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SPORTS

KPL champions Gor Mahia held for third time in a row

FOOTBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi | March 4th 2016

 

Joseph Kuria (right) of Ulinzi dribbles past Collins Okoth of Gor Mahia at Afraha stadium in Nakuru, yesterday. [PHOTO:BONIFACE THUKU]

Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia registered their third draw in a row after settling to a barren draw against Ulinzi Stars at the Afraha Stadium, yesterday.

With the Mashemeji derby against AFC Leopards coming on Sunday, a win for the 15-time Kenyan champions, who are struggling in front of goal, would have been a big boost for the Frank Nuttall’s men.

“Every player is fighting for each other with the aim of getting three points. The derby is just a fixture like any other and I believe with the positivity of the players we will soon get a win,” said the Gor coach after their third stalemate.

It was Gor Mahia that got the first chance of the game in the fourth minute after Godfrey Walusimbi picked out Enock Agwanda at the edge of the box, but the burly striker shot wide before Musa Mohamed reacted fast to clear Cliff Kasuti’s dangerous cross.

The match was temporarily stopped in the 15th minute following Gor defender Bernard Odhiambo’s injury after colliding with the opposing player, forcing Nuttall to bring on Karim Nizigiyimana.

The Burundian came on just moments after Francis Kahata had seen his attempt go over the bar before Ulinzi winger John Nairuka’s effort was blocked for a fruitless corner.

In the 26th minute, Ulinzi goalkeeper James Saruni pulled off a fine save from Kahata’s shot. The soldiers responded immediately, but Joseph Kuria volleyed wide from the edge of the box.

Gor threatened again but Eric Ochieng’s effort went wide before goalkeeper Jerim Onyango easily gathered Kasuti’s cross from the right.

Goalkeeper Saruni then denied Kahata an opener when he parried away a left-footed low drive from the former Thika United man.

With five minutes to the break, Gor goalkeeper Onyango made a double save from Mark Makwata’s wonderfully taken free-kick and then saved his volley from Nairuka’s set-up.

Agwanda could have broken the deadlock for the visitors on the hour mark when he beat Saruni, but was dispossessed by Omar Mbongi. Ten minutes later, Onyango parried away Makwata’s shot for a corner.

In the 80th minute, the hosts survived as substitute George Odhiambo’s cross just flashed across the face of goal with no Gor player to tap in.

Five minutes later, once again Makwata saw his free-kick fly inches over the bar as both teams defended resolutely to end the match in a stalemate.

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