Portuguese Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto notched his second consecutive victory since taking the reins at record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia as his charges emasculated Western Stima 3 -1 at Moi Stadium Kisumu on Monday evening to claim maximum points.
The hard-fought victory was secured by Ugandan Tito Okelo’s brace in the 65th and 86th minutes after Western Stima, through another Ugandan, Villa Oromchan had pegged back Gor Mahia with a devastating equalizer in the first half.
K’Ogalo raced into a 23rd minute lead courtesy of the industrious Samuel Onyango who pounced and punished lackluster defending by the hosts.
The defending champions hogged possession and controlled most of the game before a rare foray upfront set up Oromchan for the leveler.
Thereafter, the relegation-threatened Stima defended like their lives depended on it and ensured parity at halftime.
K’Ogalo were however, sticking to their style of play; building from the back and trying to penetrate centrally while also forcing their way via the wings.
Ernest Wendo was crucial in mopping up lose ball in front of the backline while skipper Kenneth Muguna dropped deep to launch attacking moves.
Ex Stima left back was preferred over Michael Apudo who has recently come under heavy criticism for his lapses and Ochieng did not disappoint, defending stoically and distributing his passes admirably.
The hosts returned from halftime break determined to keep K’Ogalo at bay and managed to do so for twenty minutes before Okelo breached, scoring Gor Mahia’s second to send the handful fans into a frenzy.
Stima woke up after Gor Mahia’s second goal as they attempted to claw back and reclaim a point. So lost were they in their pursuit that the Ugandan assassin caught them pant down and put matters safe for Gor with a third goal.
The victory hoisted Gor Mahia from 14th to 8th on the log and now have their sights firmly fixed on the leading pack of KCB, Tusker, Kariobangi Sharks and Wazito.
K’Ogalo have two games in hand and will do well to win them and cut the nine points separating them with table toppers KCB.