K’Ogalo send early warning to Yanga
Gor Mahia warmed up for next Wednesday’s crucial CAF Confederations Cup clash against Yanga with a 2-0 win over Jeshi la Kujenga Uchumi in yesterday’s Cecafa Kagame Cup bronze medal play-off, at the National Stadium, Dar es Saalam.
The record Kenyan champions’ fringe squad was great and could have scored at least four goals against the Zanzibar side, but they were let down by their wasteful strikers with Ivorian forward Ephrem Guikan being the main victim.
But it is their new signing Francis Mustafa who broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute before Samuel Onyango’s stoppage time strike sealed the victory for K’Ogalo to earn them Sh1m in prize money.
“I started today with only two regular players. We had nine attempts to score goals, but managed only two. I can’t say it is something we haven’t worked on, this is something we always do in training,” said Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr.
“Credit to my players they showed enthusiasm and energy, that is what I am taking into our next game against Yanga. We have a couple of injuries to key players, but I hope we will be ready for Wednesday match.
“ A striker needs to be confident, I doubt if Ephrem’s problem has something to do with that. I know he is not happy at the moment, I don’t know if it is me, the environment or Gor Mahia as a club.”
Gor started the match the brighter side, creating a host of scoring chances. They had a half chance in the tenth minute but Boniface Omondi’s cross from the right flank was brilliantly blocked by a self sacrificing JKU defender before Mustafa feebly shot straight at the goalkeeper Mohammed Abrahman.
Mustafa then missed a sitter from Omondi’s cut-back as K’Ogalo upped the tempo of the game.
Philemon Otieno then came to Gor’s rescue when he made a timely challenge to block Salum Said’s shot before the keeper easily gathered Mustafa’s attempt on the opposing side.
Moments later, Mustafa teed up Lawrance Juma in the box, but the former Nzoia Sugar man fluffed his effort.
Omondi could have given K’Ogalo the lead on the stroke of halftime but Omondi missed Mustafa’s delivery from the left.
However, Mustafa made the amends seven minutes into the second half when he comfortably controlled a pass from the midfield before beating the goalkeeper.
Innocent Wafula then laid the ball in the path of Ephrem Guikan on the hour mark, but the Ivorian feebly shot straight at the goal keeper.
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