Sofapaka put speed bumps on Gor’s title journey

By alex wafula
Sep 25, 2021
  • Jose Marcelo Ferreira, the Gor Mahia coach shouldered the blame after a barren draw against Sofapaka at Nyayo National Stadium. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Gor Mahia’s hopes of narrowing down the gap between them and leaders Tusker FC at the top of the Kenyan Premier League standings were thwarted after being held to a goalless draw by Sofapaka at the Nyayo Stadium.

Mathews Kigonya, Sofapaka’s Ugandan custodian was the star of the show pulling up superb saves in the final quarter of the match as Batoto ba Mungu snatched a vital point.

Gor now retain second spot, four points off leaders Tusker with five matches left before the end of the season.

Coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira took the blame for the draw saying; “Today, we didn’t play well at all. Compared to how we performed in the last two games, today was not good. But I will take the blame, not the players. As a coach I am responsible when the team does not play well.”

His opposite number David Ouma was elated with the point which enabled them narrow the gap between them and safety to five points. But he concede it will be a tough affair managing a comeback because only positive results in their remaining matches couls assure their survival.

“This point today gives us a lot of motivation moving ahead. We played very well and we had four very clear chances which we should have taken and scored. But I can’t complain. Getting a point from the league champions is something very good for us,” Ouma offered after the game.

Gor missed several chances, most of which fell on Rwandese striker Jacques Tuyisenge. The Amavubi forward had two headers go wide in the late stages of the first half.

In the 36th minute, the forward headed over unmarked at the edge of the six yard box after Francis Kahata headed into the area a cross from Abouba Sibomana. Three minutes to the break, he glanced another header marginally wide from a Karim Nizigiyimana cross.

At the start of the second half, Tuyisenge had another opportunity but he glanced a header wide again from another of Nizigiyimana’s deliveries.

Caught on the counter

Sofapaka should have scored in the 50th minute after catching Gor on the counter, but substitute Charles Pilipili wasted a glorious opportunity after striking wide with only Boniface Oluoch to beat.

With Sofapaka tightening in defense, Gor coach Ze Maria made two changes, youngster Amos Nondi coming on for Sibomana while Godfrey Walusimbi came in for George Odhiambo.

The changes saw Erick Ouma drop down to left back while Walusimbi occupied the left attacking role with Nondi playing behind Tuyisenge in attack.

Gor kept the gear up and in the 63rd minute Harun Shakava saw his volley from inside the box go wide after eh Sofapaka backline half-heartedly cleared an Ouma cross.

Kigonya pulled a superb save in the 77th minute to deny Nondi after the midfielder took a shot inside the box from a Tuyisenge pass.

With the clock ticking away, Ze Maria threw caution to the wind, pulling out right back Nizigiyimana for striker Enock Agwanda in search of the goals. Agwanda’s presence gave Sofapaka much to think about as he brought dynamism into the forward line especially on his strength in long throws.

Kigonya pulled up another super save in the 85th minute, tipping away Musa Mohammed’s volley headed to the top corner after the skipper connected to an Agwanda free kick.

Sofapaka managed to put out a good defensive display with all the players piling at the back, holding on for the single point.