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Stars boss Bobby satisfied with Gor draw

Harambee Stars' Brian Birgen (left) vies for the ball with Gor Mahia forward, Mehdie Kagere during their friendly at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday. PHOTO/Raymond Mokhaya.
Harambee Stars’ Brian Birgen (left) vies for the ball with Gor Mahia forward, Mehdie Kagere during their friendly at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday. PHOTO/Raymond Mokhaya.

NAIROBI, July 1 – Harambee Stars head coach, Bobby Williamson, has a clearer picture of his starting XI against Ethiopia’s Walya Ibex after his side were forced to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday by domestic champions, Gor Mahia.

Ronald Omino late equaliser helped Gor hold the national side in the friendly tie played at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium where Stars host Ethiopia who lead their African Home Nations Championships (CHAN) qualifier 2-0 from Addis Ababa.

Omino, who replaced Karim Nzigiyimana in the second half, cancelled Jesse Were’s half hour opener to leave the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) titleholders unbeaten domestically this season.

K’Ogalo were using the match to gauge their new signings ahead of their next KPL clash against Thika United next weekend.

“I’m much clear in my mind of who will start. We need to polish some few mistakes I pointed out today before Saturday. We need to convert chances then take it from there. It was a good exercise for both teams,” Williamson said after the match.

Gor head coach, Frank Nuttall who acquired the services of speedy winger, Paul Were from South Africa’s Premier Soccer League side Amazulu on June window transfer deadline day, said the work out was a perfect opportunity for Enoch Agwanda to gel with his new team-mates.

“We played very well; the match helped us gauge our fitness level. Agwanda has a lot of potential, looking at the number of goals he scored last season it’s a good return for a guy who is only 22 years.

“He will really boost our front line since he can play in different positions,” Nuttall added.

Williamson fielded in a strong team that featured six Gor players, Boniface Oluoch in goal, Harun Shakava and Musa Mohammed in defence, Collins Okoth in the midfield as well as Michael Olunga who played upfront.

K’ogalo were the first to threaten a breakthrough after 22 minutes when Nzigiyimana brought in a cross from the left but Agwanda failed to score on his debut as his header sailed over.

A minute later, Liberian defender Dikir Glay cleared an Olunga goal bound off the line after Ali Abondo had set him up but there was no one to stop Were’s header at the half hour mark when he nodded past Jerim Onyango to break the dead lock.

Onyango denied Were the brace moments later when he parried the Tusker FC striker’s ferocious shot while at the other end, Oluoch was called to action for the first time to rescue Timothy Otieno’s effort.

The second half belonged to K’Ogalo after Williamson brought out a different team with the exemption of Were who partnered AFC Leopard’s winger Noah Wafula up front.

Glay once again cleared Wafula’s shot off the line in the 68th before Omino levelled from a brilliant build after George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo exchanged passes with Meddie Kagere before the latter picked Omino who squeezed the ball past Onyango.

Stars last chance in the game saw, Wafula fail to find the back of the net when he blazed wide in an empty net after Oluoch was well beaten.