It was a good day in office for Gor Mahia as they huffed and puffed in style as they got an easy 4-1 win against a disjointed Mt Kenya in the Kenyan premier league.
Ugandan forward Erisa Ssekisambu grabbed a hat-trick as K’Ogalo as Dennis Oliech got another goal as they scaled two places higher in the SportPesa sponsored Kenyan Premier League, a performance which Oktay termed as the best curtain-raiser to the continental match where they carry a slim 2-1 home win.
Oktay rung nine changes to the squad that faced the Cameroonian side last weekend and defended his early substitution where he withdrew Ephrem Guikan for Dennis Oliech.
Gor Mahia responded swiftly to the early scare with Ssekisambu breaking the deadlock in the third minute after pouncing on George Odhiambo’s pass to score past a hapless Philip Odhiambo.
Goal hunger was rife in the K’Ogalo’s forward line as Guikan and Shafik Batambuze having a sniff at Mt Kenya’s goal in the eighth and 16 minutes of the match.
The highlight of the half was the 43rd substitution by Oktay when he rested a largely ineffective Guikan for Oliech as he sought to double his lead and seal the three points. After the break, Oliech’s inclusion paid dividends as the former Harambee Stars captain plundered home Gor’s second goal from the spot in the 58th minute after Francis Mustafa was brought down in the box by Kelvin Thairu.
Mt Kenya’s bid to stage a comeback suffered a blow minutes later as centre half Frank Bala received his marching orders for two quick successive yellow cards. Veteran midfielder Moses Odhiambo halved the deficit in the 67th minute, capitalising on a poor back pass by Joash Onyango to put the ball past the line.
Ssekisambu replied for Gor in the 78th minute converting Batambuze’s cross. Odhiambo would have helped himself to the scoresheet again in the 81st minute but watched his spot kick kiss the bar.
Ssekisambu completed his hat-trick in the added minutes after Oliech had put him through to take his goal tally for the season to four
Gor Mahia’s coach Hassan Oktay was buoyant after the game as he said
“Great performance today which I believe has boosted our confidence heading to our Sunday’s match. We played well especially in the second half and I am confident we will carry the same form to Cameroon.”
“I had to rest some players for the return match although I gave them a few minutes. I have told Guikan to step up his input and I hope he will hit his best form on Sunday,” said Oktay.