, avoid long balls and be patient although the goal was surprising. The luck was ours today,” Muhiddin declared.
Bandari shot-stopper Wilson Obungu was the busier of the two keepers denying K’Ogalo thrice in the opening half with his first save coming three minutes after kick-off when he warded off Enock Agwanda’s long range effort.
Six minutes later, new signing Jacob Keli thought he had scored his debut at Gor, but referee Raymond Onyango ruled off side the back-flip goal although replays in the live televised match showed Sharif Mohammed had kept the former Nkana FC striker onside.
With the match approaching the half hour mark, tempers flew up that should have seen Karim Nizigiyimana and Sserunkuma red carded, when they were involved in a scuffle where the Burundian head butted the Ugandan who reiterated, but the referee didn’t take any action.
Obungu made a fantastic save when he kept away Abuoba Sibomana header from Godfrey Walusimbi corner before blocking Collins Okoth thunderous shot off the line.
Bandari returned a stronger side with head coach Twahir Muhhidin introducing Meshack Karani who turned the provider for the goal.
Both sides were using the clash as part of their preparations ahead of next weekend’s continental assignments where Gor host Madagascans CNaPS in the CAF Champions League while Bandari will travel to DRC to face St Eloi Lupopo in the Confederations Cup.