Goals from Rama Salim and Edwin Lavatsa was enough to give Gor Mahia victory as the club began a new era without coach Zradvko LogarusicGor Mahia picked three points on Sunday after stopping Karuturi Sports 2-1 in this Kenyan Premier League match played at Nakuru's Afraha Stadium.
Goals from Rama Salim and Edwin Lavatsa was enough to give Gor victory as the club begun a new era without coach Zradvko Logarusic. Karuturi's goal was scored by Mohammed Mwachiponi.
Karuturi enjoyed possession in a huge part of the first half and took the game to their opponents clearly inspired by a 2-0 win they registered against former champions Ulinzi at the same venue four weeks ago.
But it was Gor, who had the first opportunity at goal with international defender David Owino banging the Karuturi wall with a low free-kick in the second minute.
Two minutes later, John Kiplagat's free-kick went off target as Karuturi began to create their chances for goal.
Hussein Zzinda had the first real chance to put the flower men ahead slotting a dangerous ball into the Gor danger almost immediately but Jerim Onyango did well to come out quickly and stop the danger.
Karuturi were then denied a goal in the eighth minute when Mohammed Mwachiponi was ruled off-side after scoring from a rebound that had initially come from a John Kiplagat shot.
Gor Mahia's new comers Eric Ochieng and Paul Odhiambo put up some impressive play and the two combined well in the 15th minute to set-up Innocent Mutiso but the midfielder shot wide.
One minute later Gor won the first corner of the match but wasted it. The KPL top 8 champions got the first chance to score in the 22nd minute when from a quickly taken free kick, Paul Odhiambo set up Edwin Lavatsa but the international striker delayed to shoot and was quickly cut off.
Karuturi's John Kiplagat earned the first yellow card of the match when he made a dangerous tackle on Innocent Mutiso and centre referee Richard Obare did not hesitate to caution him.
Earlier Solomon Nasio had fallen badly needing treatment outside the pitch and it was no surprise when he had to come off at the half hour mark his place being taken by David Otieno.
It was a change that gave Gor more presence upfront with the new comer delivering well. In the 34th minute Gor won their second corner and was well taken by Innocent Mutiso who found Eric Ochieng on the opposite side of the pitch.
With great confidence Ochieng ran at Benson Amianda and the former Tusker man appeared to touch him forcing the referee to point at the penalty spot. Rama Salim calmly slotted the ball home for Gor's opener in the 37th minute.
The Naivasha-based side kept up the pressure and ended the first half having forced four corners in their bid to get the equalize while Andrew Mbwabi earned the team's second yellow card following a dangerous challenge on Edwin Lavatsa.
At the start of the second half Gor brought out Mutiso for Ugandan danger man Dan Sserunkuma while Karuturi rested Amon Muchiri for Tyron Omondi.
Sserunkuma upped the pressure on the Karuturi defenses and had his first chance in the 52nd minute as he chased down Godfrey Musiebe forcing the Karuturi man to head at his goalkeeper Michael Wanyika who spilled the ball but the dangerous Ugandan was not in a good position to shoot well and his effort went wide.
Gor then rested Paul Odhiambo for Paul Kiongera and the new man brought more punch upfront. It was from his effort that Lavatsa scored after he placed the ball in space for the Harambee Stars striker, who simply tapped it home for Gor's second goal in the 73rd minute.
But a lapse in defense by Gor Mahia allow Mwachiponi to score Karuturi's consolation in injury time.