Gor Mahia dropped their first points of the 2018 season when they drew 0-0 with Tusker at Machakos.
Additional reporting from the Nation
Champions Gor Mahia dropped points for the first time this season after battling to a barren draw with Tusker in an exciting Kenyan Premier League match at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.
After watching his charges fire blanks for the first time this term, Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr will have more to worry about after Ivorian striker Ephrem Guikan was stretched off injury in the second half injury time.
Guikan collided with Tusker goalkeeper Duncan Ochieng as he attacked a ball from a free-kick.
Both teams had chances to win the match with Guikan culpable of what might turn out to be the “miss of the season” after hitting the woodwork from inside the six-yard area in the second half with the goal mouth gaping to the shock of the handful fans who bothered to show up for the rescheduled tie.
“We have to blame ourselves for the missed chances, this is something we practice every day in training but its African mentality of not taking things serious,” lamented an angry Kerr.
“Again playing three games in a week is tedious, worse, after a 24-hour trip from Equatorial Guinea. Credit to the players anyway despite dropping two points.”
His opposite number Sam Timbe said his side had a better chance to win the game but were undone by missed chances.
“We had opportunities in the first half to kill off the game. Last game, we converted two out of six clear chances we had but today we couldn’t,” said Timbe.
“All games are tough, we just need to keep working hard,” he said.
Kerr made eight changes to the team that beat Kariobangi Sharks 2-1 at the same venue on Sunday while Timbe retained the squad that recorded a similar result against Nzoia Sugar on Saturday.
Kerr handed attacker Eliud Luokwam a rare start ahead of veteran forward Meddie Kagere while former Tusker duo Humphrey Mieno and Cersidy Okeyo partnered in midfield.
Luokwam was also culpable of wasting a glorious scoring opportunity in the opening half after he failed to beat Ochieng from inside the six-yard box even after leaving Collins Shivachi for dead with a lovely turn.
Tusker too had their fair share of missed chances with Amos Asembeka combining well with former Gor attacker Timothy Otieno, but the former Sony sugar man fired wide with only Boniface Oluoch to beat.
Second half substitute Jackson Macharia, on for Asembeka, had a late header cleared off the line by Charles Momanyi as both teams went for the opener.
The early exchanges were open, where Gor utilised wide areas to create pockets of space, with George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo posing their main threat up front.
Momanyi’s header from a Lawrence Juma corner in the 14th minute flew inches wide. Timothy Otieno’s glancing header at the stroke of halftime was off target.
After the restart, Guikan twice missed to score what could have been his second goal of the season. But it’s his miss on 73 minutes that left the whole stadium in shock. Kagere beat his marker to set up the Ivorian whose first shot was blocked by Ochieng’ before his rebound ricocheted off the crossbar.
Despite the draw, Gor moved to the summit of the standings with 10 points, same as Mathare United but with a superior goal difference. It was the first time Gor have dropped points or failed to score in a league match this season.