There was fan trouble amid confusion in a match pitting Gor Mahia and Tusker FC played at Thika Municipal Stadium in Thika this evening.
A heated exchange marked the final minutes of the game after Tusker scored in the dying minute of the game through second-half substitute Jackson Macharia but fans complained about a foul on K’Ogalo custodian Gad Mathews.
Center referee Anthony Ogwayo had pointed to the centre an indication that the goal was legitimate, but Gor players milled around him and his assistants in search of justice for their injured custodian who was writhing down in pain.
The protests spilled to the stands as the fans pelted water objects to the Tusker’s technical bench with the players having to take cover at the centre of the pitch.
It took the intervention of officials from either sides to restore calm on the pitch upon which the ball was on Ogwayo court to make a decision.
Surprisingly, he gave in to Gor’s demands sparking protests from Tusker players and officials who also demanded answers from the whistler.
With the fans already into song and dance mood, Ogwayo settled the contest by blowing the final whistle and thus both teams settled for a point having played for a barren draw.
A livid Tusker head coach Robert Matano tore into Ogwayo for falling into Gor’s antics as he appeared to suggest that the official should be relieved of his duties.
“A referee should stand by his decision no matter what. It is unprofessional of him to change his mind just because the opponents protested. Such kind of referees should be banished from the game,” he roared.
His Gor counterpart Andrea’s Spier steered clear of the fracas and decisions by the referee.
Barely three minutes after center referee Ogwayo blasted the first whistle, Gor were forced to an unwanted substitution as Sydney Ochieng was stretchered off with his place taken by Parmenas Ochola.
The exit of Ochieng who surprisingly was partnering Joshua Mahero at the heart of the defense saw Gor revert to a three-man defense with Philemon Otieno and Geoffrey Ochieng being redeployed to the center.
The Gor technical bench let out a huge sigh of relief in the 16th minute when Mahero went down unchallenged with his palms around his hamstring but was urged to carry on despite grimacing from time to time.
In a bid to break the Tusker wall, Gor made triple changes in the 66th minute with Sando Yangayay, Benson Omala and Austin Odhiambo coming in for Lwasa, Samuel Onyango and Boniface Omondi respectively.
Matano also reacted by sending in Jackson Macharia, Lawrence Luvanda and John Njuguna for Oyugi, Stewart Omondi and Erick Zakayo.
The changes threw the game into life as both teams began to show hunger for the three points but lack of precision in the final third saw both teams take home a point.