Shabana coach Sammy Okoth blamed the team’s FKF Premier League 1-0 defeat to Gor Mahia on the decision by the match referee to red card his player during the fixture dubbed ‘Nyanza derby’ at Kasarani Stadium.
The Kisii-based Glamour Boys went into the game having suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat against Ulinzi Stars but they looked the better side in the first half managing to contain the marauding K’Ogalo attackers led by Benson Omalla.
However, in the 79th minute, Tore Bore were reduced to 10 men when defender Aduda Abisolom was given his marching orders for pulling back Gor Mahia attacker Christopher Ochieng after a confrontation between the two players and this worked to the advantage of K’Ogalo, who scored in the 90th-minute courtesy of Rooney Onyango to carry the bragging rights.
Speaking after the game, Okoth insisted the game switched in favour of K’Ogalo after Ochieng’s send-off. “My players played very well, they contained Gor Mahia and proved difficult to break down, we knew how Gor Mahia was playing and tactically my players kept them toe to toe until the time the referee started to flash yellow cards and we noticed his intentions were not good, after the red card, they got the chance to score,” said Okoth.
On what prevailed upon him to rescind his decision to resign despite making the announcement after the Ulinzi game, Okoth said: “I think the team has officials and that depends on the officials, if I have any problems I tell them, so it is upon them to decide, if you want to know I am still Shabana coach, go ask the management, I am here to talk about the game, that is what brought me here.”
Meanwhile, Gor Mahia coach Johnathan McKinstry lauded Shabana players for changing their tactics against them insisting they played better than their game against Ulinzi. “I thought my guys worked extremely hard, Shabana played a very different game from how they played against Ulinzi, they switched formation and hard three wing backs, it almost worked for them until they got tired in the second half and we capitalised on that to score,” admitted McKinstry.
The defeat left Shabana languishing second from the bottom of the 18-team table with seven points from nine matches. They have only managed one defeat, drawn four, and lost four. On the other hand, the victory saw K’Ogalo put pressure on table leaders Posta Rangers as they moved level on 19 points. Shabana will travel to face Bandari at Mbaraki Sports Club on Saturday while Gor Mahia will entertain Kenya Police on Sunday.