Posted on: 2021-09-25 14:30:19
The former champions got off to a perfect start in the top flight after two first half goals helped them to sink the Bankers
Gor Mahia started their campaign to reclaim the FKF Premier League title with a 2-1 win against a stubborn KCB side at Ruaraka grounds on Saturday.
Benson Omalla scored K’Ogalo’s two goals in the seventh and ninth minutes, and despite the Bankers pulling a goal back courtesy of Henry Onyango in the 28th minute, it was not enough to hand them something from the game.
K’Ogalo coach Mark Harrison named a starting XI with two new signings – Peter Lwasa who joined from Kariobangi Sharks and Dennis Ng’ang’a from Wazito FC – and retained experienced custodian Gad Mathews between the sticks.
Despite a poor pre-season which saw them train for only one week before taking on Tusker in the FKF Shield Cup where they managed a 1-1 draw in regulation time before falling 8-7 on penalties, K’Ogalo were the better side in the opening exchanges.
In the fifth minute, winger Samuel Onyango’s effort after being set up by Alpha Onyango hit the woodwork and two minutes later, K’Ogalo took the lead after Onyango set up Benson Omalla, who in turn sneaked the ball past KCB goalkeeper Gabriel Andika.
Gor Mahia then doubled their lead a minute after the restart as new boy Lwasa delivered in a corner from the right and Omalla jumped the highest to head home past Andika and the stranded defenders for a 2-0 early lead.
K’Ogalo continued to attack KCB, who finished last season second on the 18-team table three points behind champions Tusker, and in the 17th minute, Omalla combined well with Onyango before releasing the advancing Lwasa but his final effort was easily gathered by Andika.
In the opening 20 minutes, it was all Gor Mahia but in the 28th minute, KCB pulled a goal back after a defensive blunder by captain Harun Shakava allowed Derrick Otanga to take the ball from him and set up Henry Onyango, who looped it over the advancing Mathews.
In the 36th minute, Mathews was forced to make a double save, first punching to play a ferocious drive from Onyango, and then he reacted quickly to save the rebound from Otanga.
The save was enough to see Gor Mahia head into the half-time break enjoying a 2-1 lead and on resumption, it was Lwasa who should have extended Gor Mahia’s lead after his well-curled free-kick from outside the 18-yard box hit the woodwork and bounced out for a goal-kick.
In the 47th minute, Gor Mahia made their first substitution, bringing in new signing Sando Yangayay from Cameroon for Omalla, but he was booked five minutes into his debut after a clumsy tackle on Otanga while Alpha Onyango was also yellow-carded for time-wasting.
KCB’s best chance to level the scores came in the 79th minute when K’Ogalo defender Philemon Otieno committed a foul on Reagan Otieno at the edge of the box, and striker David Ambulu struck the resulting free kick well but it hit the post and bounced out.
Gor Mahia also had a chance to seal the game in the 84th minute from a similar situation after Boniface Omondi was tackled, but Yangayay delivered a powerful effort that kissed over the bar.
Meanwhile, Wazito failed to pick their first win of the season after settling to a 1-1 draw against promoted side FC Talanta.
It was Wazito who scored first through Michael Owino in the 18th minute, but Talanta, under coach Ken Kenyatta, levelled through Brian Yakhama, who converted from the penalty spot in the 79th minute.
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