NAIROBI, Kenya, July 12 – New signing Timothy Otieno scored his first goal for Gor Mahia as the champions stretched their lead at the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) summit following a 2-0 win over Western Stima at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium on Saturday.
This is after visiting side Tusker FC were humbled 1-0 by Sony Sugar at the Awendo’s Green Stadium as K’Ogalo opened a three point lead at the top.
Gor netted all the goals in the second-half with midfielder Eric Ochieng breaking the deadlock in the 61st minute before youngster Otieno, who was signed from lower tier FC Talanta, putting the match beyond Western Stima in the 73rd.
Head coach Bobby Williamson, who praised forward Otieno, hopes his charges will maintain the spirit and stay at the top.
“We started the game well since we were in control and we should have scored a goal in the early minutes through Otieno but his shot went over the bar, but it’s a good sign he showed that he can score goals in future.
“Otieno is the kind of strikers that I like because he is hard working unlike Dan Sserunkuma who doesn’t work hard but scores but I like forwards who gets their reward through working hard.
“I don’t look at the table since its too early instead I look at the performances and how we are doing of which we have not been playing badly, as long as we don’t lose and draw many games I will be happy and try to stay at the top for our fans,” Williamson stated after the win.
On the other hand, his opposite number Henry Omino conceded the loss saying it was their own fault.
“Gor have changed their tactics where they played long balls, we contained them well and had the game until the second-half where we failed to head the ball away and they got the opener which brought them back to the game. I have to do something and hope we win our next match,” Omino declared.
After going three matches winless, the champions knew they needed to collect maximum points against Stima to sustain their push to retain the title.
Williamson effected a single change from the squad that drew against Thika United, with Joseph Kariuki stepping in for Sserunkuma who is in Denmark attending a two week trial at top-tier side HB Koge.
Gor took advantage of long balls to punish Stima as Ochieng floated in a free-kick in the 61st that beat Odhiambo to net his second goal of the season.
Gor brought in George ‘Black Berry’ Odhiambo for Ssemanzi and nine minutes after their opener, Owino doubled the tally after taking advantage of miscommunication of Joash Onyango and his keeper to punish the hosts who were unable to recover.
In Awendo, substitute Naftali Kombo broke Tusker’s hopes of sharing the lead when he notched the only goal for Sony Sugar in the 78th as the Brewers dropped to second.
Tusker were boosted by the return of midfielder Osborn Monday who returned after serving a one match suspension.
The sugar millers threatened first in the 14th from a corner that was curved in by Samuel Onyango but no one was at the box to slot home the opener as the ball rolled out of play.
In the second-half, Zedekiah Otieno’s charges had another open chance to break the deadlock this time round through Onyango who was set by Amos Asembeka but he blasted over the bar with only keeper to beat.
Zico pulled out Robert Ouma for Kombo to add more pressure to the Brewers backline that Francis Kimanzi strengthen when he brought in Athaman Buki for forward Clifford Awanga.
Otieno’s substitution paid off seven minutes later as Okombo tapped in Onyango’s long ball.
Despite laying siege on their host’s goal Tusker could not break through the Sony defence for the equaliser.
Gor lead on 34 points ahead of Tusker on 31 as Sony remained sixth on 26.