Record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia extended their stainless start of the 2021/2022 Football Kenya Federation Premier League season after toppling Sofapaka 1-0 in Saturday’s early kick off match at Kasarani main Stadium
Having won three out of three games before the clash, K’Ogalo were looking to carry that fine form into their fourth game of the season with a chance to go top of the table on the line.
The 19 time champions managed to do just that after Jules Ulimwengu gave his side all the three points with his first strike of the season.
Ahead of the game though, head coach Mark Harrison rang five changes to the side that won last time out against Kariobangi Sharks. Malian goalkeeper Adama Keita, Dennis Ng’ang’a, Yusuf Mainge, Peter Oudu, Jules Ulimwengu all getting the nod.
The game however got off to a slow start with chances far and few in between in the opening twenty minutes where Gor completely bossed proceedings with their new found tiki-taka style of play.
In that opening lull, Gor showed their pedigree as Jules Ulimwengu capitalized on a sleeping Sofapaka defense as he got on the end of a clever Austin Odhiambo pass to set himself one on one with the goalkeeper.
There was no missing for the Burundian as he buried his shot past the onrushing Sofapaka goalkeeper to give Gor the lead on the 25th minute.
Immediately after, Sofapaka almost restored parity in retaliation when they went in attack. Unfortunately David King’atua’s strike just rattled the crossbar before it was cleared by the Gor defense.
After that, the game once again dropped into the lull that had previously ensued as Sofapaka failed to threaten at all, Gor going into the break with a narrow 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Sofapaka came out a complete different side to the first. Before play resumed, head coach Ken Odhiambo made a triple substitution as he brought on Said Tsuma, Alex Imbusia and Titus Achesa in place of Elvis Ronack, David King’atua and Wilberforce Lugogo.
Unlike the first half, Sofapaka looked bright as they took the first initiative with an aim of restoring parity.
Those intentions almkst paid off in the 68th minute when Sunday Ikekhai rose highest to connect well with a floated ball into the area.
Were it not for the alertness of Keita in goal, that would have been a sure goal, the goalkeeper reacting quickly to push it out from the line.
Upon sensing danger, Gor made the triumvirate introduction of Harun Shakava, Alpha Onyango and John Ochieng’ in place of Jules Ulimwengu, John Macharia and Peter Lwasa to see out the game.
Sofapaka heaped even more pressure but that chance that fell Sunday’s way proved to be the closest the team came to finding the equalizer, Gor hanging on to claim their fourth consecutive win as the went top of the table after a perfect start.
Gor Mahia: Adama Keita, Dennis Ng’ang’a, Frank Odhiambo, Yusuf Mainge, Philemon Otieno, Peter Oudu, Austin Odhiambo, John Macharia, Peter Lwasa, Benson Omala, Jules Ulimwengu
Kevin Omondi, Ambrose Sifuna, Ronack Elvis, David Nshirimimana, Stephen Okala, Roy Okal, Sunday Ikekhai, David King’atua, Lawrence Juma, Wilberforce Lugogo, Joseph Waithira.