Omalla strikes late to steer Gor Mahia to top of the league table

3rd December 2023

The Kisumu Day alumni struck in the 90+1st minute to give K'Ogalo a 1-2 win against Kariobangi Sharks.

Benson Omalla. PHOTO| SportPesa
Benson Omalla. PHOTO| SportPesa
  • Alpha Onyango opened the scoring for Gor Mahia just before half time.
  • Panchol Ghai appeared to have salvaged a point for Sharks with his 82nd minute goal.
  • Benson Omalla grabbed the winner late on to help Gor to the summit.

Record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia finally moved to the top of the 23/24 Football Kenya Federation Premier League after showing incredible character to see off Kariobangi Sharks 1-2 at the Machakos Stadium on Sunday evening.

League top scorer Benson Omalla proved to be the much-needed differential in the match as he struck in the 90+1st minute to hand his side a precious win that saw K'Ogalo open a two-point gap at the summit.

The late intervention came when Sharks looked set to frustrate the 20-time Kenyan champions to a 1-1 draw as Ghai Panchol struck in the 82nd minute to restore parity for his side, punching air out of the K'Ogalo faithful who had thronged the stands at Machakos.

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However, Omalla's last-gasp goal restored their joy as the youngster extended his tally at the top of the scoring charts to nine goals in thirteen games.

"The two clubs have an interesting history between them so it was always going to be a closely contested match. The game was going to be about who made the least mistakes and who capitalized on their chances.

Ultimately, we took our chances and got away with the three points," Gor boss Johnathan McKinstry remarked after the game.

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The uneven surface at the Machakos Stadium saw both teams struggle to adapt to the possession-based football they are accustomed to as the ball kept bouncing all over the place.

As a result, both teams struggled to create clear cut opportunities, only trying to capitalize on half chances.

The game looked to go into the half time break with the deadlock intact but Alpha Onyango's quick thinking ensured K'Ogalo took the lead into the interval as he pounced on a poor Sharks clearance before rifling past Kevin Ouru with a sweetly struck low effort.

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That lead would remain for Gor until the 82nd minute where a probing Sharks saw their efforts finally pay off through Panchol who beat the offside trap before finding the equalizer.

It all started with a corner kick routine that caught the Gor Mahia defense napping as Fredrick Alushula located Panchol with an inch- perfect out footer that the defender managed to squeeze past Kevin Omondi in the Gor goal.

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Omala’s late heroics however ensured that Gor picked up the three points as he instinctively threw his body on a Lawrence Juma effort to guide the ball in the back of the net for the late win that saw them open a two-point lead over Posta Ramgers.