The Kenya Premier League match pitting Gor Mahia and defending champions Tusker ended in a 0-0 draw at Afraha stadium on Saturday. In the process Kogalo relinquished the top spot to Rangers
Additional reporting from the Nation
In the Gor-Tusker encounter, the champions were lucky to escape with a point as Gor wasted a dozen scoring chances particularly in the last 15 minutes of an exciting match after the brewers’ Ugandan midfielder Hashim Sempala was sent off.
The smooth flow of the early exchanges was disrupted following a heavy down pour which lasted for half an hour reducing the pitch into a bowl of waterlogged surface.
After the rain stopped, Gor seemed to master the slippery pitch as they took the game to brewers box.
Meddie Kagere, scorer of Gor’s winning goals in their last two matches, missed a chance to open the scoring for K’Ogalo after his header from Karim Nizigiyimana’s cross went inches off target.
The 2016 KPL MVP Kenneth Muguna also had a rasping shot that missed the target as the 15-time champions intensified their hunt for the opener.
Gor picked up from where they had left it in the second half before Tusker coach George Nsimbe, under-fire after only winning one of the opening five matches, summoned Clifford Alwanga for Michael Khamati.
On the opposite side, Gor tactician Jose Marcelo Ferreira introduced the attacking trio of Timothy Otieno, Innocent Wafula and Francis Kahata for Jacques Tuyisenge, Karim Nizigiyimana and Jean-Baptiste Mugiraneza.
The substitutes nearly gave Gor the lead as Otieno fired wide in the 65th minute with his first touch of the ball from inside the area.
Centre Anthony Ogwayo sent off Sempala for a second bookable offence for a high boot.
With 10 minutes to the final whistle, Godfrey Walusimbi – who was brilliant all afternoon – watched haplessly as his shot hit the crossbar, before Muguna was also denied by the woodwork as Gor piled on more pressure on the understrength brewers.
Gor coach was agitated by the officiating and trailed the referee after full time.
“Poor officiating denied us victory. The match official was not equal to the task,” said Ferreira.
Tusker coach George Nsimbe blamed the heavy rains for disrupting their playing pattern.
“We had crafted a winning formula but again we had no control of the weather which made the pitch slippery after it rained heavily,” said Nsimbe.