Gor Mahia are just two points behind leaders Tusker FC on the SportPesa Premier League log after beating 10-man Ulinzi Stars by a solitary goal in an ill-tempered encounter at Nyayo Stadium yesterday.
The decisive goal, scored in the 40th minute by George Odhiambo took Gor to 43 points, two behind Tusker with six rounds of matches left.
After an explosive start, it was Ulinzi who settled first and should have taken the lead when John Makwata, left unattended, hit a free header wide with the goal at his mercy.
Moments later, Enosh Ochieng under hit his chip with Gor custodian Boniface Oluoch way out of his line. Dominant Gor K’Ogalo then got a foothold onto the game and with crisp passing, pinned the soldiers in their own half.
Jacque Tuyisenge’s tap in from eight yards was well-saved by James Saruni in Ulinzi’s goal but the custodian could not contend with Odhiambo’s close range effort just before half-time.
The soldiers returned from the break with a stronger resolve and were making head ways with Brian Birgen pulling strings in midfield. The match took a drastic turn when Hasan Mohamed was sent off for kicking Meddie Kagere in an off the ball incident.
Stand in Ulinzi coach Benjamin Nyangweso hooked off Makwata for diminutive Steven Waruru and Samuel Onyango for Hamisi Abdala. The changes brought balance to Ulinzi’ play as the 10 men defended stoically and attacked without fear.
Gor’s resolve to preserve the slim lead prevailed as they bagged maximum points from the crucial tie. Nyangweso lamented at what he termed incompetent officiating, blaming the referee for the sending off.
“The game was alright but the referee spoilt everything. How did he send off my player but fail to award a penalty? I don’t agree with his call at all,” said the soft-spoken tactician who is holding brief for the ailing Robert Matano.