Gor Mahia concluded the group games of the 2019 CECAFA club cup with a 100% record. On Sunday they beat KMKM of Zanzibar 1-0. The late goal came from Eric Ombija.
Additional reporting from the Nation
or coach Hassan Oktay made a host of changes, perhaps with one eye on the quarter-finals which commence in Kigali on Wednesday.
First teamers Boniface Oluoch, Charles Momanyi, Kenneth Muguna, Haruna Shakava and Nicholas Kipkurui were all rested, with new signings David Mapigano, Elvis Ronack, Eluid Lokuwam and Tobias Otieno playing in their stead.
“We are playing very many games in a short spell and I have to refresh the squad to avoid injuries. We are hoping to win this tournament,” said Oktay.
Still, the Kenyan champions dominated against statistically the weakest team in the group.
With four minutes played, Dennis Oalo, the new signing from Nairobi Stima, had the ball in the net with a wonderful first touch off Samuel Onyango’s pass.
But Ugandan referee William Oloya ruled that wasn’t a goal, as the scorer had strayed in an offside position.
Three minutes later, Oalo missed a one-on-one chance against goalkeeper Nassor Abdalla with the later rushing off his line to clear the ball with his legs.
In between, the Zanzibar champions huffed and puffed. Said Mwinyi headed wide with only Mapigano to beat, while Ibrahim Khamis Khatib’s long range shot blazed well wide.
That was before Oloya sent Samir Yahya off on the stroke of half time for a rash challenge, the player’s second bookable offence.
Gor still lost conspired to lose chances the team would normally bury upon resumption. In the 51st minute, substitute Lawrence Juma blasted wide with a yawning net at his mercy.
Oktay would summon Shakava and Kipkurui midway through the second half and Gor piled more pressure as KMKM soaked it all in.