Additional reporting from the Nation
Reigning champions Gor Mahia and money bags Wazito battled to a barren draw in their Football Kenya Federation Premier League match staged at Thika Sub County stadium on Wednesday.
The result ended K'Ogalo seven-match winning streak and they failed to reduce the deficit on league leaders Tusker, who beat Western Stima 2-1 at Ruaraka grounds earlier, to displace KCB from the top.
While Tusker have a massed 44 points from 21 matches, the draw left Gor Mahia third on 38 points with a game in hand. Second placed KCB, who were not in action, have 42 points.
On the other hand, Wazito dislodged Kakamega Homeboyz from ninth position and have 27 points from 19 games.
Gor Mahia's Portuguese tactician Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto and Wazito's Francis Kimanzi sharply differed on a 74th minute incident where Wazito custodian Fredrick Onyango came out of his area and fouled second half substitute attacker Samuel Onyango. The referee gave a free kick, but Vaz Pinto felt the keeper should have been sent off.
"I don't understand why he didn't issue a straight red card after the incident. It was tough for us in the first 20 minutes, but we grew in the game and the draw is not bad for us. We shouldn't lose our focus because there are many more matches to come," said Vaz Pinto.
Kimanzi took a swipe at his opposite number, wondering why he didn't complain when Gor won controversially against Sofapaka over the weekend.
"Drawing against Gor and dominating the whole match shows we have come of age. My players were aggressive and the level of confidence was high," said Kimanzi.
"He (Vaz Pinto) is not a referee. Why didn't he complain in the two incidences against Sofapaka which favoured them?" posed Kimanzi
The battle between the two sides took centre stage from the beginning, but the money bags missed two quick chances which would have given them an early lead in the tough tie.
Wazito winger Musa Masika controlled the ball on the left wing in the seventh minute and opted to shoot, but his effort went wide with Gor Mahia' keeper Gad Mathews beaten.
Gor were forced to make an early substitution in the seventh minute after youngster Alpha Onyango got injured and his place was taken up by winger John Macharia.
Wazito striker Michael 'Wise' Otieno then won a high ball against K'Ogalo captain Harun Shakava and shot inches over the bar with Mathews beaten again.
Gor struggled as coach Francis Kimanzi's side dictated proceedings and opted to use the flanks, but the attacking duo of Kevin Kimani and Musa Masika constantly missing clear opportunities.
The record champions got their first chance in the 26th minute, Clifftone Miheso's left foot cross finding an unmarked Macharia, whose shot was parried for a corner by former Gor Mahia custodian Fredrick Onyango.
Four minutes later, Gor were lucky to survive as Wazito midfielder Kevin Kimani's stunning free kick was punched back to the pitch by Mathews. Wazito captain Johnstone Omurwa's rebound was headed out by Philemon Otieno for a fruitless corner kick.
Kenneth Muguna and Ernest Wendo combined well in the 40th minute to pick out Ulimwengu, but instead of shooting, he passed the ball to Miheso who blasted the ball wide.
In the 45th minute, Rooney Onyango was booked for a foul on Wendo as the two tussled for the ball on the edge of the box.
Teenager Frank Odhiambo also went into the referee's book after a foul on Kimani in the 54th minute.
Gor's Portguese tactician Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto made a double change in the 61st minute, Samuel Onyango and Sydney Ochieng' coming on for Clifftone Miheso and Burkinakabe import Abdoul Karim.
An angry Vaz Pinto then moved from his seat and confronted the lineman in the 74th minute after Samuel Onyango was fouled out of the danger zone by Onyango, who had come out of his line to clear a dangerous ball.
An exhausted Gor Mahia opted to fall back with Wazito looking more determined to take the lead late into the game but it wan't to be.