Red cards galore as Stima hold Gor Mahia in Kisumu

Western Stima FC battled to a 1-1 draw with Gor Mahia FC in a rescheduled Kenyan Premier League match played on Wednesday 12th from 3 pm at the Moi Stadium.

Battling with ten men for over 80 minutes of the tie, defending champions Gor could not hold onto their second-half lead gifted to them by Clifton Miheso and saw the hosts rally to level matters for a 1-1 share of the spoils.

Gor were reduced to ten men in the 10th minute when Joash Onyango fouled Benson Omalla who was through on goal. Stima could not make the most of the resultant free-kick but would have a huge chunk of possession due to superior numbers for the remainder of the first half.

The champions were forced into an early change, center-back Joachim Oluoch coming in for striker Nicholas Kipkurui. This would help straighten things at the back but at the expense of a better attack. Breaking through the flanks was Gor’s best bet as Stima stretched the full length of the field, and on one occasion, nearly forced the powermen into an error when right-back Geoffrey Ochieng breached Vitalis Akumu’s flank but was fouled just outside the edge of the box. Akumu would go straight into the referee’s book for the 19th-minute foul.

Geoffrey Ochieng runs down a Stima flank with Sydney Ochieng in pursuit. [IMAGE- Fabian Odhiambo]
The first half ended barren, Stima not making the most of their possession and Gor Mahia trio of Kenneth Muguna, Lawrence Juma and Jackson Owusu forced to put in an extra shift for the inferior numbers.

Throwing in Boniface Omondi for Samuel Onyango in the 46th minute, Gor would claim the lead three minutes after the restart through Miheso, well released by Kenneth Muguna and one on one with Stima keeper Samuel Njau. This goal rattled the hosts, and made coach Salim Babu’s boys throw everything they had. This reckless campaign forward would again prove costly as it allowed Gor to attack on the break. In the 60th minute, center-back Maurice Ojwang would go into the referee’s book for a foul on Miheso.

A lapse in concentration in the 65th minute saw Oromcan Villa beat Gor’s off-side trap to power in the leveler. While Joachim Oluoch and Charles Momanyi looked desperately at the first assistant pleading for an offside call, Villa wheeled away in celebration.

Kennedy Owino, partnering Ojwang in Stima’s central defense was the third of the hosts’ backline to earn a yellow card as Andrew Juma booked him for a deliberate handball. Soon, Stima would have to play with ten men too.

Villa, perhaps on the hunt for the winner, would soon earn his marching orders after a rash tackle on Lawrence Juma. Reprieve for Gor as they still had 15 minutes to swing the tie back in their favor.

The fate of the tie looked to have been decided by the two goals- and even late changes by the two teams altered nothing. 1-1 was the share of the spoils.