Football Football

Nutall sent off as Gor victoriously resume KPL

Shares

NUTALL-REDNAIROBI, March 19- Gor Mahia head coach Frank Nuttall was sent to the stands but his champions beat Bandari 2-1 in a feisty encounter that fittingly ushered back Kenyan Premier League action after a three-week layoff on Thursday evening.

Rwandese import, Meddie Kagere, put K’Ogalo ahead in the 20th minute after tapping in a Michael Orunga cross to endear himself instantly to the club’s faithful as the titleholders put allegations of unrest over non payment of their dues to lay siege on the Docker’s goal in the opening exchanges.

Lawrence Kasadha levelled for the port side nine minutes later before the star of the infant season, midfielder Ali Abondo scored the winner from the spot in the 61st.

The league resumed much to the delight of top flight football lovers since the opening round of fixtures on the weekend of February 21 and 22 after Football Kenya Federation obtained a High Court injunction against KPL which was lifted on Monday.

In true Gor fashion, centre referee Nasur Ndoka and his team of officials were held hostage for five minutes after the final whistle as the Green Army protested some of the decisions including sending their Scottish coach to the stands.

K’Ogalo and KPL chairman, Ambrose Rachier and his captain, Jerim Onyango, stepped in to calm the heated fans and allow the officials to be escorted to the dressing room at the champion’s citadel that is Nairobi’s City Stadium.

“We should have gotten two penalties and that’s what I was expressing to the referee but I was shocked to see him sending me off to the stands. We created a lot of chances so we deserved the win.

“The players are motivated and their fitness level is high. We have two more games before the Champions League return match and I think this will help us prepare well because we have a different team for continental matches,” Nuttall said after the match.

Opposite number, Bandari head coach, Twahir Muhiddin said, “It was a balanced game and I think we gave away the points. Our defender Mohammed Shariff was not intelligent enough when he conceded the penalty but I think the layoff made us rust.

“We will be back to business in the next game on Sunday against Sofapaka.”

The league resumed much to the delight of top flight football lovers since the opening round of fixtures on the weekend of February 21 and 22 after Football Kenya Federation obtained a High Court injunction against KPL which was lifted on Monday.

Despite being a working day over 3000 turned up to watch the tie among them the Green Army, other KPL club players, coaches and foreign based Harambee Stars first choice keeper, Arnold Origi with palpable relief evident following the three-week layoff.

The hosts did not disappoint their supporters as they dominated the first half with Kagere and Olunga the chief destroyers.

Kagere, who launched his campaign at the 14-time KPL champions in style, set the pace in the 16th when Geoffrey Walusimbi’s cross found him unmarked in the box but the former Rayon Sport forward failed to beat Bandari custodian, Wilson Obungu as his header went wide.

Four minutes later, K’Ogalo were on the attack with Olunga making a swift run from the left to swing in a low cross and Kagere this time did not miss the target to open his account.

The visitors restored parity as the game approached the half hour when winger Shaban Kenga was tackled at the edge of box for a free-kick.

Former Thika United attacking midfielder, David King’atua, curved in the set piece that rattled the woodwork with Kasadha, who signed from Nairobi City Stars, tucking in the rebound past keeper Boniface Oluoch for the equaliser.

Massoud Juma could have sent Bandari ahead when he raced from the right to drive in but narrowly missed target as both sides headed to the interval locked one-all.

Gor resumed the brighter side with Walusimbi, Olunga and Abondo squandering clear chances before they were awarded a penalty when the forward was brought down in the box by Shariff.

Abondo stepped up to calmly convert for his seventh goal in all competitions for the champions.

The goal motivated the home team with Olunga blazing from close range moments before Kagere was denied a brace by the cross bar as Olunga failed to head home the rebound.

With a minute before added time, Doka sent Nuttall to the stands after the Scotsman protested some of his decisions.

Shares

Comments