NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – It was a perfect home debut for Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr as he guided his charges to a 2-0 victory over Nakumatt FC in his first Kenyan Premier League match played at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.
In the earlier kick-off played at the same venue, Zoo Kericho held Kariobangi sharks to a 1-1 draw with Ebrima Sanneh sending Sharks ahead in the 47th minute but Danson Namasaka ensured the spoils were shared after netting the equalizer.
Elsewhere, defending champions Tusker FC played to a similar 1-1 scoreline with visitors Posta Rangers at the Kinoru Stadium in Meru where Dennis Mukaisi opened the scoring for the Sammy Omollo charges in the seventh minute before Boniface Muchiri grabbed the leveler in the 43rd minute.
The win for K’Ogalo propelled them back on top of the Kenyan Premier League table with 31 points, one point ahead of Posta while Ulinzi Stars and Tusker are placed third and fourth respectively with 29 points apiece though the Brewers have an inferior goal difference.
All attention was on Kerr and indeed the Briton delivered to the delight of Gor fans as pressure forced Nakumatt FC to concede an own goal through Eugene Ambulwa just five minutes after kick-off to hand Gor the deserved lead.
George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo sealed the win on the 90th minute from a solo effort.
The opening half belonged to Gor who returned to the Premier League after showing a brilliant display in their historic 1-0 loss to English Premier League side Everton FC on July 13 in Tanzania.
Boniface Omondi was a thorn in Nakumatt’s flesh on the right flank when he created the first chance that could have seen K’Ogalo double the score at the quarter-hour mark if Meddie Kagere or Jacques Tuyisenge were in the box in time to connect the fine cross.
Omondi was at it again two minutes later when he went past Nakumatt’s David Gateri to find Kagere, only for the Ugandan-born Rwandese to miss the target.
Nakumatt responded three minutes later as Boniface Akenga produced a wonderful display to go past the entire Gor defense but was denied by Freedrick Odhiambo in the Gor goal.
At the half-hour mark, Omondi saw his header rescued by Nakumatt custodian Sammy Okinda after Tuyisenge had put him through.
Tuyisenge had an opportunity by himself in the 34th minute after weaving past Ambulwa but his effort was thwarted when he tried to cut back to give Okinda chance to snatch the ball.
Okinda was the busier of the two keepers in the second half, first stopping a one-on-one from Tuyisenge just after the restart before tipping over Omondi’s shot for a fruitless corner.
Gor could have scored two goals in two minutes if they had utilized their chances that saw Kagere fluff a glorious chance, tapping wide with an open net before Omondi did well to beat an offside trap to loft the ball over the goal post.
However, Blackberry utilized his chance in the dying minutes when a goal line clearance landed on him in midfield to go all the way alone and bang that ball past on rushing Okinda for the winner.