Last updated 7 months ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi and Washington Onyango
Daniel Otieno came off the bench to score a last gasp winner as Mathare United stunned Gor Mahia 1-0 in yesterday’s Kenyan Premier League match at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.
This was not the type of result the Kenyan champions were expecting ahead of Sunday’s Mashemeji derby.
The defeat, Gor’s first of the season, saw them (15 points) miss a chance to return to the top of the table as sixth placed Mathare extended their unbeaten run to eight matches.
Having failed to train on Tuesday, a day after returning from Kinshasa where they were eliminated from the Caf Confederation Cup by DC Motema Pembe (3-2 on aggregate) and with make shift fullbacks of Joachim Oluoch and Llyod Khavuchi, Gor seemed fatigued and rusty.
Steven Polack’s men struggled to control the ball especially in the first half and were barely able to string more than four passes.
But Mathare failed to capitalise on their opponents’ misfortunes though with the quintet of captain Chrispin Oduor, Clifford Alwanga, Kevin Kimani, John Mwangi and David Owino wasteful in front of goal.
Mathare began the game on the front foot creating numerous half chances as they dominated possession with Kimani fluffing his shot in the tenth minute after a brilliant build up play.
Three minutes later, Oduor squandered a golden chance after pouncing on a loose ball in the area before the referee waved away what looked a clear penalty for Ali Salim’s men after one of Gor defenders handled the ball in the box.
K’Ogalo's first chance of the match came in the 19th minute when captain Kenneth Muguna forced Mathare custodian into a finger-tip save.
Mathare responded immediately but James Kinyanjui’s first touch in the area cost him the opportunity before Kimani’s effort was deflected for a corner.
Owino almost gave Mathare the lead with a snap shot after pouncing on Kimani’s clever pass on half hour mark, but goalkeeper Robert Mapigano stunningly kept it out.
But as the game progressed and Gor settled in, the individual performances started improving.
Muguna then saw his goal bound shot blocked by a wall of Mathare defenders before Mwangi feebly tapped into the keeper’s hands on the opposite end.
Francis Afriyie thought he had put Gor ahed in the 39th minute only for his goal to be ruled out for offside, two minutes before the Ghanaian’s second shot of the day went agonisingly wide.
Afriye was at it again on the stroke of half time, but his effort was timely intercepted by a Mathare defender before Owino made a brilliant goal line clearance.
With less than ten minutes remaining, Mapigano made two fantastic saves in a span of four minutes, stopping substitutes Tyson Otieno and Klinsmann Omulanga on a one-on-one situations.
But finally Mathare broke the deadlock in the 87th minute thanks to substitute Daniel Otieno’s thumping header from Kimani’s corner kick.
In Kisumu, Western Stima fought from a goal down to beat Bandari 3-1 at Moi Stadium.
Abdallah Hassan gave the visitors the lead at the half hour mark before the hosts responded with three quick goals four minutes in the second half.
Stima keeper Samwel Odhiambo was first on the score sheet for the hosts, sending his opposite number Justin Ndikumana the wrong way from the spot kick to level the scores.
One minute later, the hosts took the lead after Bandari defence crumbled under pressure and Brian Otieno deflected the ball into his own net as Salim Babu’s side went 2-1 up.
Stima got their third goal in the 52nd minute through Baron Oketch who sealed the power men’s third win of the season.