Gor Mahia beat Mathare United to go second on the log

By alex wafula
May 22, 2016
  • Gor Mahia hitman Jacques Tuyisenge is unstoppable against George Owino of Mathare United. Gor Mahia won 2-0 to go second on the log. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Gor Mahia, the Kenyan Premier League champions continued their resurgence with a fifth successive win.

K’Ogalo beat Mathare United 2-0 at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday evening as the two sides swapped places on the log, Gor going second and Mathare dropping third in the SportPesa-sponsored league.

Godfrey Walusimbi’s sublime effort and Jacques Tuyisenge’s header late on were all Gor needed to win and Jose Marcello Ferreira, the club’s head coach was pleased with the brilliant display.

“I have a very good group of players, committed and very hard working and the little thing I have added to them makes them play well. We did well against a very tough opponent and it makes us stronger as we try to defend our title,” the Brazilian coach told Sports News Arena after the match.

The first half was one of minimal chances as neither keeper was tested throughout. But it was a display of tactical prowess between the two coaches, Mathare pressing high while Gor sought to use their strength of speed on the wings.

Innocent Wafula twice managed to lay off crosses from the right but in both instances Jacques Tuyisenge and George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo arrived late inside the box.

Mathare were limited in their opportunities moving forward. Eric Johannah however managed to weave his way from the left but his eventual shot went wide.

The defending champions came close to winding the first half a goal up but Innocent Wafula’s freekick from 30 yards out flew a few millimeters above the target.

Change to add creativity

At the start of the second half Francis Kimanzi, the Mathare United coach made his first change, bringing on Alphonce Ndonye for Crispin Oduor to add more creativity in midfield. But it was Gor who stepped up higher playing with more urgency.

Walusimbi rewarded the huge chunk of possession and dominance with a brilliant goal in the 68th minute curling the ball into the top right corner.

Kimanzi was shaken off his seat on the bench and he immediately brought  in his top scorer Obadiah Ndege for midfielder Edward Seda.

With 10 minutes to go and an all attack-minded show needed, Kimanzi threw caution to the wind, pulling off right back Noah Abich for striker Harrison Mwenda.

But Gor were in no mood to back down as they hit the second three minutes later, top scorer Tuyisenge sneaking in past George Owino to head in a cross from Erick Ouma.

Despite pulling their weight together in attack, Mathare could not find a way past Boniface Oluoch.

“It was a game of very minimal chances and the luckiest team won. We were not aggressive going forward and defensively, we had some blip moments. But at least I am proud of the boys because at this point, we have achieved our first leg targets,” Kimanzi told Sports News Arena.

In the early kick off, Posta Rangers moved back to winning ways by beating Nairobi City Stars 1-0.

Despite the win, Posta Rangers started the match better and came close in the 18th minute with Moses Otieno’s shot from a Gaerson Likonoh cut back being deflected wide.

Likono headed in an empty net

Three minutes later though, they got the lead through Likono who headed into an empty net after Cavin Odongo’s attempt was deflected high by the onrushing Nairobi City Stars goalie Roonie Kagunzi.

Kagunzi’s butter fingers almost gifted Zedekiah Otieno’s side a second in the 44th minute from an Odongo shot but luckily the ball did not cross the line as he recovered to pick up.

Nairobi City Stars came better in the second half and Posta Rangers endured a nervous end with the Kawangware-based boys throwing all their weight in attack.

They came close with three minutes left on the clock but Jimmy Bageya’s close range effort from a Daniel Otieno cross came off the crossbar.

John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla, the City Stars coach remains positive that the team will not be relegated despite  a tough first leg. “If our players are not swayed away and we keep the same outfit, I am very sure that we will survive. Today we played better but we were never lucky,” he said.