Kahata claims last minute victory for Gor
Francis Kahata opened his scoring account for champions Gor Mahia in the most dramatic of fashions when he claimed a last gasp winner for the SportsPesa Premier League (SPL) champions in a 1-0 victory over Western Stima on Sunday.
The clock was reading 94 minutes and seconds ticking away towards the five added on when a free-kick was floated into the box and moments later, Moi Stadium in Kisumu erupted into delirium when Kahata buried his header into the net.
The former Thika United play maker nodded in Enoch Agwanda’s corner, to painfully deny Stima a deserved point.
Seconds later, the final whistle went and Stima players, who had given their all, slumped to the turf in despair as the noise levels at K’Ogalo’s spiritual home reached deafening levels when the Green Army burst into song and dance.
“It feels good to come off the bench to win your team three points. It’s a win for us all. We are slowly getting back to where we belong,” said the match hero Kahata.
“I give my respect to Stima, they are a strong team but my team kept fighting for 95 minutes and got the win in the end. It was a tough game,” the relieved K’Ogalo boss, Ze Maria said after his side grabbed maximum points in classic knock out fashion against opponents who had effectively contained them.
“That is football. It’s a bad way to lose the game because we deserved something. We held them well but they got that final minute goal. My team played well,” Stima boss, Henry Omino offered looking as crestfallen as his players.
After a slow start to the season, Gor’s hunt for a fourth straight SPL title is now truly on after the team rose to 23 points, four behind leaders Tusker FC.
“It shows the champion character we possess. We brought on Kahata knowing his technical ability and surely he didn’t disappoint. No luck in this, Stima really pressurized but finally our plan worked,” assistant Gor coach, Tom Ogweno told Citizen Digital after the match.
Despite the pungent ordour from the garbage heap on the south-east side of the stadium throwing up a chocking stink, the Green Army were in fine voice from the start, encouraging their team to get off the blocks with intent.
Karim Nzigiyamana floated in a cross to George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo in the seventh minute who was denied and lethal forward, Jacques Tuyisenge quick to pounce on the rebound to force keeper Gabriel Andika to save Stima by plucking the ball from his feet.
Ronald Omino then found Khalid Aucho in midfield who in turn beat Eric Shimonyo before releasing Tuyisenge in the box but the Rwandese international shot wide.
Daniel Makachi fouled Omino at the edge of the box on the right and from the resultant free-kick, Aucho’s well-whipped delivery was missed by Odhiambo and Tuyisenge.
Stima survived the siege and threatened when Baron Oketch dashed all the way to the opposite end on the counter to compel Boniface Oluoch who was a spectator until then to race out of his line orcing Bonface Oluoch to come his line to clear the danger.
Gor’s coach Marcello ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira rested the unsettled Omino with Innocent Wafula minutes before the break as the champions pressed on the ascendancy by pinning Stima to their own half before the break.
Just after the restart, Omino brought on Bernard Ondiek for Estone Esiye as the power men transitioned from a defensive to an attacking formation.
Fredrick Nyarombo was in a good position to draw first blood for for Stima in the 50th after racing in from the middle but lost his footing giving captain Musa Mohammed the chance to recover and clear the threat.
Nyarombo was subsequently substituted with John Kiplag’at, while Ze Maria reacted by resting Godfrey Walusimbi for creative midfielder Kahata.
As the match petered out to a draw; Stima withdrew Oketch for striker Herbert Kopany in the 81st and K’Ogalo responded by hauling on Enock Agwanda for Collins Okoth as both sides sought to steal it late on.
And it was the champions who were left in celebration in the end when the gamble on Kahata paid off.
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