December 31, 2021 Patrick Korir

Gor Mahia 0 Nairobi City Stars 2

Ezekiel Odera mobbed by Oliver Maloba after his goal against Vihiga Bullets on Sat 6 Nov 2021 in Ruaraka. City Stars won the duel 4-0

Ezekiel Odera and Anthony Muki Kimani struck on either half to hand Nairobi City Stars a 2-0 win over Gor Mahia on Thursday 30 December 2021 in Nyayo Stadium in their 11th match of the 2021/22 FKF Premier League season.

City Stars, buoyed by the return of five key players, had never beaten Gor Mahia in the top flight league since Jimmy Bageya’s 51st-minute goal delivered a 1-0 win in City Stadium on 9 April 2011.

But Simba wa Nairobi, playing a Premier League game at Nyayo Stadium for the first time since 11 September 2016, while hosting Western Stima, went ahead in the 40th minute when Odera sliced through two stoppers to meet a Timothy Babu Ouma float before firing past keeper Gad Mathews for the opener.

In the 71st minute Muki, on the pitch for just five minutes after replacing Davis Agesa, whipped in a perfect freekick past Gad to double matters.

The freekick was awarded after Gor Mahia left back Fred Nkata shoved Nicholas Kipkirui at the edge of the box. He was slapped with a yellow card for his crime.

The latest win, the fifth for City Stars over Gor Mahia in 25 attempts, pushes Simba wa Nairobi from seventh to third spot with 20 points, two more than Gor Mahia who are now down to seventh.

Inside the first ten minutes, City Stars captain on the day Peter Pinchez Opiyo, a former Gor Mahia player ten years back, had taken attempted two freekicks from outside the box. One went out and the other got to another Gor alumni Nicholas Kipkirui who headed straight at Gad in goal.

Gor’s response, one in between those two attempts and the other after, was a burst into the box from the left channel by George Blackberry Odhiambo who shot straight at keeper Jacob Osano, and an Austine Odhiambo shot at goal that won a fruitless corner.

On 14 minutes, City Stars left-back Denis Decha Wanjala floated the ball at goal but Gad did marvelously well to avoid a goal under the bar with a fingertip save for a corner that was wasted.

A minute later Austin whacked a freekick goalward that Osano did what Gad had done earlier to punch out for a corner.

In the 20th minute, a through ball by Odera found Babu in space, and into the box but as he planned to pull the trigger he was hacked down but the referee awarded no penalty. Odera’s immediate protestations earned him a yellow card.

Three minutes on, City Stars right fullback Kevin Chumsy Okumu flew up the right channel to square a low pass to Agesa in the box; he just failed to connect it home.

A freekick by Pinchez followed that piece of action plus a yellow card on stopper Kenedy Vidic Onyango as he gave away a freekick on the other end. Austin fired it wide.

At the half-hour mark, Odera drove a ping-pong at the edge of the box towards goal only for it to ricochet off the upright, for a sure near-miss, and to the safe hands of Gad.

Minutes later Odera broke into the Gor Mahia box only to be brought down. But again the referee waved play on.

With the clock reading 39 minutes, Gor had a freekick at the edge of the box but once again Austin sent it wide.

The next minute it was City Stars who went up 1-0 after Odera got in between two defenders to activate the scoresheet, a result that stood to halftime.

20 minutes into the second half, Gor Mahia stand-in coach Sammy Omolo, holding forte for the absent head coach Mark Harrisson, on-boarded a triple sub by sending George Blackberry Odhiambo, Peter Lwasa, and Jules Ulimwengu to the coolers as he brought on Benson Omala, Alpha Onyango, and Sando Yangayay, respectively, to try to turn things around.

Within the next four minutes, Gor Mahia had a shot on goal from James Kinyanjui that went straight to Osano. A wasted corner soon followed. Not too long after, substitute Omala attempted a header that went wide.

The next few moments saw Kipkirui fouled twice within seconds, but it is the second one by Nkata that earned a freekick which Muki floated with precision to double matters in the 71st minute

With 12 minutes left, City Stars flyer Rodgers Okuse Okumu took up the place of Odera who had picked a knock.

A few minutes later, Okuse chested down a ball and worked his way to the Gor box but he took the wrong option of shooting at goal – straight to Gad – instead of placing the ball to a free Kipkirui to his left.

In the next few minutes, Decha floated a freekick wide as Omala responded by breaking into the box to receive a cross only to sky the ball.

The final minutes of the game saw Charles Otieno take up injured Sven Yidah’s place in City Stars’ final substitution.

Gor was to end the game with a freekick that City Stars did well to block to register a sixth clean sheet from eleven games this season, and the first one against Gor Mahia since posting a 0-0 draw back on 4th August 2013 in Kasarani.

Lineups

Gor Mahia: 16. Gad Mathews, 3. Fred Nkata, 6. Frank Odhiambo, 33. Dennis Ng’ang’a, 12. Yusuf Mainge, 20. Ernest Wendo, 7. Austin Odhiambo, 10. Peter Lwasa (8. Alpha Onyango-61), 11. John Macharia, 5. George Odhiambo (22. Benson Omala-61), 25. Jules Ulimwengu (24. Sando Yangayay-61)

Unused subs: 1. Adama Keita (GK), 29. Caleb Omondi, 4. Joshua Onyango, 26. Philemon Otieno, 28. Victor Odhiambo, 21. Syndey Ochieng,

Nairobi City Stars: 16. Jacob Osano, 19. Kevin Okumu, 12. Edwin Buliba, 25. Kenedy Onyango, 26. Dennis Wanjala, 18. Sven Yidah (3. Charles Otieno-88), 10. Peter Opiyo – Captain, 11. Davis Agesa (30. Anthony Kimani-66), 20. Timothy Noor Ouma, 32. Ezekiel Odera (7. Rodgers Okumu-78), 17. Nicholas Kipkirui,

Unused subs: 23. Stephen Njunge (GK), 8. Calvin Masawa, 28. Herit Mungai, 5. Michael Madoya, 15. John Kamau, 4. Salim Abdalla,

Out: 22. Wycliffe Otieno, 6. Ronney Kola (all injured), 24. Erick Ombija, 1. Elvis Ochoro, 29. Ebrima Sanneh, 2. Elvis Noor Ojiambo, 21. Oliver Maloba, 9. Vincent Otieno Okoth, 27. Lennox Ogutu, 14. Rowland Makati,

Yellow cards

Gor Mahia: Fred Nkata (70)
Nairobi City Stars: Ezekiel Odera (20), Kenedy Onyango (24)

Goals: 32. Ezekiel Odera (40), Anthony Kimani (71)

, , , , ,