Gor Mahia Youth kept their dreams for a maiden KPL U20 tournament title alive with a 2-0 victory over Ushuru Youth in the second semi-final clash played at the Camp Toyoyo Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
Henry Juma struck a brace, a piece in either half to dispatch Ushuru and set up a final clash against Mathare United, who booked the first finals slot earlier in the day with a 3-1 penalty shoot out victory over Kakamega Homeboyz after playing out to a one all draw at the same venue.
Gor Mahia and Ushuru had progressed from the same group into the quarter finals and this semi-final pairing presented an opportunity for re-match. The group stage clash saw Gor Mahia Youth stroll to a comfortable 3-1 victory. The thought of this result backed by the quarter final elimination of arch-rivals AFC Leopards may have earned Coach Maurice Onyango's charges the favourites' tag, it was not going to be easy.
The first job was to match Ushuru Youth's endeavor and predictably they were indefatigable. Even though they harried and hustled from the first whistle, they couldn't pick their rhythm and when the game settled Gor Mahia Youth dictated.
Hillary Ojwang struck the side netting with the first real effort on goal after running into the areas at the far post. Then he returned minutes later, sneaking his way into a one-on-one situation with the opposition goalkeeper but his effort well saved by Brian Otieno.
Otieno would then stand in the way of a well executed free kick by Ismail Musa before stopping Nahashon Thiong'o moments later. The duo then got their second chances but once again neither of them could beat the hawk eyed custodian who palmed out Thiong'o's effort and rushed off his line to narrow in on Musa before the wing back could strike.
But after consistent knocking on that Ushuru door, Otieno was finally beaten with the opening seemingly destined for a goalless tie. Hillary Ojwang beat the offside trap to pace into the area down the right channel before squaring in a crosa for the oncoming Juma who tapped the ball into an empty net, this time the brilliant Otieno having left his line in an attempt shut Ojwang out.
The second period saw Gor Mahia resume the attack from they had left. They dominated the midfield battle with Alpha Onyango and Davies Odongo doing well to dominate play and win back possession at the center before spreading the passes out wide where Thiong'o and Musa were orchestrating the attacks.
Beating Otieno in that Ushuru Youth goal was the major task through out the game as he pulled a series of saves to keep the attacking trio at bay. But he could do little to stop Juma from netting his 6th goal of the tournament and double Gor Mahia's lead from the penalty spot after he picked himself up from the floor after Owen Lumusi had halted his run unfairly inside the box.
At the end, Gor Mahia Youth were elated and relieved. Lets go the finals.