A last-minute goal from substitute Francis Afiriye earned Gor Mahia a thrilling 1-0 win over Kariobangi Sharks in a Kenyan Premier League match played at the Afraha Stadium.
The game seemed to be destined for a goalless draw until Kennedy Otieno’s desperately hopeful shot cannoned off the upright and Afiriye reacted quickest to slot the rebound past John Oyemba.
The win maintained Gor’s perfect start to the campaign and increased their lead at the top of the table to four points, having accumulated 15 points from their five matches. Sharks remained 14th with six points from as many matches.
“You play football to the last whistle and that’s what we did. I was frustrated with the field that made playing difficult. A draw would have been a fair result. I am happy our substitutes got us the win. Sometimes they (substitutes) work and sometimes they don’t. I am happy Afiriye scored his first goal and when he improves his match fitness he is going to be an important part of our squad,” said Gor coach steven Polack post-match.
The league leaders hogged early possession putting Sharks on the back foot in the opening quarter of the match. Half chances came their way with first Samuel Onyango finding the side netting after Clifton Miheso’s shot had been blocked by Geoffrey Shiveka after only nine minutes.
Miheso went close again moments later but John Oyemba as equal to his first time shot on the turn. Ivorian Yikpe Gislein enjoying his first start for Gor had a quiet opening and was left embarrassed after his attempted bicycle kick failed spectacularly.
Sharks grew into the game as the half neared with Shaphan Oyugi shooting widely over and then Sven Yidah heading just wide off David Mapigano’s goal. Duke Abuya lost his composure when clean through past Mapigano and another chance went begging.
Both sides then made changes with Gor introducing Dickson Ambundo and Francis Afiriye fro Onyango and Yikpe respectively while Sharks brought on Sydney Lokale and Harrison Mwendwa for Daniel Sakari and Oyugi. However, with the final kick of the game, Afiriye scored the memorable winner to break Sharks hearts.