Resilient Murang’a Seal take a point from Gor Mahia in SportPesa Derby

11th November 2023

Benson Omalla had the ball in the back of the net but his goal was adjudged to be offside.

PHOTO| SportPesa
PHOTO| SportPesa
  • The game was the first time the two sides were meeting in the top-flight.
  • The barren stalemate left both sides in second and third on the log.
  • Gor however have a better goal difference in second spot.

Newly-promoted Murang’a Seal displayed another gigantic performance on Saturday afternoon as they nicked a point off record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia following a resilient barren draw in the Round 11 clash staged at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Christened the SportPesa Derby owing to the two sides’ affiliation to lead online gaming firm SportPesa who is their sponsor, Seal ensured that family bragging rights were shared equally as they frustrated the 20-time champions on a day they were celebrating the official unveiling of their new 41-seater team bus.

The game had been ushered in by pre-match fanfare surrounding the bus but Seal put a plug to those festivities as they resolutely ensured nothing went beyond their watch, constantly thwarting anything that looked like danger on their way to extending their unbeaten streak to seven matches (W4 D3).

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The opening thirty minutes had nothing much to write home about apart from Ronney Onyango’s header from a Patrick Sibomana cross that narrowly just missed the target.

The game burst into life on the 31st minute, when Benson Omala, who is fresh from being recalled to the Harambee Stars setup, stretched his legs and managed to divert a Sibomana cross past Bonphas Munyasa and into the back of the net.

The striker’s goal celebrations were however just cut short as the linesman lifted his flag for offside, much to the dismay of the K’Ogalo fans and technical bench who did not agree with the call.

With Kenya still lacking anything close to Video Assistant Referee (VAR), the official’s decision stood.

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That piece of action seemed to have sparked the game into life and Gor looked a much purposeful side as they threw numbers forward in a bid to break the deadlock but that was not the case going into the half time break.

Upon the second half’s resumption, Kennedy Onyango got one of the clearest opportunities to score in the 53rd minute but the new signing showed why he is a centre back rather than an attacker as he failed to sort out his feet, missing a glorious chance to give his side the lead.

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Seven minutes later, Omalla, known for his deadly heading ability, missed a clear-cut opportunity 1v1 with the keeper as he placed his header wide off target despite an inch perfect cross from Boniface Omondi who had done all the work down the left before laying the ball on a plate for him.

Two other chances to grab a lead would fall K’Ogalo’s way but Sibomana and Omondi failed to capitalize on the chances as they put their attempts over the bar, ensuring the game ended even stevens.