Goalkeeper Jerim Onyango stood out for the champions making a number of saves in both halfs to help them squeeze out a vital away point from tax men
Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia failed to bounce back to winning ways after being held to a barren draw by hard fight KRA at Kasarani Stadium on Saturday.
The tax men were clearly unlucky not to have been ahead by end of the first half. They started strongly with Godfrey Kataka being denied by Jerim Onyango and resulted in first corner of the match.
The Harambee Stars new call up gave Gor Mahia backline plenty of problems. In the 20th minute, he broke through the opposing defence but his resultant shot was too weak to cause Jerim Onyango any problems.
Five minutes before that, Gor Mahia failed to open the scores when Rama Salim was denied by KRA goalkeeper Philip Onyango. Salim was rushing to complete a Dan Sserunkuma pass but the KRA goalkeeper was too quick in his reaction and thwarted the effort.
The KRA goalkeeper was a very busy man between the posts as Gor Mahia searched for the equalizer. Odhiambo was forced to come out and deny Sserunkuma from a free-kick in 23rd minute with the effort ending in a corner.
From the corner, Onyango once again kept out the ball on three occasions as Gor Mahia kept up the pressure for an opener. The tax man were back in the match with two minutes shy of the half hour mark and should have taken advantage of a defensive leak by their opponents.
First Haron Shakava denied Godfrey Kataka from pulling the trigger after the lethal midfielder had put himself in a scoring position. Then Jerim Onyango denied Liberian forward Blatty Roosevelt from a long range shot as Gor Mahia were lucky not to concede going into first half break.
Gor Mahia came back strongly and made the first substitution as George Odhiambo was rested for Herbert Kopany. It is a change that brought instant change as Gor Mahia were able to attack more and were unlucky not to have gone ahead in the first quarter an hour during which time Joseph Wanyonyi and Rama Salim were cautioned.
KRA brought on Ivan Anguyo for Evans Kiwanuka and Joseph Mulume for George Mwangi even as Gor Mahia coach Bobby Willimson unexpectedly rested Herbert Kopany, who had come on earlier and brought on Kevin Omondi in his place.
Both substitutions only helped to create scoring chances but in the end none were converted.