Gor Mahia fought gallantly to edge a tough Tusker side 1-0. The winning goal came from Nicholas Kipkirui who converted a corner. Gor Mahia had been reduced to ten men after goalkeeper Boniface Onyango was sent off.
Additional reporting from Citizen Sports
Both sides got the afternoon ticking with a fair share of chances on both ends but it was the visitors who enjoyed a slightly fatter share of the ball.
K’Ogallo were forced into an early change after first choice goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch was given matching orders by referee Caroline Wanjala for handling the ball outside his territory after Tusker forward David Juma was set up by a fine through ball from the middle of the pack.
Oluoch stopped Robert Matano’s men from taking the lead in the 26th, but his decision was met with a red card forcing boss Hassan Oktay to sacrifice goal hunter George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo, as back-up goal keeper Shaban Odhoji took up the mantle between the sticks.
The K’Ogallo no. 1 left the pitch limping in what seemed like an injury ahead of their CAF Confederations return leg face-off with Algeria’s NA Hussein Dey in Algiers on Sunday.
Midfielder Samuel Onyango got close to giving the hosts the lead in the first half on three occasions, being denied by the right hand side of Emery Mvuyekure’s post on the stroke of the first half.
The two sides came back for the second half ready to bag all the three points and a series of attacks were lodged on both ends with Gor Mahia the first to reap, 12 minutes into the second half, after goal poacher Nicholas Kipkirui got onto to the end of Shafik Batambuze’s right footed corner.
Matano’s troops lobbied for an equaliser as substitute Bill Oporia got on target by heading in a corner in the 80th minute but the referee ruled it out for a foul on the goal keeper in the build up.
A couple of moments after blowing up a glorious opportunity to double the hosts’ lead, Rwandese forward Jacques Tuyisenge made way for veteran striker Dennis Oliech with five minutes of normal time remaining, marking the first appearance for ‘Wuod Maria’ as he is known in some quarters after the much-publicised pay dispute with the Gor hierarchy.
Oliech and Onyango both came close in the final moments of the game but sent the ball flying onto the stands, with the Kipkirui solitary goal getting the job done for the 17-time KPL champions.
Fresh from their success against Algeria side NA Hussein Dey, Gor Mahia will once again bring their attention back to the local scene. On Wednesday they take on Tusker FC in what promises to a tough encounter. The match will be played at Machakos on Wednesday February 27.
Tusker are only one point behind Gor Mahia. Both sides are eager to remain in the title chase and both are hard pressed to keep up with league leaders Bandari.
It promises to be a tough encounter. Last season Gor Mahia dropped their first points of the season when they were held scoreless by Tusker in February. In the return leg in October, Tusker scored a 1-0 win.
And Tusker have some highly motivated individuals. Coach Robert Matano is always motivated to play Gor Mahia. Former Gor Mahia attacker Timothy Otieno will also want to make his mark against his former club. But the one player who always wakes up from his sleep when playing against Gor Mahia is Kevin Omondi. Inconsistent as he is, the one team he always wants to play well against is Gor Mahia.
Gor Mahia for their part will be looking to make amends for last season when they dropped four points to Tusker. A win is critical in order to keep pace with Bandari. Kahata and Joash Onyango will be missing due to minor injuries. But Kogalo have plenty of confidence after beating Hussein Dey and the return of Dennis Oliech will only serve to further strengthen the team.
Oliech to make a comeback
Gor Mahia are buoyed by the return of striker Dennis Oliech following the intervention of coach Hassan Oktay.
“I was looking forward to have him back and I am very happy that he listened to my request and came for training. He is a real pro. Remember he did not play for two seasons but he came back and is giving 100% for the team. Unfortunately he got injured and couldn’t come with us to Angola but when he recovered he played for 90 minutes (against Western Stima). Not all players are like that.
The coach is full of praise for Oliech whom he says is showing the rest of the players how to be a professional.
“I love to have him in the team because of his experience. He talks to the young players and lends his vast experience to the team. I am telling you any coach would want to have a player like that on the team so I hope that the management can sort out this issues amicably,”
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.
Gor Mahia have yet to drop a point in the 2018 Kenya Premier League. They have won three matches in three games. On Wednesday, they will face their sternest test when they take on Tusker at Machakos.
They will be playing against former player Timothy Otieno, a player who did not get much playing time under Dylan Kerr. It is for this reason that Kerr believes the former Kakamega high stalwart will be playing with a chip on his shoulder.
