A goal by veteran striker Meddie Kagere enabled Gor Mahia to escape with a 1-0 victory over Kakamega Homeboyz at Afraha stadium on Saturday. Kagere justified the calls of fans who have been calling for him to be given more playing time when he sublimely finished off an assist from Karim Nizigiyimana.
Additional reporting from Capital FM
The Rwandese midfielder wheeled away in celebration, two fingers in the sky signifying his double bundle of joy just 20 minutes after coming on for George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo. He finished off a decent team move, tapping in unmarked from a yard out after being picked up by a Karim Nizigiyimana cross.
The win takes Gor to nine points, two ahead of Bandari and leaders AFC Leopards who will be playing on Sunday in Nakuru and Kisumu respectively.
Gor head coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira had been boosted with the return of Rwandese midfielder Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza who tucked in at the centre of the pack alongside Ernest Wendo with Kenneth Muguna playing infront of them.
In defense, the Brazilian coach had taken back Wellington Ochieng into the starting team with Joash Onyango who took his place in last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Western Stima missing.
It was a balanced start to the match with Gor having the first opportunity of the match, a 13th minute curling freekick by Godfrey Walusimbi which was tipped over the bar by Homeboyz keeper Mike Wanyika.
Ten minutes later, skipper Eston Esiye’s swirling shot from distance almost caught out Boniface Oluoch in the Gor goal but he managed to scamper the ball over for a corner.
Two minutes later, Oluoch had to pull an important intervention to cut out Wycliffe Ochomo who had been put through by a Stephen Wakyanya through ball.
The Homeboyz bench was up in arms calling for a foul on their striker but referee Andrew Juma heard none of it.
George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo should have taken his side into the lead but he wasted a glorious chance. A well weighted long pass from Wellington Ochieng released Odhiambo on the right with the winger cutting in, but his shot was blocked.
Almost immediately, Jacques Tuyisenge forced a great save off Wanyika with a header at the far post after the Rwandese rise well to meet a Walusimbi cross from the left.
Both sides passed the ball well around the field, but it was Gor who saw more of the possession with Oluoch left only to dictate terms to his backline.
Just before the referee whistled for half time, Mugiraneza rose high at the back post to meet a Walusimbi corner, but the ball went wide.
At the start of the second half, Ferreira hauled off Odhiambo and brought in goal scorer Kagere with Mugiraneza also coming off for Francis Kahata.
Kagere made his mark known 20 minutes later and K’Ogalo should have gone two up seven minutes later but were denied. From a Walusimbi free kick, Tuyisenge headed the ball into play from the back post but Kahata’s effort was blocked.
The ball fell graciously on defender Harun Shakava, but the ball came off the upright.
With 10 minutes to go, Muguna came close to his second goal in Gor colors but he wasted an opportunity after failing to shoot on his weaker left foot when he broke into the box allowing the Homeboyz defense to race back and clear.