Just three days after announcing their arrival at the continental stage, the boys were up against the league champions with a lot expected from them after setting the bar so high. It was yet another opportunity for the boys to show that they are ready to go toe to toe with the big boys of our land.
The boss made two changes to the side that won in midweek, with Brian Bwire replacing Gad Mathew between the sticks as the latter was given time off to attend to family issues while Fidel Origa was added to the midfield as the coach sacrificed attacker Sydney Lokale.
The first half saw the boys on the back foot with Gor Mahia dominating proceedings. Bwire had to be alert on goal after Gor striker Mustapha almost capitalized on a misplaced but the shot stopper reacted quickly to clear the ball with a sweeper like sliding clearance.
Godfrey Shiveka and Tom Teka stood tall at the heart of defence, fending off the numerous threats from our opponents who tried to get the ball behind the back line. With just seconds left in the first half, George Abege was let through on goal after a fine lob pass from Teka but the Ugandan striker was closed down by Onyango just before he could take the shot when one on one with the goalkeeper. Sydney Lokale replaced Fidel just at the end of the half and he barely kicked the ball before the referee blew the half time whistle.
The introduction of Lokale seemed to have sparked some life into the team as the boys dominated the early proceedings of the second half. With Duke Abuya dropping deeper, the Gor midfield was finding it hard to interrupt the new rhythm he was stringing with Patilla Omoto at the middle of the park.
The moment of the game would come in the 53rd minute after Patilla played the ball out to the left to Mazembe who beat two Gor players before looping the ball over to overlapping left back Nixon Omondi who composed himself down the wing and picked up Lokale with a perfectly weighted cut back cross. The tall boy made a wonderful first touch then left two Gor defenders for dead with a play station like fake shot before curling the ball in with his left foot for what will surely be a goal of the month if not goal of the season contender.
Six minutes later, Harrison Mwendwa almost made it two as the lively Lokale seat him through on goal but his poked in effort went agonizingly wide hitting the side net. The boys maintained their shape as Gor came knocking for the equalizer with Shiveka bossing the back line.
Youngster Bwire produced three top notch saves in quick succession first denying Kahata top corner curler then stopping Guikan’s well taken shot before pairing away another dangerous effort winger Omondi Bonface.
The boss threw in Vincent Wasambo and Shaphan Oyugi who brought more solidity in the midfield in place of Abege and Mazembe. New Singing Herit Mungai was also handed his debut with 10 minutes left on the clock and Kuol John replaced injured Tom Teka in added time.
The boys held on despite the late pressure to record yet another historic win and bagging another trophy in just under two months of winning the shield cup. This was a perfect warm up for the CAF second leg encounter away to Arta Solar7 in Djibouti.