Gor Mahia Captain Philemon Otieno celebrates goal with teammates Bonface Omondi (right) and Benson Omalla (left) during their FKF Premier league match against Mathare United played on May 3rd 2023 at Moi International Sports Centre,Kasarani.Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO

A goal in the third minute and another in the ninth minute helped record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia restore their hopes of gracing continental football for the first time since December 2021 as they outclassed Ulinzi Stars 2-0 in Kasarani to fly back to the top of the table after previous log leaders Tusker suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Wazito.

Early strikes from Austine Odhiambo and Ugandan import Patrick Kaddu gifted K’Ogalo the three precious points that helped them open a two point gap at the summit heading into the last two games of the 22/23 campaign.

“I am really pleased with how we played today. There is a point in that first half and second half that makes me really emotional because it was really beautiful to watch.

I have not seen better football being played and not just in Kenya, and I am really pleased for the players,” an emotional Jonathan McKinstry said after the clash.

In a match that Gor went in trailing Tusker by a point, Austine’s well taken goal off the back of a Kaddu assist helped calm the nerves after just three minutes and the record Kenyan champions needed just six more minutes to make the most out of their imperious start.

The pair that scored the first goal combined once again, but this time with roles reversed, as Kaddu doubled the team’s lead following a cutback into the danger area from Austine which the Ugandan gladly dispatched past James Saruni who was making his first start for the season.

“From the word go, we knew that Gor try to get early goals going by their games. They got two early chances and they made us pay for them,” Mohammed Abdalla, Ulinzi assistant coach said.

Having gotten the two goal advantage, Gor were in no hurry to add onto their lead as they produced some immaculate football with January signing Shafiq Kagimu dictating the pace with his delicate and measured eye candy displays in the middle of the park.

The green army could have seen their side extend their lead even further but Peter Lwasa just could not get the final touch right on two clear cut occasions. In the end, Gor walking away with a clean sheet, three points and a place at the top of the table.


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