- Gor have won nine out of 16 matches this season
- Austine Odhiambo scored their winner against Bandari
- Posta beat Ulinzi 2-0 to move second
Gor Mahia remained unbeaten in the 2023-24 FKF Premier League season after a 1-0 victory over Bandari FC in Machakos. Austin Odhiambo scored an 86th minute goal for K’Ogalo to hand them victory, as they opened a five point gap top of the log.
The reigning champions moved to 34 points, five ahead of second placed Posta Rangers who bounced back from their tough run with a 2-0 win away to Ulinzi Stars in Lang’ata.
“I think today there was only one team which wanted to win. Bandari, like many teams which play against us were comfortable just sitting back and hitting on the counter. In the second half we changed a few details of our game and that really helped us play the ball better and have more chances at goal,” said Gor coach Jonathan McKinstry.
His opposite number, John Baraza however had different opinion and thought his side played the better football.
“I think today we didn’t deserve to lose looking at how we played. We had a good game but couldn’t take our chances. Even a point today would have been better but defeat was not the best,” Baraza said after the game.
Odhiambo scored with four minutes left on the clock with a decent strike. The midfielder, who had a good outing controlled Patrick Kaddu’s flick inside the box before outmuscling his marker and scoring with a low strike that sent keeper Joseph Ochuka the wrong way.
Gor in Closely contested duel
It had been a closely contested duel between the two sides, majority of the battle concentrated in midfield.
In the first half, Odhiambo had tried an audacious go at goal, sighting keeper Ochuka off his line but his lob from almost halfway down the pitch dotted wide. Five minutes to halftime, Bandari had a chance when the tricky feet of James Kinyanjui found some space on the left to drop a cross to Derrick Nsibambi at the backpost but his header hit the side netting.
In the second half, the pace of the game picked up and Bandari were twice denied by the woodwork 10 minutes after the restart. Robert Onyango saw his curling effort from the edge of the box come off the crossbar, the ball landing on Shassir Nahimana but his low shot came off the upright.
Having dodged a bullet, Gor made changes, with Kaddu coming on to spice up the attack. In the 65th minute, K’Ogalo had a chance when Alpha Onyango curled a brilliant freekick from distance, but the Bandari keeper pulled a decent save.
On the other end, Andrew Juma should have punished his former employers but his header off an Onyango freekick rise over.
When it seemed the game was headed for a draw, Odhiambo’s piece of individual brilliance won it for Gor.
Posta down Ulinzi in Lang’ata
Meanwhile, Posta Rangers flew into second spot after beating Ulinzi Stars 2-0 in their backyard. Brian Otieno and Patrick Otieno scored in either half to hand the mailmen three vital points and helped them bounce back to winning ways.
They had started well and should have gone ahead earlier on, but skipper Ken Owino had the ball trapped under his feet as he went to connect a knockdown from Titus Achesa’s freekick, with the keeper off his line.
On the other end, Enosh Ochieng had a long range effort come off the side netting in Ulinzi’s best chance at goal.
Posta broke the deadlock just before halftime when Brian scored the opener with a diving header unmarked at the backpost from a Caleb Olilo cross from the right.
In the second half, Ulinzi once again piled the pressure to try and get back on level terms and came inches close, but Boniface Muchiri’s freekick came off the base of the upright. They had an even better chance minutes later, but Hillary Simiyu saw his penalty come off the upright after Muchiri had been axed inside the box.
For that missed chance, they were punished when Patrick scored the second goal with a simple tap in after Jackson Macharia laid the ball on a platter inside the six yard box.