Victor Ali's 60th minute strike takes Logarusic's Gor Mahia closer to the top of the sixteen team Kenya Premier League table standings
Gor Mahia inched menacingly closer to the top of the Kenya Premier league after Victor Ali’s 60th minute striker earned them a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Ulinzi Stars in an entertaining match played at City Stadium on Wednesday.
After numerous squandered chances in the first half, the game came to life in the 60th minute when Ali blasted into the net a gem of goal after a neat combination in the right flank with playmaker Moses Odhiambo.
The goal sparked more firepower into K’ogalo’s players as they went on the charm offensive and also defended their territory robustly making it hard for Ulinzi to make a breakthrough.
The win was a just reward for Zdravko Logarusic’s men who went after the soldiers from the first whistle.
Smarting from the way they relinquished their Top eight title to Gor, Ulinzi came prepared for battle and were luck when Stephen Ocholla escaped sending of after a lunge on Tedy Akumu having already been booked by referee Damaris Wanjiku.
Ali was in his element testing Jackstone Odhiambo with long range free-kick as Gor struggled to penetrate the Ulinzi rearguard manned by Geoffrey Kokoyo and Mulinge Ndetto.
Rama Salim and Dann Serunkuma were kept under close guard and it was up to their teammates to support them. A chipped ball forward by Akumu set Odhaimbo free in the 25th minute but he rushed his shot wide.
Ulinzi responded with Stephen Waruru and Chester Oyoo giving Solomon Nasio a hard time. Serunkuma then had three chances in a space of five minutes that were all thwarted by the alert Ulizni defense.
A mistake from Ugandan Ivan Anguyo nearly gifted Ulinzi the lead a minute to the break as Lawrence Owino sent s swiveling shot just wide off the Ugandan.
Then fifteen minutes of the second half were to change the course of the game.
Kevin Ouma came on for Moses Odhiambo and just after he had been denied a clear run on goal by a swift intervention by Ndetto, Serunkuma was released by Akumu who had won possession in midfield but the Ugandan shot close to Odhiambo to the chagrin of his coach who quickly replaced him with Edwin Lavatsa.
The two players were to be influential in getting the goal Donald Mosoti, the much maligned defender stole the ball from his half and fed it to Odhiambo whose pass needed only a touch each from Akumu, via Rama and Omondi to reach Ali who smashed the net from a tight angle to give Kogallo the lead.
Ulinzi coach Sammy Simiyu rang his changes bringing on Evans Amuoka and George Oyoo for Ismail Ibrahim and George Otieno and the tide changed in their favour.
Waruru went close with a free-kick. In the 69th minute he danced his way into the Gor box but his cross failed to find a teammate.
Still Ulinzi went in search of a goal with Waruru shooting just wide after swiftly getting away from Chris Wekesa. It was Gor who finished on a high with Lavtsa having a goal ruled out after getting the better of Kokoyo.