Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League champions Gor Mahia stuttered in their pursuit of a record 21st league title after a frustrating 0-0 draw against Ulinzi Stars on Saturday.
The outcome of the matchday 21 fixture at Machakos Stadium saw K’Ogalo drop vital points in two successive matches, having suffered their first defeat of the campaign – 3-1 against Kenya Police in their previous fixture. Despite their intentions to bounce back, Gor Mahia coach Johnathan McKinstry opted against starting lead striker Benson Omalla, who had seen his deadline day transfer move to Algerian outfit JS Saoura fail to materialise.
The game was a balanced affair, especially in the first half but in the second period, the introduction of Omalla for Patrick Sibomana ignited K’Ogalo’s pursuit for the opener, and the best chance fell to Austin Odhiambo, who rattled the woodwork with only Ulinzi Stars goalkeeper Michael Wanyika to beat.
The draw left Gor Mahia sitting at the top of the 18-team table with 44 points, from 12 wins, eight draws, and one defeat. Meanwhile, for Ulinzi, the hard-earned point moved them a place above Murang’a Seal to position 11 with 25 points.
In Mombasa, Nairobi City Stars ended their two games without victory by edging hosts Bandari 1-0 at Mbaraki Stadium. Heading into the fixture, Simba Wa Nairobi had last tested victory – 1-0 outcome against Posta Rangers on January 14. The other two matches saw them suffer a 2-0 defeat against AFC Leopards before drawing 0-0 against Shabana.
New Japanese signing Yuto ‘Mitoma’ Kusaba announced himself into the Kenyan league in a big way for City Stars after he set up Vincent Owino to score what turned out to be the winner. The win enabled City Stars under Nicholas Muyoti to move second on 37 points, seven fewer than leaders Gor Mahia.
The defeat left the Coastal-based Dockers in fifth position with 34 points from 10 wins, four draws, and seven defeats. In another match, despite being reduced to 10 men, Posta held on to force a 0-0 draw against Kenya Police at Police Sacco Stadium.
With only six minutes played, the Mailmen suffered a huge blow when Ivan Ochieng was sent off for an early shower following a clumsy challenge on striker Tito Okello. However, his sendoff did not deter Posta from snatching a draw as they battled all the way to keep the scoreline 0-0 at the final whistle. Posta are now third on the log with 36 points from 10 wins, six draws, and five defeats while Police remained fourth on 34 points accumulated from nine wins, seven draws, and five defeats.