Host Western Stima forced defending champions Gor Mahia to a barren draw in a hard-fought SportPesa Premier League match at Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Sunday.
The draw takes K’Ogalo’s points tally at the helm of the table to 60, while Stima sits 13th on 31points. In the first leg clash, the two sides tied 1-1.
Gor’s head coach Hassan Oktay said he was satisfied with the result, adding his side struggled to score in the match.
“It is a better result for us, we struggled in the finishing, so we have to work on this to win in our next match,” said Oktay.
Stima coach Salim Babu was happy of the results.
“One point is good for us this being the second leg. The boys have decided to work hard and we are now planning for our next game,” said Babu
Playing against his former side, Hubert Kopany set Kennedy Otieno for an early opportunity, but the forward lost his footing while rushing to finish.
K’Ogalo missed the target from a free-kick near Stima’s danger area, before host goalkeeper Samuel Odhiambo denied veteran striker Dennis Oliech from an aerial battle on the 13th minute.
Stima attempted to break the deadlock from long range attempts which all went wide. Coach Babu’s side were lucky when Francis Kahata failed to score from Philemon Otieno’s cross from the right-wing.
Odhiambo was forced into three successive saves after the half-hour mark, as Gor look to have found momentum in the clash.
The remaining minutes of the first-half, saw the defending champions crowd the power men’s half, Oliech and Kahata missing the target from close-range.
Stima made a change upon restart, Henry Onyango taking the place of Kevin Okoth, but it is the visitors who returned stronger.
Oliech would have punished Stima from a defensive lapse by Junior Mukisa, when he sneaked behind the defender, goalkeeper Odhiambo reacting fast to gather the danger.
K’Ogalo were forced to make a change on the hour-mark after Oliech was stretched off injured and rushed to hospital. He was replaced by Nicholas Kipkirui, coach Oktay also substituting Boniface Omondi for Samuel Onyango.
Stima got their first closest opportunity of the second half eight minutes later from Mukisa’s taken free-kick, which Gor’s goalkeeper Odhiambo dealt with easily.
Kipkirui’s header moments later ballooned over the crossbar, before Gor saw a penalty appeal turned down.
The former Zoo Kericho man was again denied nine minutes to time by the crossbar, as the visitors crowded Stima’s goalmouth in search of the winning goal, which they were not lucky to get.