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Gor Mahia sends Stima deeper into relegation

Meddie Kagere is joined in celebration by teammates after scoring Gor’s lone goal in their 1-0 win over Posta Rangers on August 23, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1- Kenyan Premier League champions-in-waiting Gor Mahia revenged for the 2-1 loss suffered at the hands of Western Stima in the first leg, beating the powermen with a similar score-line at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on Wednesday, sending them deeper into relegation.

The result sees Stima drop down to 17th in the KPL standings, swapping places with Thika United who were 1-0 winners over Sony Sugar at the Thika Sub-County Stadium to move off the bottom two automatic relegation spots.

Bottom side Muhoroni Youth continued their downward spiral after receiving a 6-2 spanking at the hands of Bandari FC at their own backyard to remain rooted at the bottom.

In other results, Nzoia Sugar beat AFC Leopards 2-0 at the Mumias Sports Complex while outgoing champions Tusker FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Chemelil Sugar in Awasi, the same result the Ulinzi Stars versus Kariobangi Sharks game produced in Nakuru.

In Nairobi, Stima would have done themselves a world of favor with a win against Gor Mahia, but they let off a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 and put in jeopardy their survival chances with three matches now left before the end of the season.

Western Stima coach Richard Makumbi. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Stima will be left ruing a 28th minute chance that if converted would have changed the entire complexion of the match.

Leading 1-0 courtesy of Omumbo’s penalty, Vitalis Akumu was picked up with a decent ball from Evans Kiwanuka inside the box after beating the offside trap, but with only Shabaan Odhoji to beat, the midfielder blasted the ball over.

Gor were lethargic in their start, passing the ball around like a training session and didn’t seem much enthusiastic, and you would understand as they had nothing but pride to fight for with the league title long wrapped up.

They found themselves trailing in the 17th minute with a penalty converted by skipper Omumbo after Joash Onyango, a former Stima man having nudged Brian Marita in the back and the referee pointed straight to the spot.

Onyango who was handed a start in place of Harun Shakava who missed the match with illness had not had the best of starts and even in the build up to Akumu’s 28th minute chance had been at fault for playing his former teammate onside.

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Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr gives instructions. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr had only made two changes to his squad, Onyango slotting in defense while keeper Shabaan Odhoji had his first start of the season ahead of Boniface Oluoch and Peter Odhiambo who have interchanged the number one role at Gor this season.

Soon after going down, Stima’s confidence increased and they raided the Gor goal with more pressure. Four minutes after going ahead, Marita had a superb opportunity with a free header from a Herbert Kopany cross from the left, but he bounced it straight to Odhoji.

On the turn, Francis Kahata miscued a shot from the edge of the box with his weaker right foot after Jacques Tuyisenge chested down the ball for him from a George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo cross from the left.

Stima missed their golden chance in the 28th minute and were duly punished.

Four minutes after, Gor had drawn level, thanks to some touch of luck and poor goalkeeping from Stima’s shot stopper Stephen Otieno. Kahata picked the ball on the right and lobbed it goalwards with Odhiambo off his line, thinking it would be a cross. However, the ball landed in the net.

Gor Mahia midfielder Francis Kahata in action against Gor Mahia. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

In the 35th minute, another catastrophic moment at the back almost saw Gor go 2-1 up when Omumbo’s short pass back to his keeper was intercepted by Kagere, but the Rwandese forward could only blast the ball onto the side netting from a tight angle.

However, the champions-in-waiting got into the lead in the 38th minute when Ochieng’s nifty touch at close range from a low Godfrey Walusimbi freekick from the right trickled through a forest of legs and into the net.

A minute to half time, Maurice Ojwang almost turned the ball into his own net as he tried to clear away a low cross from Ochieng, but luckily the ball rolled over with keeper Odhiambo well beaten.

Not much action was seen in the second half. On the hour mark, Jacques Tuyisenge who had not had a go at goal the entire game had his first chance to notch his 13th goal of the season, but his connection with an outstretched leg off a Walusimbi cross went over.

Stima’s chances were limited as well and the closest they got was with a Bernard Ondiek header off a Marita corner with 12 minutes left, the effort beautifully saved by Odhoji.

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