Gor Mahia’s good run in the 2018-2019 Kenya Premier League continued on Wednesday as they beat SoNy Sugar 3-2. The win bolsters Gor Mahia’s lead at the top of the KPL standings but also provides a confidence boost ahead of their key CAF Confederations cup match against Morocco’s RS Berkane on April 7.
Additional reporting from the Nation
Visiting Gor Mahia on Wednesday edged 10-man Sony Sugar 3-2 in a thrilling SportPesa Premier League match held at Moi stadium in Kisumu.
Substitute Nicholas Kipkirui netted K’Ogalo’s winning goal in the 77th minute from the spot after Maxwell Onyango was adjudged to have handled the box attempting a clearance.
Jacques Tuyisenge and Samuel Onyango also netted a goal a piece for Gor, while Sony’s goals were scored by Enoch Agwanda and Joshua Otieno.
Sony were reduced to 10 men deep in extra time after their goalkeeper Samuel Njau was shown a straight red card for handling the ball outside his area.
Sony were lucky not to have conceded early when Tuyisenge’s header hit the goalpost, before the defending champions failed to convert from three successive corner-kicks.
Agwanda troubled Gor’s defence with his 14th minute long throw-in, Joash Onyango coming to the rescue of the visitors with a timely clearance.
Agwanda fired the sugar millers ahead on the 20th minute with a long low drive from the right wing directed to the far right of the goalpost, an effort that Tuyisenge cancelled three minutes later.
The Rwandese connected to Erick Ombija’s shot pass inside the box from the left, to beat Sony’s goalkeeper Njau with a left-footed shot at the centre.
But, when K’Ogalo thought they were done with the danger, they found themselves trailing again just three minutes later after Otieno beat goalkeeper Shaban Odhoji with an ambitious effort to the left side of the goalpost.
The visitors then poured in front in search of an equaliser, their effort paying off on the 37th minute thanks to Onyango.
Tuyisenge latched on the ball inside Sony’s area, beat two green shirts, before finding an unmarked Onyango with a shot pass, the latter slotting home easily.
The hardworking Sony suffered a blow at the stroke of halftime after Robert Mudenya was stretched off injured and his place taken by Kennedy Owino.
Gor begun the second half more rejuvenated, Ugandan Shafik Batambuze forcing goalkeeper Njau to a 50th minute save, before Onyango failed to connect to a pass from the midfield.
A few moment later, Robert Achema tested Gor’s rear guard with a rising long range shot as the battle for maximum points intensified in the encounter.
Gor coach Hassan Oktay made a double substitution in the 57th minute, Nicholas Kipkirui taking the place of injured Tuyisenge, while Kenneth Muguna replaced Pascal Ogweno, his opposite number Odhiambo responding with the introduction of Daniel Otieno for Joshua Otieno.
Kipkirui scored K’Ogalo’s winning goal on the 77th minute from a controversial penalty that saw the match stopped for five minutes after Sony’s technical bench invaded to pitch to confront the referee after the decision to award Gor the penalty.
The confrontation saw Sony’s coach Patrick Odhiambo sent to the stands, as Agwanda stood in between the stick since Sony had exhausted their substitutions.