Playing in front of a massive crowd , the kind that has not been seen in a local football match in decades, Gor Mahia were held 0-0 by English side Hull City who then went on to win 4-3 on spot kicks.
Additional reporting from the Standard
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13- Despite goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch saving three penalties, record Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia lost to English Championship side Hull City 4-3 on post match penalties in an international friendly match played infront of a sold out 60,000-seater Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on Sunday.
Gor Mahia put up a brilliant display and the crowd roared in appreciation after the penalty shoot-out following a barren draw in regulation time.
The home side had the advantage heading into the final kick of the first five and it only needed Cercidy Okeyo to score, but he saw his kick saved and in turn Hull came alive in sudden death.
The two teams scored their first kicks. However, Kevin Omondi saw his penalty saved with Hull scoring the response, ending up 4-3 winners.
It was once again a tale of missed chances from the Kenyan champions who created chance after chance especially in the first half, but could not burry any of them.
However, Dylan Kerr’s charges will leave chests high especially after performing in an exemplary fashion against a side that plays in the English second tier league and one that has history of playing in the Premier League.
Kerr will pick positives and inspiration from this game as he prepares his side for their second CAF Confederation Cup Group D match against Algerian outfit USM Alger at the same venue on Wednesday night.
The atmosphere was terrific with the K’Ogalo faithful roaring their team on against the Championship side while the neutrals cheered and raved on from any beautiful move from either side.
Kerr started off a strong side with the only difference from the team that played Rayon Sport last weekend in the CAF Confederation Cup being Ephraim Guikan starting upfront alongside Jacques Tuyisenge ahead of Meddie Kagere.
The home side had a half chance four minutes in, George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo trying his luck with a left foot snap shot from distance, but it went straight to keeper Marshall.
Three minutes on the opposite end, Hull had a chance when a cross-ball bounced inside the box from the right falling on Frazer Campbell’s feet, but the former Tottenham Hotspur man’s effort to dribble his way into the box was stopped by a forest of legs.
A sweeping team move from Gor Mahia, cheered on and appreciated by the partisan crowd handed them a decent scoring opportunity. Odhiambo swept the ball low into the edge of the box from the left into Guikan’s path, but the Ivorian’s shot was well handled by Marshall.
On the other end in the 12th minute, Evandro’s freekick from the right found Jon Toral unmarked at the backpost but the lanky winger’s header at goal flew over the post with keeper Oluoch beaten.
But it was the home side which enjoyed most of the scoring chances, creating with style and grit.
In the 19th minute, Francis Kahata should have opened the scoring on the counter when he was picked out by a well weighted pass from Odhiambo unmarked on the right, but the midfielder’s shot at goal after driving in ended wide.
Kahata came close again in the 27th minute with a freekick from the edge of the box after Tuyisenge was brought down, but his curling effort over the wall was inches close, rolling over the bar.
Three minutes later from another counter Humphrey Mieno released Tuyisenge through on goal, but the Rwandese could not hit the ball on target, curling it beyond Marshall but inches wide of the target.
Three minutes to the break, Gor had another chance again when Odhiambo’s corner found Ernest Wendo at the edge of the six yard box, but the Gor battering bull missed a chance of a rare goal for the record Kenyan champions failing to put in a strong header past Marshall.