THIKA, Kenya, Sep 22 – On his debut, goalkeeper Brian Bwire saved three penalties as Tusker FC beat Gor Mahia 8-7 on post match penalties to clinch the season-opening Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Super Cup at the Thika Sub County Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Bwire saved two penalties in the first five and one in sudden death as the FKF Premier League champions clinched their first title of the season.
The game was forced into spot kicks to decide after a 1-1 stalemate in regular time, both teams scoring through penalties one minute apart.
On one end, Samwel Onyango scored for Gor in the 53rd minute while on the other end, new signing Ibrahim Joshua continued in his form scoring for Tusker in the 55th minute.
On penalties, Bwire saved Ernest Wendo’s kick, Gor Mahia’s 10th while Tusker’s other Tanzanian in the squad, Kalos Kirenge scored their winning kick.
Gor Mahia had the advantage after sprinting to a 2-0 lead with Tusker’s first two takes seeing their penalties fail to land in the net. Kevin Monyi saw his kick saved by Gad Mathews while midfielder Humphrey Mieno shot over the bar.
Gor had scored through Sydney Ochieng and Dennis Ng’ang’a.
However, the tide started favouring Tusker when Bwire, making his debut after signing from Kariobangi Sharks saved twice back to back, leaping to his right to pluck away Alpha Onyango and Fred Nkata’s kicks.
Daniel Sakari and captain of the day Boniface Muchiri scored to take the scores back on level terms at 2-2 after the first four.
Both Ibrahim for Tusker and Frank Odhiambo for Gor scored to send the game to sudden death.
Clyde Senaji, Christopher Oruchum, Bwire and Jimmy Mbugua scored the next four for Tusker while new signing Congolese Sando Yangayayi, Philemon Otieno, Benson Omalla and keeper Mathews responded for Gor.
However, Bwire won it for Tusker when he saved Wendo’s kick with his feet while Kirenge struck into the top right corner to hand Tusker their third Super Cup title.
In regulation time, Tusker dominated and had the best of chances. Deogratius Ojok had a header saved while Mbugua had a shot from distance fly wide. Muchiri also had a freekick saved by keeper Mathews as Tusker sought to go to the break tails up.
Gor’s best chance was in the 44th minute off a counter attack, but new signing Peter Lwasa shot inches over the bar from the right.
In the second half, Gor Mahia got into the lead after 53 minutes when Bwire was adjudged to have fouled Omala inside the box and the ref pointed to the spot. Onyango took and scored.
However, the lead lasted only a minute as Tusker responded in kind, Joshua scoring his third goal in as many matches for Tusker on the other end after he had been axed inside the box by Ng’ang’a.
It was all Tusker from there with Mathews constantly keeping his side in the game with smart saves to deny Muchiri, Ibrahim and Jackson Macharia who had come on as a sub.