All Square: Mathare Earn Point On Oliech's Gor Mahia Debut

Jan 06 - by Louis Kalinga for SportPesa News

Former Harambee Stars captain, Dennis Oliech, made his debut for K'Oglao in the contrest

Gor Mahia FC player in action against Mathare United FC at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on January 6, 2019.PHOTO/SPN

  • The game was made more special by the return of former Auxerre and Nantes striker Dennis Oliech who came on in the second half to jubilant song and dance from the K’Ogalo faithful in the stands
  • The former Ligue 1 player, who joined Gor earlier this week, was on the bench against his former employers and the entire K’Ogalo faithful was hoping for at least a cameo appearance in the traditional green and white
  • Mathare then got a free-kick in a promising position a minute later but Kevin Kimani failed to replicate the one he scored against KCB, with the ball going harmlessly wide of the goal

NAIROBI, Kenya- SportPesa Premier League (SPL) leaders Mathare United FC played out to a 1-1 draw against champions Gor Mahia FC at Kasarani Stadium in  Nairobi on Sunday afternoon.

Both sides scored from the penalty spot as Jacques Tuyisenge and Kevin Kimani traded spot kicks in either half, as Mathare held on to top spot in the SPL.

The game was made more special by the return of former Auxerre and Nantes striker Dennis Oliech who came on in the second half to jubilant song and dance from the K’Ogalo faithful in the stands.

The crowd had an extra cheer as there was a familiar face on the Gor bench in the name of Harambee Stars record goal scorer, Dennis Oliech.

The former Ligue 1 player, who joined Gor earlier this week, was on the bench against his former employers and the entire K’Ogalo faithful was hoping for at least a cameo appearance in the traditional green and white.

Mathare kicked off the game and the cagey start painted a bigger picture to the intensity of the fixture at hand.

Francis Kahata almost punished the home side after a lose pass in the second minute but defender Johnstone Omurwa did well to recover.

There was a delay in the seventh as Chrispin Oduor required medical attention on the pitch following a collision with Kahata.

After a minute or so, he was back on and the game went on.

The champions found their footing and began to dominate possession as they desperately sought the opening goal that would reassert their presence at the top of the SPL table.

In the 15th, Gor found the back of the net through Nicholas Kipkirui but it was to count for nothing as the fourth official raised his flag for offside.

Four minutes later, Kipkirui headed the ball past Allan Owino’s goal but it didn’t count as the ball had gone out on the far left before Kahata whipped in the cross.

In the 20th, the Slum Boys came as close as they had the entire half but Cliff Nyakeya failed to connect with the ball well in the penalty area.

The champions found their footing and began to dominate possession as they desperately sought the opening goal that would reassert their presence at the top of the SPL table.

In the 15th, Gor found the back of the net through Nicholas Kipkirui but it was to count for nothing as the fourth official raised his flag for offside.

Four minutes later, Kipkirui headed the ball past Allan Owino’s goal but it didn’t count as the ball had gone out on the far left before Kahata whipped in the cross.

In the 20th, the Slum Boys came as close as they had the entire half but Cliff Nyakeya failed to connect with the ball well in the penalty area.

In the 25th, Gor defender Joash Onyango made an important block, stopping a goal bound effort, keeping matters level at 0-0.

Mathare then got a free-kick in a promising position a minute later but Kevin Kimani failed to replicate the one he scored against KCB, with the ball going harmlessly wide of the goal.

In the 32nd, Roy Okal brought down Lawrence Juma in the box and the referee pointed to the spot, much to the elation of the majority Gor fans in the stadium.

Rwandese forward Jacques Tuyisenge stepped up and sent Owiny the wrong way to give Gor a 1-0 lead.

In the 36th, the goal scorer set up Kipkirui who’s shot went straight into the keepers hands.

There was yet another delay in the 42nd as Gor goalkeeper Fredrick Odhiambo went down injured and was attended to by the medical team.

In first half stoppage time, Kahata found Kipkirui with a lovely through ball but the striker failed to get proper control of the ball and followed through with a wayward left-footed effort.

The referee blew for the end for the first half, Gor going into the locker rooms a goal to the good.

Gor got the second half underway with the crowd going into a frenzy as Oliech made his way from the tunnel, all in the hope that he will get a chance to take to the pitch.

In the 50th, Gor came close to getting a second when Tuyisenge and Kahata linked up well but the latters ball into the box was cleared away for a corner.

Substitute Alfred Ndonye turned Gor skipper Harun Shakava and sent a right-footed shot towards goal but it went inches wide in the 53rd, as the Slum boys desperately searched for an equalising goal.

Moments after, Mathare were awarded a penalty following a bad challenge from the away team captain and Kevin Kimani made no mistake, levelling the score at 1-1, with slightly over a half hour left to play.

The stadium erupted as soon as they saw Hassan Oktay wave at Oliech to come and get ready to join the fray.

Owiny was lucky not to concede when he made a mess of a back pass, which Tuyisenge was unlucky not to connect well with.

Pascal Ogweno came on in the 65th minute to replace Joash Onyango, who was declared unfit to continue after he got a nasty cut on his head after a collision in the penalty area.

Historic moment

The moment that will never be forgotten in Kenyan football history came in the 67th minute as Kipkirui made way for the legend Oliech, who was marking a return following a 15-year absence from the local league.

He made an instant impact as he headed the ball down for Kahata who’s left footed strike was well saved by Owiny in the Mathare goal.

Gor were more alive than they had been throughout the match and Shafiq Batambuze unleashed a fierce left-footed effort from 23 yards out which Owiny had to dive to push away for a corner. 

Kahata sent in a fantastic ball which eventually fell for Philemon Otieno but Mathare were lucky as his shot went inches wide of the goal.

In the 73rd, Oliech was unable to connect with two crosses sent his way, with the ball flying inches over his head on both occasions.

Oktay made his final change bringing on Kenneth Muguna in place of Lawrence Juma, opting for a more creative force in midfield as they searched for what would possibly turn out to be the winning goal.

The crowd urged Oliech to go for goal a minute later but he opted to try and find Boniface Omondi with a looping ball but the attempted pass went inches wide of the goal.

Shakava went into the referees book in the 84th after a bad foul on Ndonye.

Gor looked more likely to get the winning goal as the clock hit 90 and Tuyisenge should have left the ball for Oliech from Kahata’s cross but his header went agonisingly over the bar.

Referee signalled for the end of the game, both teams taking home a point on the day.

Mathare remain at the helm with 14 points, level with Western Stima FC in second as Gor climbed up the table to ninth with seven points from five matches. 

Oktay's men travel to Kisumu to battle it out against Posta Rangers FC on Wednesday.