The defending champions cut Bandari’s lead to within a point with the mid-week win at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos County, even after they played the better part of the match with a man down after keeper Boniface Oluoch was sent off in the first half.
The visistors bluffed an early chance when David Juma failed to direct the ball past Oluoch and John Kamau could not keep his composure from the rebound.
Poor judgment between Oluoch and Charles Momanyi almost gifted Tusker with an easy goal, but K'Ogalo survived the goalmouth melee. Ugandan left back Shafik Batambuze stretched Emery Mvuyekure with a well-taken free-kick, but the Rwandan was well positioned to deliver a save.
K’Ogalo were reduced to a man down after Oluoch was shown a straight red card for handling the ball outside the box. The unlucky custodian put his body behind the ball as Juma charged forward with a deadly counter-attack, but the referee wasn’t kind enough. Coach Hassan Oktay was forced to sacrifice George Odhiambo for Shaban Odhoji.
Jacques Tuyisenge managed a header towards Tusker’s goal which bounced off Emery’s hands but Peter Nzuki was in the right place to clear the danger.
K’Ogalo then took a deserved lead when Nichola Kipkirui directed his header into the net in the 56th minute and despite protest from Tusker players, the goal stood.
KPL (@TheOfficialKPL) February 27, 2019
Samuel Onyango sprinted past three-man Tusker defenders, but the former Ulinzi Stars forward missed the target with Emery to beat. Tusker could not utilize their numerical advantage even after they played close to one hour with a man up; actually, Gor Mahia was the better side throughout the second half.
But K’Ogalo were equally guilty of missed chances, Onyango blew away two clear opportunities and Tuyisenge blasted one way above the crossbar with the goal smiling at him late in the second half.
Gor Mahia starting XI: Boniface Oluoch, Samuel Onyango, Charles Momanyi, Philemon Otieno, George Odhiambo, Lawrence Juma, Harun Shakava, Kenneth Miguna, Jacques Tuyisenge, Nicholas Kipkirui and Shafik Batambuze.
Tusker starting XI: Emery Mvuyekure, Eric Ambunya, Lloyd Wahome, Marlon Tangauzi, Peter Nzuki, Jackson Macharia, Kevin Omondi, John Kamau, Timothy Otieno, David Juma, Hillary Wandera.