Gor Mahia started their Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League season on a winning note after defeating Ulinzi Stars by a solitary goal at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday.
Substitute Jules Ulimwengu scored the only goal in the second half to ensure the champions get maximum points.
The hosts started the match well and within the first five minutes, they had already threatened their visitors. They won a free-kick which was taken by Clifton Miheso, but James Saruni was saved by the upright.
In the 15th minute, the four-time champions also managed to come close to opening the scoring. K'Ogalo conceded a free-kick in a good area which was taken by Enosh Ochieng'. Goalkeeper Gad Mathews was well-beaten but he was saved by the crossbar.
The ball then bounced to John Njuguna whose header was direct to the goalkeeper.
In the 24th minute, Philemon Otieno handled the ball in a good area giving Daniel Waweru an opportunity to test the goalkeeper. The forward managed to beat the wall but Mathews was equal to the task.
The Soldiers were denied a penalty moments later when Apudo seemingly handled the ball in the danger zone. However, the referee awarded a free-kick on the edge of the danger zone but it bore no fruit.
The Kenyan champions looked lost and gave their visitors chances to score. In the 32nd minute, a seemingly harmless ball found its way to Masita Masuta, whose first touch took the ball far. He somehow managed to reach it but the custodian ushered it out of danger.
K'Ogalo were lucky to finish the first half without conceding a goal as wasteful Ulinzi knew they could have done better.
Captain Kenneth Muguna was introduced at the beginning of the second half with interim coach Patrick Odhiambo believing he will stabilize the midfield and create chances for the hosts.
Against the run of play, it was K'Ogalo who opened the scoring in the 64th minute. Jules Ulimwengu converted the chance after a good assist from Nicholas Kipkirui.
Ulinzi tried to push for an equalizer, but failed to create any clear chances in the last 20 minutes as K'Ogalo held on to win their league opener.
Gor Mahia XI: Gad Mathews, Philemon Otieno, Michael Apudo, Andrew Juma, Joachim Oluoch, Earnest Wendo, Clifton Miheso, Bertrand Konfor, Nicholas Kipkirui, Sydney Ochieng', Tito Okello
Subs: Boniface Oluoch, Kevin Wesonga, Geoffrey Ochieng', Frank Odhiambo, Andrew Malisero, Kenneth Muguna, Jules Ulimwengu, Nicholas Omondi.
Ulinzi Stars XI: James Saruni, Brian Birgen, Harun Mwale, Bonaventure Muchika, Boniface Andai, Bernard Ongoma, John Kago, John Njuguna, Enosh Ochieng', Masuta Masita, Daniel Waweru
Subs: Alex Masinde, Boniface Okinyi, Clinton Omondi, Edgar Mukolwe, Quintine Indeche, Oscar Wamalwa, Abdalla Hamisi, Oliver Rutto, Mark Bikokwa, Elvis Nandwa, Churchil Muloma