‘What a waste of our time!’, cursed a Gor Mahia fan as Somalia referee Hassan Mohamed Hagi blew the final whistle to bring to an end a match that could only have been described as a stroll in the park.
His sentiments must have been shared by a good number of fellow Gor Mahia fanatics who walked, or commuted, the distance to see their team take on Tanzanian side Young Africans (Yanga) in a Caf Confederation Cup group stage match at the Kasarani Stadium, Wednesday (18) night.
It actually felt like a waste of time. This was supposed to be a regional derby between Kenya’s biggest club and, arguably, Tanzania’s.
Far from it.
From the off, it felt like a training session for the Kenyan side.
‘How did this Yanga even get to this stage?’ quipped another fan immediately after Ephrem Guikan made it 2-0 at the stroke of half time, doubling Kogalo’s lead.
Guikan’s goal was Gor Mahia’s 7th shot on target in the first half, seven times more than what their opponents had mustered, or zero, to be brutally honest.
The striker had just atoned for a couple of misses early on. The opener came courtesy of the in-form Jacques Tuyisenge who halfway into the opening half, beat Yanga’s offside trap but only after spotting a potential killer pass from Humphrey Mieno. He was inside the six yard box and had enough time to pick his spot, placing the ball home with little resistance from opposing keeper Rostand Jehu.
It was all Gor Mahia after that as they spread the ball in their own half, inviting a deep-sitting Yanga to the ball but the visitors won’t just come.
The half time whistle came just minutes after Guikan’s goal which was also knitted perfectly by Mieno. Yanga had offered nothing in this half.
The visitors showed more purpose but less intent in the early minutes after the breather.
Their hosts, meanwhile, found themselves having to tinker with the squad a bit as Tuyisenge limped off injured in the 59th minute, Francis Mustafa coming in to make his maiden appearance in front of Gor Mahia fans who’d heard about his two goals in the recently concluded Cecafa Kagame Cup in Tanzania, but had yet to see him in action in the local scene.
Mustafa and Guikan seemed to hit off as they spotted each other’s positioning when it mattered and the Burundian could have gotten on the scoresheet moments after coming in but the keeper, Jehu, thwarted him.
Jehu would also keep off Samuel Onyango’s close range effort and watched as Mieno’s effort sailed over. Yanga’s possession was a bit steady but they did nothing with it.
Five minutes into the hour, Gor Mahia extended their advantage courtesy of lady luck as Mwinyi Hajji headed into his own net a corner from Francis Kahata. Lurking was Charles Momanyi.
It was a stroll for the Kenyan champions for the rest of the match and they made the scoreline a rout three minutes to the end, Guikan racing clear after picking a pass that was lobbed over the Yanga backline before beating Jehu for the second time this evening.
Gor Mahia boss Dylan Kerr provided fans with another moment of delight when he summoned fullback Wellington Ochieng to join the action, the former Muhoroni Youth man making his return to action after undergoing an ankle surgery.
4-0 it ended on the night as Kogalo took their first win in the group after twin away draws.
For Yanga, they left here conquered. They offered little if not nothing, and their input here did actually feel like a ‘waste of our time.’
Gor Mahia fans now shift their eyes to another derby, the local Mashemeji Derby against rivals AFC Leopards. They’ll be hoping this won’t be another waste of time.
By Steve Ayoo (@Steifmaster 88)