Much to the relief for fans everywhere, Gor Mahia recovered to beat Nairobi City Stars 2-1. It look late goals from returnees Haron Shakava and a late one from Collins Okoth to deliver all three points. It was atimely win for a team that has struggled in the past two games. For coaxch Ze Maria it was a relief as some fans had started to doubt him especially his ability to create a partnership between Tuyisenge and Kagere.
Additional reporting from goal.com
K’Ogalo came into the match after two successive draws knowing they had to start winning if they have real intentions of successfully defending their title, with the Kawangware-based side also aware of relegation threats considering their unpleasant position in the log.
The match started on a high note as both sides fought for an early opener, and it could have been Gor Mahia, who had scored in the 5th minute as Erick Ouma found Meddie Kagere in the danger zone, but his flick went inches wide.
Jimmy Bageya narrowly missed the target in the 11th minute, as he danced his way past the defenders. It was a wake up call for the champions, who found it hard against the opponents’ well organized midfield. But the opener came in the 22nd minute thanks to Haron Shakava, who scrambled the goal home after a well taken free-kick by Karim Nizigiyimana.
However, the lead lasted for less than 90 seconds as City Stars hit back courtesy of Ezekiel Odera, who took full advantage of Gor Mahia’s lapses at the back. In the 43rd minute, Olivier Maloba was fed the ball after a nice move in the left wing, but shot straight at Boniface Oluoch despite having many options.
In the second half, City Stars started strongly and Shakava was forced into a game saving tackle to deny Mageya who was sure to beat him, and the former was cautioned. The introduction of Baron Oketch increased the tempo upfront for the champions as they won two consecutive corners in the 50th minute, but bore no fruits.
Five minutes later, Meddie Kagere wasted a glorious opportunity. Nizigiyimana floated in a cross from the right, but the Rwandan headed over the bar. It was pressure after pressure from K’Ogalo, who were keen on getting three points, but resolute City Stars defense ensured it does not happen.
The winner however, came in the stoppages as substitute Enock Agwanda threw his trademark long ball towards the goal, and Collins Okoth managed to win it for the champions. Gor Mahia have now moved second with 34 points, three behind leaders Tusker, who failed to get a win against Sofapaka earlier on.