Kerr starts Gor tenure positively, but wants more from players

By alex wafula
Jul 31, 2017
  • Gor Mahia's Harun Shakava leads in celebration after Eugene Ambulwa scored an own goal. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

  • Zoo Kericho's Bernard Odhiambo wheels away from Kariobangi Sharks' Geoffrey Shiveka. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

  • Gor Mahia's Boniface Omondi goes down under a challenge from Nakumatt's David Gateri as Karim Nizigiyimana races for the ball. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Dylan Kerr, the Gor Mahia coach began his tenure as the new K’Ogalo boss on a positive note, leading the 15-time Kenyan Premier League champions back to the summit of the log with a 2-0 result over Nakumatt FC at Nyayo Stadium.

An own goal by Eugene Ambulwa early in the first half and a late strike from George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo gave Kerr the dream start.

But he wants more from the team as they prepare to face the league’s new comers again on Wednesday.

“It was great to start with a win and I think I am happy with what I saw today especially in the second half. We need to play with more intensity. I was particularly not happy with our action in the final third. Our crossing and passing was not what I would have loved,” the coach offered.

He is confident the team will catch up as he has seen enough intensity, hunger and drive in training. With the absence of keeper Boniface Oluoch who Kerr explained was away as he had gone for a friend’s burial, Peter Odhiambo started in between the sticks.

Philemon Otieno also started in midfield ahead of the injured Ernest Wendo while new boy Boniface Omondi also had a starting berth.

The match wasn’t quite fast off the blocks but Gor got into the driving seat eight minutes in. Ambulwa in an attempt to head away a cross from the right found himself heading into his own net, leaving his keeper Sammy Okinda dazed.

Omondi had been exciting on the wings and provided the game’s next two chances.

First, Meddie Kagere failed to get a meaningful connection from his cross on the right. Minutes later, he could not get his head firmer on a Karim Nizigiyimana cross, Okinda collecting easy.

Attacking punch

Nakumatt were giving in some attacking punch as well. Boniface Akenga saw his shot from the right hiss across the face of goal while minutes later after racing past his markers failed to hit the target.

In the second half, Gor upped the ante upfront, but still could not get the right ball in midfield.

With the final 15 minutes of the game, Nakumatt increased the tempo and they forced Gor to play on the back foot. They were dangerous on set pieces with Kepha Aswani twice rising to head in but missed the target.

Gor were forced to twice clear off their lines from set pieces, but all the anxiety was eased in the 90th minute when Odhiambo slammed the back of the net with a wonderful solo effort.

In the earlier kick off, substitute Danson Namasaka stepped off the bench to secure a point for Zoo Kericho as they played to a 1-1 draw with Kariobangi Sharks.

Ebrimah Sanneh had given the hosts the lead early in the second half, but they couldn’t hold on.

The Gambian rose in to head a well weighted cross from Paul Kamau. Both teams had half chances in the first half, but the closest for Sharks was towards the half hour mark when Duke Abuya’s shot came off the bar.

After going 1-0 up, Sharks seemed comfortable and were made to pay when Namasaka slotted home with barely his first touch of the ball.

In Meru, new signing Boniface Muchiri rescued a point for defending champions Tusker FC as they played to a 1-1 draw with Posta Rangers.

Dennis Mukaisi had given Posta an early lead, scoring against his former employers.

KPL Weekend results

Saturday: Sofapaka 1 Muhoroni Youth 1, AFC Leopards 0 Western Stima 1, Chemelil Sugar 1 Thika United 1, Kakamega Homeboyz 1 Mathare United 1, Ulinzi Stars 1 Nzoia Sugar 1.

Sunday: Kariobangi Sharks 1 Zoo Kericho 1, Gor Mahia 2 Nakumatt FC 0, Tusker FC 1 Posta Rangers 1.