In Kenya, it is rare to find a team with fringe players playing at the same level as the first team does. For Gor Mahia, well they have exhibited this and they are doing this with zeal, swagger and passion. Against Kericho Zoo two weeks ago, most of the players involved in the match were those partially used and they did not disappoint as they swept aside the home side 4-2 in Kericho.
On Saturday 24th February 2018, at Camp Toyoyo, the Kenyan Premier League champions played Nkana FC from Zambia in a friendly match that ended in a 1-1 draw. Just as witnessed in Kericho, the story was the same as they controlled proceedings in the first half, getting the opener in the 20th minute through Jacques Tuyisenge’s spot kick. The visitors sensing danger, upped the tempo and enterprising captain Walter Bwalya almost leveled matters in the 35th minute of the game with a crisp shot that went wide with goalkeeper Shaban Odhoji well beaten.
The Red Devils, then spun another chance when Festus Mbewa fluffed his effort wide after a cut-back from a Bwalya’s cross as the half drew to a close.
The second half was more of the visitor’s affair as they pinned down their hosts, terrorizing them from both flanks, Diego Apanane and Idriss Bombo troubled Innocent Wafula from the right flank and on a couple of occasions, called on Odhoji to pull off some stunning saves.
In the 49th minute, Given Singuluma then forced a smart save from Odhoji but the K’Ogalo third choice keeper could do less to prevent the equalizer from Mbewe ten minutes later. The speedy forward reacted fast to meet a Bwalya’s cross to make it 1-1.
The scorching midmorning heat at the Toyoyo then seem to have taken toll on both sides as they opted to passing the ball around and running down the clock.
Nkana takes on Tusker FC on Monday 26th February in another friendly at the Ruaraka Grounds while K’Ogalo travel to Machakos on Sunday 25th February to take on Kariobangi Sharks in a Kenyan Premier League match, kick off 3PM.