Gor Mahia marked their return to premier league action after a 3-week long absence with a sublime 6-1 walloping of KCB at Nyayo national Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
After a successful outing in the regional inter-club CECAFA Kagame Cup in Dare-es-Salaam that saw the defending league champions emerge second best, talks on whether fatigue would have cropped into the squad on their return after an intensive tournament had elbowed it’s way to the top of the agenda.
Coach Nutall gave the side a four day break upon their return and only resumed preparations at the newly refurbished Eastland’s Camp Toyoyo Stadium on Friday.
KCB were the first to fire an attempt on goal in the 2nd minute but Benjamin Chaka’s effort from outside the box was no trouble for Bonface Oluoch.
Then Zachary Onyango was called into action and was superb with two quick fire saves to keep his lines clear from Olunga and Kagere efforts in the 6th and 8th minutes. Four minutes later, Olunga missed a splendid chance to break the tie after a poor defensive play put KCB under pressure, Luke Ochieng cleared poorly from a back pass but Olunga’s first touch let him down and Onyango blocked the resultant shot.
But on his third call he hit the target converting a Walusimbi cross to the bottom right corner after Collins Okoth had worked his way through the KCB defense to set up the marauding Ugandan in the opposition box, and his first time cross was well met and converted by Olunga.
The rhythm kept coming and Gor Mahia were enjoying and commanding the action, neat and clinical in their passing and repossession. They swung the match into contrasting speeds; at one time reducing it to a walking pace and on another driving splintering attacks down the right and left channels.
But in a rare opportunity, Benjamin Chaka saw his 25th minute effort sail across the face of goal after a good one-two combination play by Kiongera.
Gor Mahia who nearly added a goal to the scoreline in the 27th minute but Olunga could not beat Zachary Onyango after he raced away from the defenders into a one-on-one situation with the custodian who had his near post well covered to block the shot from the striker.
The second goal was evidently coming and it arrived in style in the 36th minute. Innocent Wafula kept possession down the right channel, drifted inwards and picked the run of Meddie Kagere with a looping chip and the striker volleyed a classy goal into the far right post to double K’Ogalo.
Wafula then had a late second half chance from a Michael Olunga set up in the opposition goal area but his low shot was well saved by Onyango as the match headed into break.
Unlike in first half, KCB emerged fighting in the second period and temporarily looked to put Gor Mahia on the back foot. But their storm was quickly weathered in the 55th minute, Meddie Kagere burst out running down the right channel, overrode a sliding tackle from Athman Buki to race towards goal to send a cross to the goal running Olunga but that was intercepted and turned in past Zachary Onyango by defender Mark Odhiambo to triple Gor Mahia’s lead.
Two minutes later, the on form Paul Kiongera pulled one back for the bankers converting past Bonface Oluoch after a cross was swung from the left channel leaving the deeply disappointed custodian burying his head on the grass. After conceding a goal in every match in the CECAFA Kagame cup, Oluoch would have fancied a clean sheet in this but that was not to be.
But the goal was to be just a consolation for KCB as k’Ogalo simply ran all over them thereafter. Kagere got his second in the 70th minute at the end of yet another Wafula assist and Khalid Aucho made it 5-1 five minutes later from an assist by Olunga.
Second half substitute Enock Agwanda rounded it off with his first premier league goal in Gor Mahia colours in the 89th minute as the league leaders sounded their return to premier league action gong in style.
The victory sends Gor Mahia 8 points clear with 3 games in hand. The march is on.