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Mathare dampen Gor coronation party

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Gor Mahia midfielder George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo tries to find a way past the Mathare defense during their Kenyan Premier League clash at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on September 30, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

KISUMU, Kenya, Sep 30 – Mathare United came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with champions Gor Mahia at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Sunday, on the day K’Ogalo were laying their hands on their 17th Kenyan Premier League title.

Gor had gone ahead through goals from Jacques Tuyisenge and Humphrey Mieno in either half, but Mathare fought back with substitute Klinsman Omulanga pulling one back before Cliff Nyakeya restored parity from the spot.

Under the sweltering mid-afternoon Kisumu heat, the game didn’t have much pace with both sides taking time to pass the ball around the simmering turf, pace hugely slowed down by the scorching 2pm heat.

Mathare were building up from the back, young keeper Job Ochieng being hugely involved.

However, it was Gor who broke the deadlock after eight minutes when Tuyisenge scored his 14th goal of the season after beating the offside trap to face Ochieng one on one and calmly place the ball beyond him.

It was a positive start for Gor who were coming into the tie on the backdrop of three losses on the trot and with the feel good factor of the trophy day awaiting them, it was a brilliant way to get the party started.

Gor Mahia striker Ephraim Guikan goes past the Mathare keeper Job Ochieng during their Kenyan Premier League clash at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on September 30, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Mathare though were not about to let their hosts take them for an evening stroll and gave a fight and had chances of their own. In the 20th minute, Clifford Alwanga tried his luck with a shot from distance but it flew straight to keeper Peter Odhiambo.

Four minutes on the turn, Gor had another brilliant opportunity to double their lead when Ephraim Guikan was sent through by Tuyisenge, the Ivorian doing everything right but placing the ball inside the net.

Guikan did well to beat keeper Ochieng one on one but his eventual shot at goal was heroically cleared off the line by a sliding Samuel Olwande.

The Slum Boys having dodged a bullet increased their forays upfront and on the half hour mark, keeper Odhiambo was forced to work extra hard flying to his right to block a volley from Alwanga after a corner had been flicked his way on the right.

Gor Mahia defender Karim Nizigiyimana turns away from Mathare United’s John ‘Mavado’ Mwangu during a Kenyan premier League match at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Sunday September 30, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

K’Ogalo had another great chance five minutes to the break off a counter when George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo won the ball on the left and raced into the box, but his shot placed to the bottom left of Ochieng’s goal missed the target by a whisker.

In the second half, Gor put their hands firmly on the steering wheel with Mieno scoring the second goal seven minutes after the restart, thumping home the ball from inside the box after a poorly defended corner.

Mathare made changes with Daniel Mwaura and Omulanga coming on to strengthen the attack and the drew one back in the 67th minute when Omulanga tapped into an empty net when Mwaura had cut back a cross for him after going past keeper Odhiambo.

The Slum Boys completed their comeback 10 minutes from time when former Gor Youth midfielder Cliff Nyakeya converted from the spit after Omulanga had been pushed from the back by Gor hard man Joash Onyango.

Gor put in some hard work in the final 10 minutes to try get off with a win, but they could not get a goal to pick all three and raise the party mood.

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