NAIROBI, Kenya, July 6- Talisman Dan Sserunkuma scored his seventh goal of the season to salvage a point for champions Gor Mahia who came from behind to force a 1-1 draw against plucky Thika United in a pulsating Kenyan Premier League (KPL) encounter played at Nairobi’s City Stadium on Sunday.
Tusker closed the gap to join them at the summit on 31 points after a 1-0 win over Western Stima at Mumias Sports Complex.
Jackson Macharia broke the deadlock for Thika United in the 26th after David King’atua set him to place the ball at the far right corner for the opener.
Sserunkuma leveled for the hosts in the 32nd through a spot kick after Harambee Stars Under-20 defender, Vincent Omumbo, handled the ball in the box to see the Uganda Cranes forward join Sofapaka’s Enock Agwanda and Sony
Sugar’s Edwin Oduor a top the scorer’s chart with seven goals apiece.
“I’m very disappointed with the referee because he only added three minutes despite the game having several stoppages and that’s why you see the fans are frustrated adding three minutes was an absolute joke.
“It’s difficult to judge the new signings in one game but they played better and we had to pull out Dan Onyango and try Ugandan Arther Ssemanzi and he changed the pace of the game so time will tell if he will continue with the good form,” Gor head coach Bobby Williamson stated after the match.
On the other hand Thika United coach, John Kamau was satisfied with the result that saw them climb to ninth on the log.
“I’m happy with the way the boys have managed themselves since we always have a problem in coming from a break where we usually lose but looking at today’s match I’m disappointed because we failed to convert our chances since we created more than our opponent.
“I can’t blame Omumbo for conceding the penalty since he is a young player and we have to give him room for improvement. The result is a plus to me and that’s means we have something to build on,” Kamau said.
Gor having made several changes that including new signings Collins Okoth, Ssemazi, forward Timothy Otieno, Simon Mburu and Patrick Oboya who was cleared to play by FIFA but failed to collect maximum points at home.
With Thika United losing 2-1 in the first leg, they were the first to find the back of the net through midfielder Macharia who was set by King’atua to place the ball past Harambee Stars keeper Jerim Onyango’s reach.
K’Ogalo got back to the game seven minutes later after referee Davies Omweno penalized Omumbo for handling the ball under pressure inside the box for Sserunkuma to rise to the occasion and send compatriot Hamuza Muwonge the
wrong way as he placed the ball into the far corner of the net.
The hosts created more chances in the second half with youngster Otieno coming close to record his first goal for Gor after rounding Thika defenders before unleashing a fierce left foot shot but Muwonge was up to task denying the forward with a fine save.
Williamson pulled off Sserunkuma for fellow country man Ssemazi in the 66th before introducing Mburu in place of John Kariuki.
Ssemanzi had a chance to put his name on the score sheet in the 72nd but he failed to connect Godfrey Walusimbi’s cross from a close range.
Gor then did their final substitution bringing on Oboya for Eric Ochieng who intensified the attack but Thika
defended staunchly to see both sides share the spoils.
In Mumias, Midfielder Brian Osumba grabbed the only goal in the 40th after heading home Ali Abondo’s cross to net his sixth for the Brewers.
Coming from a 1-1 draw against struggling Top Fry Nakuru, coach Francis Kimanzi handed new signing Dennis Ng’ang’a his debut with Dennis Nzomo replacing midfielder Osborne Monday who is serving suspension after picking a red card.
In the early kick-off at City Stadium, KRA continued with their good run following their 3-1 victory over Nairobi City Stars.
Edwin Misiko opened the scoring for the Kawangware based side in the 16th after keeper Philip Odhiambo’s clearance from Lawrence Kasadha’s cross hit Misiko to roll in to the net.
Harambee Stars forward Geoffrey Kataka restored parity two minutes later after receiving a long pass from Philemon Otieno and beat defender Kevin Ochieng to make the game open.
Barrack Odhiambo doubled the lead in the 28th after picking a pass from Roosevelt Blaty and turned past defender Andrew Ongwae to strike for the second goal.
Debutant Mohammed Hassan who rejoined the taxmen from AFC Leopard netted the winner and his first for KRA in the 84th to see City Stars remain rooted in 14th.