NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto began his reign as Gor Mahia head coach on the winning note as K’Ogalo withstood a second half fightback from Mathare United to beat the Slum Boys 3-1 at the Kasarani Annex on Thursday.
Charles Momanyi and skipper Kenneth Muguna set Gor Mahia going with two early goals in a first half they totally dominated, while Dani Lual got Mathare back into the game with a second half penalty after an improved performance.
Youngster Alpha Onyango sealed the win for Gor coming off the bench with five minutes left.
Gor finished the game with 10 men after substitute Nicholas Kipkurui was shown a straight card after an off the ball incident that resulted in a scuffle which also left Mathare United’s James Kinyanjui red carded on the bench.
Vaz Pinto was in the stands on Sunday as Gor were beaten 4-3 by Kariobangi Sharks at the same venue, but the victory on Thursday gives him a perfect launching pad ahead of a daunting task.
Mathare were once again poor in the opening half just as they were soaking three goals within the opening 20 minutes against Sofapaka last weekend.
Coach Salim Ali made a substitution after just 27 minutes, pulling out Tyson Otieno for Daniel Otieno, a change that did not go down well with the former. The youngster came off the touchline remonstrating with the coach with a few words also exchanged between him and other members of the technical bench.
Mathare found themselves a goal down after four minutes when Momanyi glanced in a header inside the six yard box after Clifton Miheso’s corner found him brilliantly placed.
The reigning league champions were two good for Mathare when Muguna scored the second with a low shot on the half turn after calmly picking up a pass from Samwel Onyango.
Gor continued their dominance and Miheso came close with a shot on his weaker right foot after finding space from 25 yards out with a little nutmeg to skip past Lennox Ogutu.
At the stroke of halftime, Miheso should have taken Gor 3-0 up when he struck a ferocious shot from the left, but the stinging effort came off the bar.
In the second half, Mathare were an improved side with Lual coming in for Eugene Wethuli, Salim looking to add some punch in his firing line.
Mathare halved the deficit in the 71st minute when Lual struck off the penalty spot after skipper Chris Oduor was pulled down by Joachim Oluoch inside the box.
Mathare pushed and gave a fight to get more goals going, but they couldn’t conjure a comeback.
Instead, Gor turned the tide to secure the victory in the final five minutes. Youngster Onyango who had come in as a substitute sealed the victory with a shot from inside the box after a counter attack.