NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – Benson Omalla scored his 11th goal of the season to steer Gor Mahia to the top of the FKF Premier League standings for the first time this season with a 1-0 win over Nairobi City Stars at the Kasarani Stadium.
Defending champions Tusker meanwhile had to come from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Kariobangi Sharks at their Ruaraka Complex backyard while KCB cemented third spot with a 2-1 win over struggling Mathare United.
At the Kasarani Stadium, Omalla scored the lone goal of the match on the hour mark with a smashing left footed shot inside the box.
However, City Stars coach Nicholas Muyoti was left furious with the manner in which his side conceded, blaming the referee for failing to award a foul to his player who was hacked down in the build up to the goal.
“A refereeing decision cost us a goal. It was a clear foul on my player. I don’t understand this thing. I don’t understand what’s happening and I don’t even know what to say,” a visibly furious Muyoti said.
The win sees Gor Mahia move to 27 points, same as second placed Nzoia Sugar who have played a match more and are set to play AFC Leopards in Bungoma on Sunday.
Elsewhere at the Ruaraka Complex, only two wins in eight matches have left defending champions Tusker FC under pressure, as they had to come from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Kariobangi Sharks.
David Majak came off the bench to score the leveler in the second half, cancelling out Tyson Otieno’s goal five minutes after the break.
The brewers are on 25 points, two off the pace of leaders Gor and Nzoia, and pressure is mounting on coach Robert Matano with the side slumping to fourth in the standings.
The opening half started slow for both sides, with Tusker’s half chances coming off Tanzanian import Joshua Ibrahim. He had an effort on the swing saved by the keeper while another was blocked inside the box, and a looping header going over the bar.
In the last two minutes of the half, Tusker had better chances. Shami Kibwana won the ball ahead of Dan Guya inside the box and faced the keeper one on one, but his left footed shot went wide.
He had another effort come cracking against the upright a minute later when he dribbled to find some space on the left.
In the second half Sharks started better and just five minutes in, they broke the deadlock when Otieno fired in a volley after Tusker struggled to clear from a cross.
Tusker were stunned and they had a chance to equalize in the 63rd minute when Ibrahim was put through on goal by Jackson Macharia, but his low shot was saved.
The brewers then made offensive changes, Macharia, Ibrahim and Eric Mmata coming off for Eric Zakayo, Majak and Deogratious Ojok.
With a twin striking option upfront, Tusker decided to go for power play, dumping balls into the Sharks box. This paid off in the 78th minute when a long gaolkick from Patrick Matasi was huffed and puffed inside the Sharks box before Majak rifled into the net.
The brewers pumped in pressure over the remaining 12 minutes plus five of added time, but they couldn’t turn the single point into three.