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Gor Mahia bundled out of Kenya’s Top 8 tournament

Fred Maingi - StarAfrica

Copyright : Fred Maingi - StarAfrica

Tusker FC will now face off with Thika United in the finals of the KPL Top 8 tournament after settling to a barren draw with defending Champions Gor Mahia in a thrilling floodlight semi final tie staged on Wednesday night at the 40,000 seater Nyayo National Stadium.

Tusker FC sponsored by leading liquor manufacturer East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) went through courtesy of a  first leg 1-0 lead  staged at the same venue a fortnight ago.

Tusker were more adventurous  upfront going close on several occasion with Jesse Were,Robert Omunuk, Ismael Dunga and Moses Arita making Gor Mahia fans heart miss a beat.

Gor Mahia Keeper Ivo Mapundo made several acrobatic saves denying the bottlers clear chances to take the lead. As a result, he was named the man of the match and consequently received a digital pocket TV walka courtesy of sponsor’s Supersport 9 East who beamed the live match.

Gor also had some moments of attack but were never quite authoritative in attack. The Tusker defense line kept their discipline to ensure keeper Samwel Odhiambo remained untested. David Ochieng had an important interception from Musa Mohammed’s cross in the 30th minute, with Rama Salim and Edwin Lavatsa hanging around the box.

Challenges flew all over the place as the game progressed, Gor Mahia’s Donald Mosoti who was the Captain of the day living dangerously on a yellow card. Mosoti was fortunate to remain for the rest of the game with his tackles on Ismail Dunga and twice on Jesse Were going UN punished with Tusker’s bench up in protest.

In the second period, Gor came back all guns blazing, knowing they needed to score a goal to get back into the game.Gor Mahia coach Zdravko  Logarusic threw in Moses Odhiambo and Danny Sserunkuma, later bringing on Joseph Njuguna in an attempt to raise his stakes upfront.

The changes proved to work but they never delivered the results needed. Gor were more vibrant in attack and in the 70th minute, Tusker Keeper Samwel Odhiambo produced a super save to deny Moses Odhiambo who had unleashed a powerful shot from 40 yards out.

Odhiambo was again the difference in the match from the resultant corner, Gor starting it shot with Odhiambo bringing in the cross. The Tusker keeper was spot on coming off his area to punch away the cross.

Gor had the closest chance to reduce the deficit in the 73rd minute, Rama Salim’s header bouncing off the cross bar from David Owino’s cross.

Tusker coach Robert Matano accused match referee Silvester Kirwa of failing to red-card Gor Mahia no-nonsense defender Donald Mosoti for making dangerous tackles inside the danger zone.

‘The player should have been send off early in the first half. I don’t know why the referee was lenient otherwise we shall not prefer him to handle any of our future matches.”Observed Matano in a post match interview.

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