“Timothy poses danger to us and I am sure he will want to get one over me. We have to have a strategy to stop him but above all we must keep the momentum knowing Esperance lie ahead of us in the CAF Champions League,” he said to the Standard.
Kerr is not satisfied with his team’s scoring record. It is an issue that could cost Kogalo dearly against Esperance.
“We have to score many goals. We create chances but we have to have that cutting edge,” continued Kerr.
His options might be limited if Tuyisenge has yet to return to full fitness and he has to balance between winning league matches and resting players for the Esperance encounter.
“It is a tough balancing act in rotating players knowing you have many engagements coming up,” said Kerr.
Tusker will be buoyed after winning their first match of the 2018 season. Gor Mahia will be hoping for a similar result to the one that pertained the last time these two sides met. This was on September 23 2017. Kogalo beat Tusker 2-0 at a rain soaked Kericho Green stadium. The goals came via George Odhiambo and Meddie Kagere.
Indeed Blackberry has played some memorable matches against Tusker. In 2010, he scored one of the best individual goals seen in Kenya in the last decade when he weaved past the entire Tusker defence and planted the ball on the roof of the net.
On the Gor Mahia side, Humphrey Mieno and Cercidy Okeyo could prove useful playing against their former club. In goal, Kerr will likely prefer Boniface Oluoch to give the custodian a chance to regain his confidence.
Gor Mahia are currently in second place with a game in hand. A win over Tusker will see them claim the top position in the 2018 Kenya Premier League.
Gor Mahia hammered Tusker 2-0 in what can only be characterized as one of the most important wins of 2017. At the start of the week, Kogalo were nine points ahead of Tusker. Then came a high court ruling that nullified results against Nakumatt and Zoo Kericho. Based on this ruling, Gor Mahia’s leaf over Tusker was now only six points. It was therefore critical for Kogalo to beat Tusker on Saturday. That they did, winning 2-0 with goals from Meddie Kagere and George Odhiambo Blackberry.
Additional Reporting from Sportpesa news
Gor Mahia FC all but sealed the 2017 SportPesa Premier League (SPL) title when they beat champions Tusker FC 2-0 in a water-logged Kericho Green Stadium on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Kakamega Homeboyz FC did Gor a huge favour by sinking their closest challengers, Sofapaka FC 2-1 while stuttering Posta Rangers FC were forced to yet another stalemate when relegation-threatened Thika United FC rallied for a 1-1 draw.
Victory against the side that dethroned them from the crown last season saw Gor who are bidding to extend their SPL title record to 16 stretch their tally to 54 points, a yawning 15 ahead of the Brewers whose latest resurgence was halted on its tracks.
Meddie Kagere opened the scoring for K’Ogalo in the 19th minute before in form George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo put the result beyond doubt in the 56th in a symbolic result that signified the passing of the mantle from the Ruaraka-based Tusker to the team that has won it 15 times in their glittering history.
It was a welcome return to pitch action after Kericho Green official residents. Zoo Kericho FC and fellow top-flight first timers, Nakumatt FC were suspended from the competition on Friday after the High Court in Nairobi ruled against the 18-team SPL.
Football Kenya Federation is set to appeal the verdict delivered by Justice John Mativo at the Court of Appeal and pending the outcome of the legal process, possible intervention of world governing body, FIFA as well as the redistribution of points won against Zoo and Nakumatt if the challenge fails means Gor could wait a while before uncorking the champagne.
Tusker lined up David Okello between the sticks while Lloyd Wahome and Eugene Asike operated at the back while Collins Shivachi and James Situma were charged with providing ammunition from the right and left full back positions.
Ugandan import, Hashim Sempala was tasked with the donkey work at the middle of the park in partnership with Humphrey Mieno. Allan Wanga completed a 4-3-3 formation that also had Paul Odhiambo and Danson Kago upfront.
Gor boss, Dylan Kerr, made two changes to the team that battled to a goalless draw with Thika last weekend with Francis Kahata and Jacques Tuyisenge starting in place of Philemon Otieno and Timothy Otieno.
Boniface Oluoch kept his place in goal with skipper Musa Mohammed marshalling the defence.
Gor, playing a league match for the first time at the venue, started on a sound by pinning Tusker in their own half as heavy rains pounded Kericho.
Collins Shivachi came to the Brewers rescue in the eighth minute when he cleared a goal bound shot but the reprieve was short lived when Kagere put dominant Gor to the lead.
