Gor two-good for JKU in CECAFA bronze fight
- Gor Mahia defeated Jeshi La Kujenga Uchumi (JKU) from Zanzibar 2-0 on Friday to claim a third-place finish in this year's edition of the Cecafa Kagame Cup
- For their heroics, K'Ogalo took home USD 10,000 (approximately Ksh1 million), while the players claimed the third-place finishers medals
Isaac Swila in Dar, Tanzania
Gor Mahia bounced back from the chastening defeat suffered in the hands of Azam FC in the semis on Wednesday to beat Jeshi La Kujenga Uchumi (JKU) from Zanzibar 2-0 on Friday to claim a third-place finish in this year’s edition of the Cecafa Kagame Cup.
For their heroics, K’Ogalo took home USD 10,000 (approximately Ksh1 million), while the players claimed the third-place finishers medals.
New signing Francis Mustapha was the toast of the afternoon handing K’Ogalo the deserved lead in the 52nd minute after receiving a pass from the 18-yard area and showed much composure charging into the box to pick his spot to easily beat JKU goalie Mohamed Abrahman.
Samuel Onyango then claimed the winner in stoppage time, collecting a pass from Kevin “Ade” Omondi and drilling in low and hard to the bottom right corner.
It was Mustapha’s second goal for Gor and in the tourney too since linking up with the Kenyan giants some three weeks ago.
Gor, by far, were the superior side in the contest. They dominated every facet of the game; possesion, attempts on goal and corners, with the reserves trying to impress coach Dylan Kerr.
From the start, K’Ogalo wasted no time to show their intent and in the 11th minute, Boniface Omondi, operating wide on the right, made a penetrating run into the box but his end product disappointed, landing on the body of defender Khamis Abdalla when he should have done better.
Gor’s coach Kerr, aware of the hectic run of fixtures awaiting them back home, which includes a trip to the United Kingdom to face English Premier League side Everton made sweeping changes; fielding a second-string squad.
Boniface Oluoch, skipper Harun Shakava, Jacques Tuyisenge and Godfrey Walusimbi – all began on the bench, while there was no place for George “Blackberry Odhiambo”, Ernest Wendo and Francis Kahata .
Omondi was Gor’s most lively player in the initial exchanges, picking out Francis Mustapha in the 15th minute but the latter missed a sitter, going down easily when he had just the keeper to beat, much to disbelief of the crowd.
The game swung from end- to-end with the Gor reserves showing more thirst than the Zanzibari soldiers but luck evaded the Kenyan champions.
In the 25th minute, Gor came knocking again this time the chance falling on Mustapha whose delayed half-volley went off the mark when he should have shown more potency.
Kerr, a constant figure on the touchline in previous matches was calm on this particular sunny afternoon, following the action quietly on the bench but his boys duly gave a fair account of themselves, playing without the handbrake.
Guikan Ephrem, tipped to fill the big shoes left by Meddie Kagere also had a chance at the hour mark after a neat exchange of passes between him and Samuel Onyango but he ran out of ideas when he had the keeper to beat, firing weakly.
With Gor’s domination showing no promise to his charges and the game plan, JKU coach Hassan Ramadhan made a change after 65minutes, bringing in Ali Vuai Hassan for the tired Khamis Khalid but to no avail.
JKU’s defence was clearly outwitted but Kerr will have major concerns with his attacking force after Guikan wasted two glorious scoring chances in the 68th and 70th minutes when he fired casually off target when not under pressure.
Tuyisenge was finally thrown into the fray four minutes from time replacing Mustapha but by this time the win was assured.
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