Samuel Onyango scored a brace to put Gor Mahia in a pole position of reaching the group stages of Caf Champions League after a 3-1 win against Lobi Stars of Nigeria.
A draw in the return leg, away in Nigeria, will be enough to push the Kenyan champions to the money bracket. Onyango scored two quick goals late in the first half to add to Jacques Tuyisenge’s early opener and help K’Ogalo keep their unbeaten run in the competition.
K’Ogalo just needed seven minutes to open up the visitors’ defense. Rwandan striker goal poacher Tuyisenge returned to the squad for the first time after he limped out in the victory against Nyasa Big Bullets with the opening goal in the seventh minute.
Lobi Stars found themselves two goals down after Onyango doubled thescore line in the 21st minute. It took Lobi Stars 28 minutes to force BonifaceOluoch to a first save but the Nigerian side, still unbowed by an intimidatinghome crowd, halved the scores from a corner kick through Salad Kadiri.
Gor Mahia, however, did not allow Lobi Stars to celebrate the goalafter Onyango restored the lead in the 33rd minute for a 3-1 lead at the half-time break in a game that produced four goals within the first 33minutes.
Onyango beat four Lobi Stars’ defenders before slotting home, a goal thatonce again gave the record Kenyan champions some renewed hopes that they canbetter their 2018 record when they exited the competition at the group stages.
A tactical Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay pulled out a striker for a midfielder when he brought on board Kenneth Muguna for Tuyisenge as he cut Lobi Stars’ ball supply up front. Gor Mahia held on to force a vital victory at home ahead of the return leg.
Gor Mahia XI: Boniface Oluoch, Philemon Otieno, Shafik Batambuze, Haron Shakava, Joash Onyango, Earnest Wendo, Humphrey Mieno, Francis Kahata, Samuel Onyango, Francis Mustafa and Jacques Tuyisenge.
Reserves: Frederick Odhiambo, Pascal Ogweno, Cercidy Okeyo, Boniface Omondi, Kenneth Muguna, George Odhiambo and Erisa Ssekisambu.