Football Football

Cranes lift K’Ogalo past City Stars


SSERUNKUMA-CELEBNAIROBI, Kenya, February- Ugandan internationals Dan Sserunkuma and Geoffrey Kizito led Gor Mahia to launch their Kenyan Premier League title defence with a resounding 2-0 win over Nairobi City Stars on Thursday at Nairobi’s City Stadium.

K’Ogalo talisman Sserunkuma opened the deadlock in the ninth minute before compatriot and Cranes team mate the new signing Kizito sealed victory with the second in the 67th.

However, the match was delayed for 15 minutes after Green Army fans caused chaos at the entrance after tickets ran out compelling police officers to lob teargas at them before they were allowed in for free.

Following the opening day’s win, head coach Bobby Williamson, declined to underline their title credentials despite his team completing a commanding victory.

“We could have scored many goals but their goal keeper was good enough to deny us. They got several chances after we scored the opener but when we got the second, I was certain we will win the game.

“The players have picked up well on their level fitness after playing in the champions league but we will continue training ahead of our nest match,” Williamson added.

The Scot the slammed the referee stating, “I’m just disappointed he did not protect my players that saw Timona Wanyonyi stretchered off while Shaban Kenga had to be rested after he picked a knock.”

K’Ogalo opened their KPL account three days after returning from Gabon where they completed a 4-2 win on penalties over US Bitam after both sides were locked 1-1 on aggregate over two legs of their CAF Champions League preliminary clash.

New City Stars Coach, Robinson Ofuokwu, was not disappointed with the result saying the team is still undergoing transition.

“They have done their best but the coordination and positioning cost us a lot but we will go back and do the necessary corrections and we look forward for the next match.

“We have not had enough time to do preparation since I’m new in the club, there is a lot we need to rectify,” the Nigerian told.

K’Ogalo enjoyed possession for the better part of the game after launching straight into attack from the offset.

Sserunkuma tried City Stars custodian, Fredrick Majani, after heading a Wanyonyi cross but keeper saved with his left foot.

Wanyonyi was at it again, bringing in a cross from the right flank to find former Chemelil forward Jared Obwoge, who headed only for the keeper to stand tall.

The combination of Sserunkuma, Kenga, Obwoge and Wanyonyi finally paid dividends after good interchange of play saw the Ugandan striker, their top scorer in the last two seasons, sink a header past Majani.

Former K’Ogalo midfielder, Kevin Ochien’g was unlucky when he saw his sizzling shot fly went wide but City Stars were back on the cosh with their defence blocking Kenga’s shot with Simon Ogutu scything down Kizito as he went for the rebound.

In the 35th, Ochien’g blasted his wide with Musa Mohamed racing to the other end to cross from the right for Sserunkuma who was thwarted from notching his double by defender John Amboko.

With Obwoge and Kenga looking busy without penetration, Dennis Okoth almost brought the sides level in a rare attack but keeper Jerim Onyango rescued the danger to see Gor enjoy a 1-0 lead at the breather.

Ten minutes into the second half, former cult hero, George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo was brought on for Wanyonyi after he was hacked down by Ogwae.

Gor continued pressing and sealed the points when Kizito, unleashed a cracker few meters outside the box to score the second after Sserunkuma’s initial shot hit defenders and the ball rebounded back to his foot.

Williamson brought in Innocent Mutiso and Rama Salim, who tried to break through the City Star back four but there were to be no further strikes.

Gor next play Mathare United away on Sunday at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos while City Stars face Bandari.