Gor Mahia have started the second leg of the league in much the same way they started the first. On Sunday, Ushuru, who have recently proved a tough nut to crack, held Gor Mahia to a 0-0 draw.
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Gor Mahia were held to a frustrating draw by Ushuru FC in a league match played on Sunday.
The fifteen times Kenyan champions came into the match as favorites following their brilliant record against the tax collectors, having not conceded a single goal against them, leave alone losing against them.
Coach Ze Maria opted to rest defender Haron Shakava with former Tusker Man Luke Ochieng’ given a starting berth alongside regular Musa Muhammad with Jacques Tuyisenge, George Odhiambo and Meddie Kagere starting upfront.
Ken Kenyatta decided to name goalkeeper Shaban Odhoji between the posts with Aziz Okaka and Lamine Diallo also given a starting berth for Ushuru.
It was the visitors, who started well and could have taken a lead in the 4th minute after an early break, but Diallo was unable to put the ball in the back of the net as Boniface Oluoch correctly read his mind to put the ball out for a fruitless corner.
The visitors continued pressing for an opener with Okaka and Kennedy Oduor troubling in the wings, with Gor Mahia resorting to long balls. In the 17th minute, Okaka did well to beat Karim Nizigiyimana, but he could not find the target, and three minutes later, it was Oluoch, who was called into action once more as Diallo left three defenders for dead unleashing a shot which was tipped out for a corner.
That attack turned out to be a wakeup call for the hosts, who reacted by initiating several attacks notably Nizigiyimana’s attempts which unfortunately failed to yield fruits. In the 38th minute, Gor Mahia came close as they were rewarded a free-kick which was taken by Francis Kahata, but Meddie Kagere failed to connect.
Uncustomary, the champions looked the weaker of the two sides and once again Oluoch was called into action with five minutes to the break as he reacted fastest to deny Okaka from close range after a corner by Ushuru.
After the break, Baron Oketch was introduced in the place of disappointing Blackberry, with Innocent Wafula replacing Francis Kahata, with Ushuru bringing in Roosvelt Blaty in place of Erick mata.
In the 66th minute, Gor Mahia initiated a swift counter attack involving several players, but were let down by finishing as Wafula crossed the ball which missed Kagere. The champions continued pressing as Ushuru started playing cautiously, keen to get a point.
K’Ogalo could have won it in the 80th minute as Amos Nondi cleverly played in Wafula. The attacker had all the time to set himself up but he could not hit the target as his shot went wide off the mark. Not even the six added minutes could enable either side to score.
Ushuru Starting XI: Shaban Odhoji, Jackton Onjala, Rodgers Ochieng, Fan Ngaira, Kelal Ogal, Maurice Odipo, Eric Mata, Philemon Otieno, Lamine Diallo, Kennedy Oduor, Aziz Okaka.
Subs: Barnabas Tiema, Evans Kiwanuka, Roy Okal, Roosevelt Blaty, Dennis Wafula, Oscar Mbugua, John Kiplang’at.
Gor Mahia: Boniface Oluoch, Karim Nizigiyimana, Eric Ouma, Musa Mohammed, Luke Ochieng, Ernest Wendo, Nondi Amos, Kahata Francis, Jacques Tuyisenge, Meddie Kagere, George Odhiambo.
Substitutes: Fredrick Onyango, Wellington Ochieng, Abouba Sibomana, Enock Agwanda, Antony Mbugua, Baron Oketch, Innocent Wafula.