NAIROBI, April 10- Gor Mahia head coach Jose Marcelo dropped points for the first time since taking over the champions after seeing his side held to a goalless draw against Ushuru FC in a SportPesa Premier League encounter staged at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.
In the early kick off at the same venue, Ulinzi Stars’ unbeaten run came to an end after losing 1-0 to Posta Rangers thanks to Joseph Mbugi’s penalty on the stroke of half-time.
In Kisumu, Bandari fell 1-0 to hosts Muhoroni Youth while Thika United bagged their first win of the season following their 1-0 win over Chemelil Sugar.
In the last match of the double header, Gor came into the match from a fine run of two successive victories and were looking forward to keep the winning streak as they aim at bridging the gap between them and the top three teams.
K’Ogalo had a flurry of chances in the opening half, all coming agonizingly close with the first chance coming after five minutes of play when Karim Nzigiyimana swung in a fine low cross but Jacob Keli missed from close range.
The second opportunity saw Edmond Murai pick up a loose ball but his shot was cleared off the line with Francis Kahata blazing the rebound over the bar.
On the other end, a comical error almost gifted Ushuru the opener when poor communication between Musa Mohammed and his keeper Boniface Oluoch saw Dennis Wafula sneak in between them and poke the ball but Mohammed managed to recover and clear the danger off the line.
In the ninth minute, Keli came close once again, this time lifting the ball over his marker from a Murai pass, but his volley was well saved by Shabaan Odhoji in the Ushuru goal.
Gor’s forays upfront continued with Keli’s flick at the near post from an Innocent Wafula cross being headed away for an unfruitful corner.
Ushuru managed to sustain the early pressure from Gor and they should have picked the opener in the 20th minute when Eric Okoth’s cross was met by Wafula, but his header was well dealt with by Oluoch.
Marcelo was forced to make a substitution, bringing in Ernest Wendo for midfielder Khalid Aucho, who was stretched off to the ambulance after suffering a concussion as he went for an aerial ball from a corner.
Five minutes into the second period, Gor had a chance to open the scores when they were awarded a penalty after Roy Okal hacked down Keli inside the box.
However, Keli could not take advantage of the opportunity from12 yards as Odhoji stretched to save the penalty.
Keli had two other chances late on, both from Nzigiyimana’s long range passes but he could not get his firing right, shooting both chances wide.
-Ulinzi lose unbeaten run-
Ulinzi’s unbeaten run was snapped after going down to a solitary goal against Posta Rangers with Brian Birgen gifting the Zedekiah ‘Zico’ charges maximum points when he brought down Joseph Nyaga for Mbugi to slot home.
“I didn’t think that was a genuine penalty. But again at the same time, today we didn’t play well. John Nairuka, Mark Makwatta and Eric Apul were not on form. We had to bring Apul off because he couldn’t cope with the speed. We missed Kasuti so much because he is a player who can normally change the game with his speed,” Ulinzi Stars head coach Robert Matano lamented.
Posta head coach Otieno was pleased with the results noting it will give his charges more confidence in their next match.
“This is a huge win for us beating a team that had not lost since the season began. They are not an easy opponent and this was a very tough match for us. It gives us a lot of confidence moving forward,” Otieno said after the match.