James Magayi @PeopleSports11
Kenyan champions Gor Mahia condemned basement boys Mount Kenya United to a 4-1 loss during yesterday’s SportPesa Premier League fixture set at Kasarani Stadium.
Ugandan Erissa Ssekisambu helped himself to the league’s first hat-trick of the season by scoring once in the first half and twice after the restart while Kenyan legend Dennis Oliech added his tally to two goals in three appearances for K’Ogalo.
Ssekisambu tapped in the easiest of goals after just two minutes of the kick-off to open the floodgates. George Odhiambo, recalled to the starting line up after a spell on the bench, had jigged his way past Boniface Mukhekhe on the left side of Mount Kenya defence before laying a crisp pass for Ssekisambu to score.
The bottom-placed club had bundled the ball in Peter Odhiambo’s net 30 seconds earlier but their celebration was cut short by the offside flag. Gor then launched a quick counter-attack that yielded the goal.
K’Ogalo, who had made nine changes to the squad that beat New Star de Douala last Sunday, then bossed the half but wasted more chances. Ivorian Ephrem Guikan and Mustafa Francis missed from close range, prompting coach Hassan Oktay to substitute the former two minutes before half-time.
If Guikan did not enjoy a cordial relationship with the former coach Dylan Kerr, Oktay has proven to be even harder to love. Guikan went straight to the dressing room and Oktay promised to deal with him.
His replacement Oliech doubled Gor’s lead from the spot after Ssekisambu was brought down in the box by defender Franco Balabala.
K’Ogalo got further impetus in the second half when Balabala was sent off just two minutes after conceding the penalty but it was Mount Kenya who rallied to score the next goal. Substitute Moses Odhiambo cleverly robbed Joash Onyango a headed back pass and calmly slotted past Odhiambo.
K’Ogalo were stung by the goal and Ssekisambu restored their two-goal buffer by coolly finishing off a precise cross from Shafik Batambuze in the 77th minute. The Ugandan then completed his hat-trick in added time by tapping in another exquisite cross from Oliech.
Ssekisambu impressed with his overall performance and earned rare praise from the Green Army. The win pushed Gor to fourth on the log with 13 points, four behind leaders Mathare United.