McKinstry laments missed victory opportunity against bus-parking Sofapaka

© Gor Mahia

FKFPL McKinstry laments missed victory opportunity against bus-parking Sofapaka

Festus Chuma 12:00 - 27.08.2023

Coach McKinstry frustrated as Gor Mahia's tactical clash with Sofapaka ends in a draw, seeking faster offensive momentum.

Gor Mahia coach Jonathan McKinstry has expressed his frustration after his team failed to secure maximum points in their opening match of the 2023/2024 Football Kenya Federation Premier League against Sofapaka.

The defending champions found themselves held to a 1-1 draw by the 2009 champions in a highly anticipated clash that took place at the iconic Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday afternoon.

Gor Mahia had to come from behind to secure a point against the 2009 champions, and while the late comeback showed promise, McKinstry emphasized the missed opportunity to secure all three points.

"We weren't pushing the ball quickly enough in the first half, but in the second, we improved. However, we're not at our best yet," McKinstry analyzed, highlighting the team's performance trajectory over the course of the match. 

The former Uganda national team head coach  acknowledged the tactical difficulties faced in breaking down Sofapaka's solid defense, which aimed to capitalize on K’Ogalo mistakes and exploit counterattacking opportunities.

The game plan seemed to play right into Sofapaka's hands, as they masterfully frustrated Gor Mahia's attacking efforts and capitalized on a defensive lapse to score the opening goal just before half time, courtesy of Darius Msagha.

McKinstry conceded that the match unfolded according to Sofapaka's strategy, designed to stifle Gor Mahia's creative play and seize chances on the break.

"It was a tactical draw, though victory was almost within our grasp in the final moments," McKinstry's assessment suggested that his team had demonstrated progress, but he also acknowledged the need to shine even brighter and fine-tune their approach as the season unfolds.

The dramatic turn of events in the dying minutes of the game provided a glimpse of Gor Mahia's resilience and potential. 

Benson Omalla's late equalizing penalty salvaged a point for the defending champions and hinted at the team's fighting spirit.

 However, the sense of disappointment lingered, as McKinstry's side had come close to clinching victory.

"Our progress is evident, but there's room to shine brighter," McKinstry summarized, focusing on the positive aspects while also recognizing the areas for improvement. 

As the dust settles on the hard-fought draw, Gor Mahia's attention turns to their next challenge – an encounter with Ulinzi Stars on September 2 at the Ulinzi Stars Sports Complex. 

The fixture provides another opportunity for McKinstry's men to showcase their growth and determination, building upon the lessons learned from the opener against Sofapaka.