Tusker deny Gor Mahia in explosive match

By nesta kizito
Mar 26, 2014
  • Gor Mahia Geoffrey Walusimbi (right) in action against Tusker Osborne Monday.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Gor Mahia Fredrick Onyango stops the ball during their match against Tusker.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Nine men Tusker held off Gor Mahia to a 1-1 draw in a bad tempered Kenya Premier League match on Wednesday evening of high drama at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Centre referee Sylvester Kirwa flashed out red cards to Martin Kiiza and Lloyd Wahome late in the second half. But, the brewers rode their luck for a priceless point to ensure they stayed on top of the Kenyan Premier League table with 14 points.

Francis Kimanzi, the cynical Tusker coach was an elated man at the final whistle, the setback of losing two players notwithstanding.

“Getting a point with 9 against 11 men feels like a win. I am very happy with my players’ performance today. If I had been the Club President I would have given them a double bonus,” Kimanzi said.

Gor Mahia was by far the dominant side in the match but squandered numerous chances which let Tusker off the hook.

Fleet footed midfielder Kevin Omondi was the biggest culprit. In the first half alone he spurned three decent chances and another one in the second period before Bobby Williamson rested him for Patrick Oboya.

Oboya was however pulled off moments later following a crunch tackle from Martin Kiiza which resulted in the latter’s sending off.

Omondi should have put Gor Mahia one goal up as early as in the ninth minute when Innocent Mutiso teed him up for a free kick which Samuel Odhiambo between the sticks for Tusker did extremely well to tip over the crossbar for a corner.

Fine save

Omondi forced Odhiambo to yet another fine save with a well struck volley before seeing his attempted lob at the half hour mark ricocheting off the woodwork from Kenga’s neat lay off in a move that was orchestrated by Dan Sserunkuma.

When the breakthrough finally came on the stroke of half time it was from the unlikeliest of sources. Haroun Shakava produced an almost carbon copy of his goal against Tunisian club Esperance with a towering head at the back post from Mutiso’s corner.

K’Ogalo should have stretched the lead just three minutes after the break when Omondi found himself clear from a long ball but his final shot flashed across face of goal.

For their wastefulness Gor Mahia were punished shortly afterwards when Tusker won a penalty awarded for Kevin Oluoch’s foul on Jesse Were in the box. Ismael Dunga stepped up to restore parity for Tusker with a calmly taken spot kick.

Then drama unfolded. Geoffrey Kizito rattled the base of the upright with a thunderous long range effort in the 60th minute before Kiiza and Wahome saw red for atrocious tackles on Oboya and Sserunkuma.

The final exchange of the match was a scrappy affair with Gor Mahia seemingly clueless on how to kill off Tusker who tenaciously held on for a draw.

“We created many chances but we unlucky not to find that decisive second goal. The officiating was also not satisfactory,” was Williamson’s assessment of the match.