Frustrations within the Gor Mahia playing unit told yesterday when coach Dylan Kerr was forced to name only 16 players instead of 22 as the 2018 SportPesa Premier League champions were whipped 2-0 by Ulinzi Stars at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
Gor, whose players are at loggerheads with the management over unpaid bonuses, were undone by blunders which gave leeway to Elvis Nandwa to score in either half thus pepping up Ulinzi, who have now moved from fourth to the third position in the standings with 50 points.
Ulinzi were the hungrier of the two in the opening stages as Enosh Ochieng’s effort was cleared off the line by Charles Momanyi.
Gor had their chance in the 20th minute when Ephraim Guikan threatened Ulinzi defence after he was teed up by Kevin Omondi as K’Ogalo gradually came into the game.
Ochieng knocked in Gor’s territory again on the half-an- hour mark with a spectacular header that forced goalkeeper Peter Odhiambo into a top drawer save. Ulinzi then took the lead in the 36th minute when Elijah Mwanzia’s shot was spilled by Odhiambo with the ball falling on the path of Nandwa who had the easiest of chances to plant the ball in the net.
With the game swinging from one end to the other, Innocent Wafula eluded his markers in the 39th minute after a pass from Wesley Onguso but his shot was way off the mark. It took Ulinzi just three minutes after restart to extend their lead when Nandwa latched onto a pass from Mwanzia to beat Odhiambo at close range for his ninth goal of the season.
After the setback, Kerr made a double change in the 53rd minute with Karim Nizigiyimana and Kevin Omondi giving way for Boniface Omondi and Francis Mustafa and the game sprung to life as both players engineered attacks although Ulinzi custodian Timothy Odhiambo was equal to the task. Guikan then thought he had pulled one back on the hour mark but his effort was ruled out for an offside.
Defeat means Gor have now lost two straight games for the first time this season and three in total and unless the current unrest is arrested, it could get worse in the remaining four matches.
Elsewhere, Thika United’s relegation worries deepened after they lost 2-0 to Tusker while in Narok, Sofapaka hammered KakamegA Homeboyz 4-1.