In an effort to take advantage of the slippery conditions, Sempala unleashed a long-range shot in the 21st hoping to catch Oluoch out but the effort sailed over before Mieno came closer in the 34th but his finish from close range skewed wide.
Tusker were dealt an injury blow a minute to the break after Odhiambo was withdrawn due to injury with George ‘Best’ Nsimbe bringing on Ghanaian forward Stephen Owusu in his place.
Gor dominated the first half but Tusker came back a rejuvenated side at the restart but their momentum was cut short when Odhiambo buried a set piece from the edge of the box when Tuyisenge was fouled.
The match petered out as a contest following the second goal until when Kagere drove down the midfield to put through compatriot Tuyisenge but the latter was denied by a hawk-eyed Okello.
Boniface Muchiri almost halved the deficit but his free kick from the edge of the box fizzled narrowly wide.
Nsimbe sent in Michael Khamati for Jackson Macharia before Kerr sought to bolt the back by bringing on two defensive midfielders in Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza and Philemon Otieno for Odhiambo and Kenneth Muguna.
The rain finally stopped with 11 minutes from full time but the fog did not lift from Tusker as they surrendered to defeat.
Gershon Likonoh opened the scoring for Rangers at Ruaraka Grounds when he turned in a trademark long throw in from Luke Ochieng only for Suleiman Ngotho to level matters a minute later for Thika mid first half as the home side stretched their wretched run without victory to nine.
At the Mumias Sports Complex, danger man Umaru Kasumba continued his hot streak in the SPL when he put Sofapaka ahead only for their former servant, Wycliffe Opondo, to equalise for Homeboyz as the sides went in for the break at 1-1.
Jeremiah Wanjala, who is also on a rich vein of form, settled the game when he notched the winner in the 53rd as the winners consolidated third.
Saturday’s SPL results left Gor 12 clear of Sofapaka (42), the same tally with Homeboyz with Kariobangi Sharks FC (39) leading the chasing pack in fourth.
This Saturday at Kericho Green stadium, Kogalo will take on defending champions Tusker in what is shaping up to be a crucial encounter. The match was moved from Kinoru stadium to Kericho as the former stadium is under renovation.
Tusker are currently third placed nine points behind Gor Mahia but still within striking distance. A win for Tusker will see them whittle that gap down to six points. So Tusker will come to the match determined. After slumping during the first few matches of the second leg, Tusker have put their campaign back on course. This week they beat Bandari 0-0.
Kogalo for their part will be looking to consolidate their lead after a disappointing scoreless draw against Thika United. On Tuesday, Gor Mahia shockingly lost 5-1 to Administration Police, an NSL side. It was former Gor Mahia player Kevin Omondi, who came back to haunt Gor Mahia. He always plays well against his former club.
The last time Kogalo and Tusker played was in April, the match ended in a scoreless draw. In March the two sides met in the Super Cup which Gor Mahia won 1-0 with a Jacque Tuyisenge penalty. Goals are usually rare when these two sides meet.
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.
The twice postponed DSTV Supercup will take place this Sunday at Afraha featuring Gor Mahia and Tusker. This cup usually features the winners of the league and the winners of the GoTV Shield. However the sponsors likely settled on Gor Mahia in order to draw crowds.
The match is scheduled for Sunday, 5-March-2017 at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru from 3pm. Gate charges for the match are KSh500 and KSh200.
The long awaited Kenya Premier League will start the following weekend. Gor Mahia will start their campaign against newly promoted Kariobangi Sharks that is owned by FKF chair Nick Mwendwa. The league will start with 16 teams as KPL awaits a tribunal decision on whether to include Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth.
2017 SportsPesa Premier League Round One fixtures:
Saturday March 11 – Tusker vs Nzoia United (TBA), Bandari vs Nakumatt (Mbaraki), Kakamega vs Homeboyz vs Team Y (Mumias), AFC Leopards vs Ulinzi Stars* (TBA), Zoo Kericho vs Posta Rangers (TBA)
Sunday March 12 – Mathare United vs Thika United (TBA), Kariobangi Sharks vs Gor Mahia (TBA), Sony Sugar vs Chemelil Sugar (Awendo), Western Stima vs Team X (Kisumu)
Gor Mahia are on track to successfully defend their KPL Top 8 title. On Sunday they beat Tusker 1-0 thanks to a sublime free-kick from Francis Kahata.
