NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15 – Second-half substitute Francis Kahata struck late to help champions Gor Mahia beat hosts Western Stima 1-0 in the SportPesa Premier League match hosted at Kisumu’s Moi Stadium on Sunday.
Kahata, who came on for Godfrey Walusimbi , nodded home in the stoppage time from an Enock Agwanda corner to send the Green Army into raptures.
Following the victory, K’Ogalo maintained its third spot on 23 points, four adrift of leaders Tusker FC.
Both sides made minimal changes with Gor head coach Jose ‘Ze Maria’ Marcelo handing midfielder Collins Okoth a return to the starting line-up in place of suspended Ernest Wendo.
Stima on the other hand saw head coach Henry Omino make three changes with Eston Isiye, Daniel Makachi and Wesley Kemboi earning a starting node to replace Francis Ochola, Maurice Ojwang and Victor ochieng.
In a fairly balanced first-half, both sides failed to have a shot on target but it was Gor who had a better attempt on goal, shooting twice against Stima’s one.
A patient build up from Gor could have bared fruits when Karim Nizigiyimana swung in a splendid cross from the right to see Stima goal keeper fumble as George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo waited eagerly to pounce home, but the referee came to their rescue, calling for a foul on the keeper.
The hosts survived again at the half hour mark when Vitalis Akumu cleared off the line a Khalid Aucho shot after the Ugandan had connected Walusimbi’s set-piece before Odhiambo blazed his shot from close range.
Stima had a chance to break the deadlock a minute later when Baron Oketch broke from a counter attack but Musa Mohammed did well to recover and block the shot.
On the stroke of half-time the host found another gracious opportunity to go ahead at the breather when Kenneth Muguna set up Fred Shimonyo, who failed to make good use of the chance as he saw his left foot loop go over the bar.
Stima returned with a bang and could have found the opener seven minutes into the second half when Fred Nyarombo broke through but his attempt was blocked.
K’Ogalo found their rhythm in the 62nd minute to see Walusimbi dance past the Stima defence but lost possession as the ball rolled to Andika.
Stima opted to stay behind, hoping to snatch a point but Kahata broke their heart when he headed home in the dying minutes from Agwanda’s corner.