NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18- A brace from Ephrem Guikan, one from Jacques Tuyisenge, and a Mwinyi Hajji own goal saw Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia outclass Tanzania’s Yanga 4-0 at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on Wednesday night to move a step closer to qualifying for the CAF Confederation Cup quarter finals.
The victory which was K’Ogalo’s first in the group stages took them to five points in the standings, remaining second after leaders USM Alger beat Rayon Sport 2-1 in Rwanda.
Gor were a class above their Tanzanian counterparts and save for a few instances in the second half, there wasn’t a dime of evidence that this was the same side that was playing its seventh game in less than three weeks.
Head coach Dylan Kerr made changes to his team with Shabaan Odhoji starting in goal ahead of Boniface Oluoch, Charles Momanyi slotted into defense in place of the suspended Joash Onyango while Bernard Ondiek partnered Humphrey Mieno in midfield in place of the injured Ernest Wendo.
In attack, Guikan started upfront playing out wide in the position usually occupied by the departed Meddie Kagere.
George Odhiambo who did not train on Tuesday was replaced in the starting team by Samuel Onyango.
A slow start to the match saw the first real chance at goal open up in the 12th minute when Guikan’s shot from distance was parried away by Yanga keeper Rostand Jehu.
The rebound fell on the strike’s path, but on the second bite of the cherry, he was dispossessed by Abdallah Shaibu who poked the ball off for a corner.
From the resultant set piece floated in by Godfrey Walusimbi, a rising Momanyi at the back of the heavily packed six yard box saw his looping header cleared off the line frantically by the Yanga backline with the keeper well beaten.
Ten minutes later though, Gor had the ball in the back of the net when Tuyisenge met a delightful ball from Onyango after beating the offside trap before finishing calmly past Jehu.
The goal injected renewed confidence into the Gor side and they played with more purpose, keeping possession well and being patient to open up the defense. Yanga were playing second fiddle and they were far from convincing, failing to trouble Odhoji in Gor’s goal.
Their first real chance at goal had to wait until the 41st minute when they won a freekick from good range after Juma Hassan was fouled, but Ibrahim Ajibu struck the resultant set piece over the bar.
Gor continued to attack and in the 43rd minute, they should have done better when Walusimbi’s cross from the left was poorly defended, the ball falling on Ondiek whose shot was however weak, the keeper making an easy pick.
At the stroke of half time, Gor doubled their lead once again thanks to Mieno’s passing magic, the midfielder slipping through a defense splitting pass that was met by Guikan on the other end, the Ivorian calmly slotting the ball into the bottom left corner, the keeper left in no man’s land.
Yanga started better in the second half, probably buoyed by the half time pep talk which inspired them to come back in and fight to reclaim the two goal deficit.
Gor’s start in the half was dampened with striker Tuyisenge limping off injured just four minutes in after failing to recover from a knock he picked towards the close of the first half.
In his place coach Kerr brought in new signing Francis Mustafa with Gor fans getting the first opportunity of seeing their new Burundian acquisition brought in to replace Kagere.
Mustafa had a chance to mark his home debut with a goal after interchanging passes with Guikan but he failed to pull the trigger inside the box, his shot blocked and Guikan picked up the rebound only for it to be saved by the keeper.
Another peach of a pass from Mieno in the 63rd minute landed on Onyango at the back post but the former Ulinzi man’s connection was blocked by the keeper at his near post.
A minute later, a promising build up from Gor saw Ondiek pick the ball from good shooting range, but his low effort was deflected for a corner.
Gor’s building pressure bore fruit in the 65th minute when Hajj headed into his own net as he tried to clear away a cross from Kahata destined for Momanyi inside the box after a short start to a corner.
With the game in comfort zone, Gor slowed down the tempo, passed with ease and managed to control the attacks from Yanga.
Guikan then finished off the day in emphatic fashion slamming the ball home from the edge of the box after a counter attack with three minutes of play left.