George Odhiambo’s solo run and goal helped settle an increasingly on-the-edge match for Gor Mahia as they best Nakumatt FC 2-0 to assume top spot in the Kenyan Premier League table.
Kogalo, playing their first league assignment under new boss, Englishman Dylan Kerr, had lady luck smile at them when Eugene Ambulwa netted into his own net early on.
The home side should have put the game to bed countless times, especially early in the second half when they created far too many chances which were wasted with almost equal abandon.
Youngster Boniface Omondi was the most dangerous outfield player as his pace and directness troubled Nakumatt fullback David Gateri from the off.
However, the diminutive wideman was also guilty of wasting too many chances before he was tested with Francis Kahata taking charge.
Nakumatt were barely passengers in the match and had their pleasure moments, Robert Omunuk looking dangerous down the left flank while twin strikers Kepha Aswani and Boniface Akenga had the Kogalo backline ever alert.
Harun Shakava kept Gor Mahia’s lead intact when be cleared off the line an effort from Akenga in the final 15 minutes.
With Nakumatt applying the pressure, Godfrey Walusimbi also cleared off the line a d from the resultant ball, Odhiambo ran almost the length of the pitch before slamming the ball home past former teammate Sammy Okinda.
It was a goal that brought so much relief to the home fans who had been reduced to eeeeh aaahs as Kerr’s boys made their way to advanced positions but the final ball was poor.
Ultimately, the own goal and Blackberry’s fine solo goal settled the tie for the team which was better.
With Tusker and Posta Rangers drawing 1-1 and Ulinzi Stars beaten by Nzoia United the day before, Kogalo find themselves top of the log with 31 points as the league reaches the halfway mark. And they have a game in hand.
The two sides meet again in midweek.
Earlier at the same Nyayo Stadium venue, Kariobangi Sharks and Zoo Kericho battled to a one-all draw. Ebrima Sanneh headed Sharks in front in the first half but Zoo refused to fold and deservedly netted the equalizer after the interval, substitute Namasakha Danson turning home with his first touch.