NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – Despite a howler from keeper Boniface Oluoch, Gor Mahia showed a character of a champion when they cemented their dominance over Kariobangi Sharks with a 2-1 win on their return to the Kenyan Premier League after continental duty. Here is how it went down in pictorial at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Sunday.
As the ritual, the Green Army sang with passion the K’Ogalo anthem before kick-off in a match that was played under sunny conditions.
Experienced Davis Omweno, who officiated in 2014 FIFA World Cup as first assistant was the center referee of the clash that was a late-kick off in the double header.
Gor was entering the clash fresh from booking a first round ticket to the CAF Champions League where they will meet Espérance de Tunis while Kariobangi Sharks came to this encounter at the back of a 1-1 draw away to Chemelil Sugar.
Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr made changes to his team, starting Philemon Otieno and Bernard Ondieki upfront as Samuel Onyango and Bernard Omondi ran either wing. His Kariobangi counterpart made changes in the goal after welcoming his first choice keeper John Oyemba.
Just as has been their tradition since Kerr took charge last July, K’Ogalo started with immense pressure. In the sixth minute they had their first effort at goal, Guikan glancing a header wide from Samuel Onyango’s cross.
However, in the 10th minute, Gor were wheeling away in celebration, roles changing from the first chance, after Guikan set up Onyango who slotted the ball past an on rushing Sharks custodian, Oyemba.
Gor Mahia fans welcomed the opener that saw Gor take charge of the game.
In the 21st minute, Sharks found themselves level courtesy of an Oluoch howler. The shot-stopper let the ball slip between his legs from a Omwenga long range free-kick.
In the 25th minute, Guikan had another go at goal but his shot from the edge of the box was weak after a little pretty back-heel assist from Kagere.
At the half hour mark Onyango almost made it two for Gor in similar fashion as he had done in scoring the first, breaking off on the right to meet a Kagere pass but this time Oyemba made a superb stop for a corner.
Both teams headed to the break sharing the spoils, but it was Gor who were disappointing after letting the lead slip out of their hands.
In the 76th minute, Gor came close with Kahata’s freekick landing inside the six yard box from the right but Kagere’s touch was too much, the ball flying over.
However, five minutes later, Gor made it 2-1 with Guikan tapping in unmarked at the far post from a Kagere cross.
The reigning league champions will only have two days of rest before facing Tusker FC at the same venue on Wednesday.