NAIROBI, Kenya, July 3 – Talisman Jacques Tuyisenge scored two goals in a span of four minutes as defending champions Gor Mahia beat Thika United 2-1 in their first match of the Kenyan Premier League second leg staged at Thika Municipal Stadium on Sunday.
The win saw K’Ogalo sit third on 29 points, three adrift of leaders Tusker FC and one behind second placed Mathare United.
Gor took command of the first half that saw youngster Eric Ouma shine by providing two assists from the left flank.
He could have broke the deadlock in the opening minutes if he did not miscue a scissor kick from a Karim Nizigiyimana cross, but that was a sign of good things to come.
It did not take long before K’Ogalo found the back of the net when George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo rushed on the left to feed Ouma who curled in with his weaker right foot to find unmarked Tuyisenge, who calmly headed home in the 13th minute.
Four minutes later even before the dust could settle, Tuyisenge punished the hosts from the same position, once again nodding in from Ouma’s pinpoint cross to seal a brace.
The brilliant combination between Francis Kahata and Ouma saw Gor pin down Thika for the better part of the first half before a lapse of concentration from keeper Jerim Onyango gifted the host a goal.
Onyango, who was slotted in for suspended first choice keeper Boniface Oluoch, failed to stop Eugene Mukangula’s half volley shot that rolled in between the Gor captain’s legs to leave him scratching his head as Thika crawled one back in the 40th minute.
No difference was made in the second half despite substitute Enock Agwanda coming close twice for the champions.
In the dying minutes, Thika were unable to convert the few chances that came on their way with substitute Salim Mzee seeing his effort cleared by Harun Shakava while Tuyisenge too forced Martin Elung’at to make a wonderful save denying him a chance to complete a hatrick.