Zoo FC 2-3 Gor Mahia: K’Ogalo come from behind in Kericho
The Green Army struggled against their determined opponents as they fought back after going down twice
Samuel Onyango scored an important late goal for the league champions after Nicholas Kipkirui and Elvis Ronack had equalized for them while Kepha Ondati and Mathew Odongo were Zoo’s scorers.
Boniface Omondi’s clear run towards Zoo’s box was only stopped by a raised offside flag of the first assistant referee in the seventh minute of play.
Before the offside case, Gor Mahia engineered a good build-up in midfielder between Kenneth Muguna and Kipkirui before the latter’s defence-splitting pass found Omondi on the left flank.
Zoo managed to breach Gor Mahia’s defence in the 13th minute after Collins Neto’s pass found Stanlaus Akiya on the left flank but the winger’s low drive was superbly stopped by Fredick Odhiambo in K’Ogalo’s goal.
Another chance for the hosts went to waste when Akiya’s shot on goal hit the right-hand post. Dennis Ongeri picked Akiya and the winger hoodwinked Charles Momanyi who was marking him and created enough space to pull the trigger only for his shot to hit the woodwork.
Odhiambo denied Neto from close range when he parried his close-range header over the bar after another precise move from Zoo in the 24th minute.
Ondati scored Zoo’s opener in the 26th minute with a low header after Gor Mahia’s players failed to mark him during a corner kick delivery. With Odhiambo obscured in goal, he stood no chance at all to stop the header from Ondati.
Ronack pulled an equalizer for Gor Mahia in the 53rd minute as he took advantage of a goalmouth melee in the Zoo area to head home and deny them a first-ever clean sheet against the KPL champions.
Kipkirui failed to plant his free header into an empty net in the 59th minute. Onyango beat goalkeeper Misikhu and produced a sumptuous cross for Kipkirui who headed wide despite having acres of space to score against his former side.
Odongo helped Zoo regain their lead in the 67th minute when he manoeuvred past a number of opponents and planted the ball into the bottom corner away from Odhiambo.
The goal came in the manner in which the first one was scored as the hosts launched attacks from the wings which Gor Mahia found hard to stop.
Kipkirui finally managed to get a goal for his side in the 77th minute with a slow and low drive. Three minutes later Michael Apudo failed to give Gor Mahia the lead when he headed just wide while totally unmarked inside the penalty area.
Onyango struck Gor Mahia’s winner in the 90th minute to ensure they were not registering a second-ever draw against Zoo.
Gor Mahia have now picked up seven wins in eight matches against the Kericho-based side.
Zoo FC XI: Misikhu Vincent, Ambulwa Eugene, Murabwa Matini, Akiya Stanslaus, Anekeya Wilson, Sammy Ggolola, Gichana Geoffrey, Odongo Mathew, Ondati Khepa, Neto Collins, Ongeri Dennis
Subs: Brian Lumumba, Derrick Anami, Alex Onchwari, Benard Odhiambo, Newton Ondari, Fredrick Otiso.
Gor Mahia XI: Fredrick Odhiambo, Bernard Ondiek, Michael Apudo, Charles Momanyi, Geoffrey Ochieng, Jackson Owusu, Lawrence Juma, Kenneth Muguna, Clifton Miheso, Boniface Omondi, Nicholas Kipkirui.
Subs: Robert Mapigtano, Joachim Oluoch, Alpha Onyango, Samuel Onyango, Juma Balinya, Dickson Omondi.