The win is vital for the local heavyweights who are fighting to close in on the leading rivals as they hope to defend the league title in the end
Gor Mahia emerged 1-0 victors against Vihiga United in a Football Kenya Federation Premier League tie held at Mumias Sports Complex on Thursday.
Manuel Vaz Pinto’s charges were able to hold onto the slim lead – courtesy of a goal scored by Clifton Miheso – earned in the first half against a side that defeated them in the first round in Nairobi.
Gor Mahia made a brilliant fourth-minute move but they could not get the opener as Vihiga United’s Mustapha Oduor was able to collect a final strike by Miheso. In the eighth minute, Miheso again was denied by the former Nzoia Sugar goalkeeper as his header – after another ambitious move – was collected with ease.
Patrick Okullo came close to getting an opener for the hosts in the 11th minute through a free-kick but Gad Mathews was alert enough to clear the ball that was heading to the right top corner. Dennis Monda of Vihiga United was the first player to be yellow-carded after a dangerous challenge on Kenneth Muguna.
Geoffrey Ochieng was cautioned with a yellow card three minutes after Monda for his rough tackle on Dennis Simiyu. Vihiga United had to make a change in the 20th minute when Monda could not continue with the assignment and Stewart Omondi came on as his replacement.
Miheso and Oduor yet again found themselves on a one-on-one occasion a minute after the half-hour mark and the goalkeeper was able to stop the Gor Mahia winger from finding the back of the net. But in the 40th minute, the custodian could not stop Miheso from breaking the deadlock with a long-range shot.
Oduor was again on hand to help Vihiga United from conceding the second goal when he denied Karim Abdoul from close range in the 54th minute. Coach Mike Mururi made a change in the 57th minute with the introduction of Lawrence Luvanda for Okullo.
Vihiga United’s Junior Adefeya was yellow-carded in the 82n minute while Gor Mahia made a change in the 87th minute when Fred Nkata came on for Abdoul. The champions held onto the slim win to pick three points as they look more stable than before.
Vihiga United XI: Mustapha Oduor, Dennis Ombeva, Michael Odongo, Prince Ayeko, Sammy Sindani, Mark Ogola, Patrick Okullo, Dennis Monda, Isaac Otieno, Dennis Simiyu, Kevin Omondi.
Subs: Morgan Ambuka, Absalom Onyango, Richard Igunza, Wycliffe Nthata, Stewart Omondi, Erick Opiyo, Lawrence Luvanda, Adeyefa Junior, Michael Iasbwa.
Gor Mahia XI: Gad Mathews, Philemon Otieno, Frank Odhiambo, Harun Shakava, Andrew Juma, Geoffrey Ochieng, Clifton Miheso, Alpha Onyango, Tito Okello, Kenneth Muguna, Karim Abdoul,
Subs: Caleb Otieno, Fred Nkata, Charles Momanyi, John Ochieng, Sydney Ochieng, John Macharia, Samuel Onyango, Jules Ulimwengu.