Gor Mahia beat premier league debutants Kariobangi Sharks 3-1 in their new season 2017 opening encounter at the the Thika Municipal Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Harun Shakava opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a connecting header at the end of a Karim Nizigiyimana deliver from a short corner team with up with Godfrey Walusimbi. Gor Mahia were in their fine fettle and deservedly double their lead 7 minutes from the break as they took control of the first half.
Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza neatly intercepted a clearance from the Sharks defense and set Tuyisenge running wide on the left flank before joining Timothy Otieno in the race to the opposition box anticipating a delivery. Tuyisenge fired in a shot across the face of goal that Sharks' custodian Robert Mboya could only parry away right onto the path of Mugurineza and the Rwandese international calmly fired home on his premier league debut.
In truth, the points were won during a dominating opening 45-minutes spell by Coach Ze Maria's charges. They controlled possession and braved the bumpy nature of the playing surface. Kenneth Muguna was in fine form with brilliant displays to complement Wendo and Mugiraneza in the midfield take-over. On the left channel, Walusimbi was as brilliant as ever in building attacks with Wellington Ochieng taking solid charge of the left back.
The hosts attempts to stage a fight back in the second were fruitless despite making changes soon after the restart. Instead it was Gor Mahia who nearly grabbed a third goal but Timothy Otieno's 52 minute effort was ruled offside. Duke Abuya then made fine solo run down the left, drifting inwards to the edge of the box but his shot intended for the top left corner flew over the crossbar.
On the opposite goal end, Nizigiyimana nearly registered his name on the scores sheet with a superb connecting volley at the end of a long delivery by Walusimbi to the back post, but his effort could not sail past the swam of Kariobangi Sharks' defense. The Bonface Oluoch was called to duty with a well struck shot from outside the box that that punched back into play and recovered quick to take on the rebound effort by Abuya.
In the 88th minute, Tuyisenge was in the right place to turn the ball in for Gor Mahia's third goal of the match after Walusimbi had once again broken away from his marker to deliver a low cross right on the goal line. It all seemed done and dusted but the hosts would grab a late consolation after a defensive lapse saw substitute Mathew Odongo race into the box to stab a through pass played in from the midfield past Oluoch.
Gor Mahia's next encounter will be against another premier league debutants ZOO Kericho on Saturday 18th March 2017.