Additional reporting from futaa.com
Francis Kahata scored an incredible free kick in the dying minutes of the first half to hand Gor Mahia a 1-0 win against Tusker during KPL Top 8 match second leg played on Sunday 19 at Nyayo National Stadium.
Gor Mahia controlled possession from kickoff and forced Okello into a routine saves with powerful drives coming from Tuyisenge and Agwanda.
Jose Marcello’s men were unperturbed and gave Tusker fc a torrid first half dominating so much in possession but Ghanian import Stephen Owusu offered a reminder of the threat posed by Tusker FC when he forced Fredrick Onyango into a back peddle save with a low drive from 5 yards.
Jacques Tuyisenge and Enock Agwanda missed further chances as Gor Mahia applied relentless pressure, and they finally broke through in the dying minutes of the first half with a superb free kick coming from Francis Kahata at the edge of the box after Jacques Tuyisenge had been fouled by Eugene Asike.
After the break , Tusker FC enjoyed 60% in possession but never troubled Gor Mahia as their attacking line of Noah Wafula, Stephen Owusu and Michael Khamati were kept in scarps.
Tusker were struggling to create clear-cut openings and it ended up with Gor Mahia enjoying their spells a clear indication of how Brewers were similarly short of ideas.
However, Tusker could have equalized through Robert Omunuk but Jerim Onyango impressed with a great save to deny the former Sony Sugar man a debut goal in his return to the club. Finally Paul Nkata’s side upped the ante and began to camp in the final third, though found chances difficult to come by.
Paul Nkata’s side knew it would require a masterful performance to overturn the deficit and they were hard pressed to create any real chances.
In the final minutes Tusker looked so frustrated and lacked the spark they have shown so far this season.
The 1-0 win by Gor Mahia ensured they booked a spot in the final with a 3-0 aggregate after they had won 2-0 in the first leg match. They will play Muhoroni Youth in the final.
Tusker FC Starting XI: David Okelo, James Situma, Shafiq Batambuze, Lloyd Wahome, Eugine Asike, Cersidy Lumumba, Hashim Sempala, Luis Khamadi, Michael Khamati, Joseph Owusu, Danson Kago
Subs: Martin Musalia, Brian Luta, Osborne Monday, Collins Shivachi, Humphrey Mieno, Jackson Macharia, Noah Wafula
Gor Mahia Starting XI: Frederick Onyango , Karim Nizigiyimana, Eric Ouma, Harun Shakava, Musa Mohammed, Khalid Aucho, Ernest Wendo, Innocent Wafula, Enock Agwanda, Francis Kahata, Jacques Tuyisenge
Subs: Boniface Oluoch, Luke Ochieng, Abouba Sibomana, Ronald Omino, Amos Nondi, Baron Oketch, Jacob Keli
Gor Mahia will take a 2-0 lead into the second leg clash with Tusker on Sunday as both sides vie for a place in the KPL Top 8 finals. Tusker would have to beat Gor Mahia by a score of 3-0 to advance. It will be a tall order for the ale-men as Gor Mahia are in rare form. Skipper James Situma understands the tall task ahead.
“We are 2-0 down against a good side and it will be difficult for us, but we have the courage, so we must put in the focus and play with determination. We are optimistic of getting a win,” he said to the Nation
Gor Mahia will once again rely on Jacque Tuyisenge for goals upfront and the Rwandese striker is rearing to go
“It will be a big match. I know they (Tusker) will want to come at us very hard because they also want to win this trophy. They weren’t at their best last weekend and it was easy to deal with them but I know things may be different tomorrow (Sunday). We have to be at our best,” Tuyisenge told Sunday Nation Sport.
Coach Marcelo Ferreira for his part has made it clear that not only is he gunning for a Top 8 win, but he wants to win a treble.
“Yes, I believe we can win all the title this season because this is Gor Mahia and we are expected to win every match and trophies that come our way. It’s possible looking at how that team has picked,’ the K’Ogalo tactician declared.
New signing Baron Oketch who was the subject of Tusker’s appeal, played well when he came into the game and could be deployed in the starting line-up this time. He gave full back Eugene Asike a torrid time.
Khalid Aucho returned to training this week and may be fielded. He is available to play as he awaits a Visa that will allow him to travel to Glasgow for trials.
Even without Aucho, the coach is certain that Kogalo will hit on all cylinders for the rest of the season.
“I have a very good squad. They always work hard and always want to win. That’s good for us because we have focus. They have been improving daily and I’m proud of them,” Marcelo noted.