NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – Julius Owino once again rescued Gor Mahia with a penalty to earn a 1-1 draw against Sofapaka on Wednesday.The match official pointed to the spot after ‘Kogalo’ midfielder Francis Ocholla was fouled by Sofapaka keeper Zachary Onyango in the 73rd minute as he beared down on the defending champions’ goalmouth.
“This was a tough match for us because we were playing the defending champions,” said Owino.
“We missed several chances but we are happy to come away with a point,” he added.
Sofapaka skipper James Situma cited complacency from his troops as the reason for dropping two points.
“We lost concentration and gave Gor Mahia a chance. But I’m happy our form has improved from the last two matches,” said Situma.
In keeping with the theme of Wednesday matches, controversy surrounded the first goal scored by Sofapaka striker John Baraza in the tenth minute despite being offside.
The ball was lobbed over the Gor defence into the clutches of Evans Wandera who crossed into the box for Baraza to tap in for the lead.
Gor responded with a typical impressive midfield display courtesy of Ocholla, Elisha Ochieno and George Odhiambo.
Cameroon import Baldwin Ngwa was ‘Kogalo’s’ go to man upfront but he squandered several gilt edge chances.
The men in green began the second half like they did the first by running at Sam Ssimbwa’s side like men possessed.
Ibrahim Kitawi who was at the end of a Gor counter attack could have tied the game for his side with a dipping cross but his effort came off the cross bar in the 51st minute.
The siege on the Sofapaka goal mouth continued soon after but Zedekiah Otieno’s side squandered another chance this time through Ocholla who gathered a loose ball after a mix up in the Sofapaka defence but his shot blazes over the cross bar.
Bob Mugalia who displayed some brilliant touches all evening almost put the defending champions back in the lead soon after by taking advantage of the Gor defence that was caught in two minds only to be denied by Kogalo keeper Frederick Onyango.
Sofapaka replacement Hugo Nzangu also had late chances to to win it for his team but his efforts came to naught.