NAIROBI, Kenya, August 29- New Harambee Stars coach Henri Michel got a clear picture of the task at hand in his new assignment when he sat at Nairobi’s City Stadium to watch Gor Mahia edge Oserian 1-0 in a Tusker Premier League (TPL) clash on Wednesday.
Rama Salim’s scrambled tenth goal of the season in the 29th minute was the difference between the two sides in the turgid match that went a long way in making the Frenchman realise the enormity of the task he has on his hands from the stands.
It was a game that epitomised the dire state domestic football finds itself in after years of decline but the pleased Green Army of K’Ogalo fans did not mind how the win that lifted them to fifth in the table above Ulinzi on goal difference was achieved.
In fact, matters would have been different had substitute Mathias Okoro kept his head and tucked in a guilt edged chance to equalise instead of firing tamely to the side-netting with Gor keeper, Fredrick Onyango, well beaten in added time.
Okoro’s miss would have pegged back K’Ogalo for the second TPL match in a row after they recovered to hold another struggling side, Mathare United 2-2 at the death in their previous encounter.
“Our game did not flow well but we are happy with the win. There was some fatigue among some of our players,” Gor assistant head coach, Bobby Ogolla said in the immediate aftermath of the encounter.
Flanked by his two French assistants, Michel watched Gor start the match with the sort of tempo that has seen them cruise past opponents before the Mathare draw and would have taken the lead much earlier had striker Dan Sserunkuma and Salim capitalised on the early chances they created.
When the goal arrived just short of the half-hour mark, it was not in the way Salim who has illuminated K’Ogalo this season, would have relished after he pounced on a dreadful spill by Oserian keeper, George Ochieng to tuck the ball in.
After conceding, the flowermen with immediate former Tusker FC coach, Sammy Omollo in charge, did little to suggest they will haul themselves from the bottom where they remained stuck a point a drift of Rangers but with two games at hand.
“I’m happy with the team and their display this afternoon and we are confident of doing much better in our remaining matches,” Omollo expressed.
There was little to write home about in the second period apart from half-spirited attacks as both sides appeared to settle on the result although Oserian briefly caused Gor fans anxious moments in their last-ditch efforts to find the leveller.
With Michel taking notes, the progression of the former Congo United midfielder Salim must have provided the main entry in an afternoon where domestic league football did little to suggest the upturn in Kenyan football was around the corner.