Tusker pick three points from Gor Mahia

By nesta kizito
Sep 15, 2021
  • Tusker players celebrate after converting a penalty against Gor Mahia on Sunday at the City Stadium.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Gor Mahia slipped up in the Kenyan Premier League title race suffering a 0-1 defeat to Tusker at City Stadium on Sunday.

The result was the first loss for K’Ogalo in nine matches since Scottish coach Bobby Williamsons took over two months ago. It was also Gor Mahia’s third defeat this season and the first since they fell 2-1 to Western Stima on May 26.

After a drab first half, during which both teams failed to settle down, Tusker got the match all sewn up in the 62nd when Ismael Dunga converted from the spot after Musa Mohammed handled the ball in the box.

Williamson was a visibly incensed man at the end of the match, blaming his first loss at K’Ogalo’s helm on the penalty decision and time wasting tactics by the brewers.

“It was clearly a ball to hand but I will have to look at it again. What annoyed me the most is the way Tusker resorted to wasting time to wind own the clock,” Williamson said.

But Gor Mahia will only blame themselves for spurning the numerous chances they created in the closing exchanges as they chased an elusive equalizer.

The match was characterized by hard tackles in the opening exchanges with Tusker’s Khalid Aucho the target of some mean challenges from his markers.

Fired first salvo

Chances were at a premium in the first half although Tusker fired the first salvo as early as the sixth minute when the league’s leading scorer Jesse Were skipped past youngster Angelo Okumu and lobbed a ball that landed on the roof of the net.

Moments later, Robert Omunuk tested Jerim Onyango with a shot which, however, didn’t trouble the goalkeeper. Just after the half hour mark, Dan Sserunkuma twice broke free on the left but on both occasions failed find the target.

After the breather Williamson effected a double substitution bringing on Joseph Njuguna and Paul Kiongera for Eric Ochieng and Angelo Okumu respectively, while Robert Matano pulled out Robert Omunuk to pave way for Joshua Oyoo’s entry.

Gor should have taken the lead in the 49th minute Gor when Kevin Omondi received a good cross from the right flank, slipped past his marker but took too much time on the ball for a feeble final shot straight into Boniface Oluoch’s hands.

Five minutes before Tusker got their match winning goal, Kiongera came close with a free kick that flashed just inches above the crossbar.

Then Tusker struck.The goals stung K’Ogalo who threw everything into the match in a futile effort to salvage atleast a point.

Almost drew level

And they almost drew level twice in a space of a minute.

But their efforts were repulsed by Tusker goalkeeper, Oluoch, who gave a man of the match performance with some great saves.

First, with fourteen minutes remaining on the clock, Oluoch denied Sserunkuma from a tight angle. A minute later, he kept out the diminutive Ugandan striker’s dipping shot with a fingertip save for a fruitless corner.

With time running out, Williamson threw his last card on the table by introducing Edwin Lavatsa for the overworked Innocent Mutiso. Tusker coach on the other hand chose to lock up the game by pulling off Jesse Were for a defender, Governor Jeffrey.

As desperation crept within K’Ogalo’s ranks, central defender Donald Mosoti was lucky to get away with what appeared to have been punch on Dunga in an off the ball tangle.

Tusker coach Matano was modest in victory.

“Don’t expect to score too many goals against Gor Mahia. I am happy with the result. We just have to keep getting the right results in the remaining matches to stay in contention,” he said.

At Mombasa’s Mbaraki Sports Club, hosts Bandari snatched a last gasp equalizer against a ten-man Ulinzi Stars for a 1-1 draw, while in Naivasha relegation candidates Karuturi Sports and Kakamega Homeboyz played a barren draw that will do very little to help their course.