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Gor Mahia v Nairobi City Stars Match Report, 16/05/2021

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Moi International Sports Centre
Gor Mahia 1-0 Nairobi City Stars: K’Ogalo return to action with slim win
15:22 BST 16/05/2021
Gor Mahia vs Nairobi City Stars in FKF.
The Kenyan champions needed a first half strike from their Burkina Faso forward to edge out the stubborn Simba wa Nairobi

Gor Mahia launched their campaign to reach top of the FKF Premier League table with a slim 1-0 win against Nairobi City Stars at Utalii grounds on Sunday.

The Kenyan champions came into the match seeking to win and close the gap between them and the leading pack and despite not being on top of their game, they bagged maximum points courtesy of a well-taken goal from Karim Nikiema in the 31st minute.

Missing their Brazilian forward Wilson Silva Fonseca, who traveled to his native country when President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended all sporting activities and is yet to return, K’Ogalo coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto opted to start South Sudanese forward Tito Okello as a lone striker, with Clifton Miheso playing behind him.

Goalkeeper Gad Mathews was preferred between the sticks with captain Harun Shakava manning the defensive line alongside fit-again right-back Philemon Otieno and Frank Odhiambo.

On the other hand, City Stars kept the same squad that featured against Tusker in their last league match before the competition was abruptly suspended, with striker Nicholas Kipkirui being denied a chance to start against his former side.

It was Gor Mahia who started the game with speed and in the 7th minute Miheso and Okello combined well to release Nikiema, but the Burkinabe player hit a weak effort which was collected by City Stars goalkeeper Stephen Njunge.

K’Ogalo continued to attack the Simba wa Nairobi and once again Okello watched helplessly as his glancing header hit the post with the rebound meeting Nikiema, whose shot bounced off the post for a goal-kick.

In the 31st minute, Gor Mahia finally broke the deadlock, former captain Kenneth Muguna set up the Burkinabe striker to beat Njunge with a right-footed effort.

K’Ogalo went into the break leading 1-0 and they started the second half the same way they started the first period with Muguna missing an open sitter after being put through by John Macharia in the 56th minute.

In the 71st minute, City Stars were reduced to 10 men after Elvis Ombija was red-carded and despite the numerous advantages, Gor Mahia could not add to their lead as they settled for the 1-0 win.

The win has pushed Gor Mahia to sixth position on the table on 25 points from 15 matches, overtaking Wazito FC, who suffered a 2-0 defeat against Sofapaka in another match on Sunday.

Gor Mahia XI: Gad Mathews (GK), Philemon Otieno, Frank Odhiambo, Harun Shakava, Geoffrey Ochieng', Kenneth Muguna, Ernest Wendo, Karim Nikiema, John Macharia, Clifton Miheso, Tito Okello

Subs: Caleb, Juma, Joachim, Nkata, Alpha, J. Ochieng', Nicholas, Samuel, Sydney.

Nairobi City Stars: Stephen Njunge (GK), Kevin Okumu, Bolton Omwenga, Salim Abdallah, Kennedy Onyango, Sven Yidah, Anthony Kimani, Elvis Noor, Elvis Maloba, Elvis Ombija, and David Agesa.

Subs: Jacob Osano (GK), Wesley Onguso, Calvins Opondo, Nicholas Kipkirui, Ezekiel Odera, Ebrima Sanneh, Charles Otieno, Rodgers Okumu, and Edwin Buliba.