Omala’s contentious brace lifts lucky Gor Mahia over Talanta


FKFPL Omala’s contentious brace lifts lucky Gor Mahia over Talanta

Kiplagat Sang 17:10 - 26.04.2023

Talanta protested, as they were not convinced by the manner in which K’Ogalo scored their second goal.

Benson Omala played a crucial role as Gor Mahia managed to register a 2-1 Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) win over FC Talanta at the Kasarani Stadium.

Although they found themselves trailing early in the first half when Talanta scored in the 18th minute, the former champions fought hard and registered the vital win as Omala scored twice.

After struggling to find a way past Talanta’s midfield, Gor Mahia changed tactics and used their fullbacks.

The change in tactics almost had an impact, especially after Geoffrey Ochieng did well to locate Benson Omala with a pinpoint cross. 

However, the striker could not superbly connect with the high ball, as he ended up – while inside the box - producing a weak header that went out in the 34th minute.

Launching their attacks through the flanks looked like an easy way for Gor, and in the 37th minute, they came close to finding the equalizer. Ochieng made another forward drive, delivered a fine pass into the box, and although Talanta’s Ian Omondi blocked it, Shafiq Kagimu’s follow-up went out by inches.

Gor Mahia’s attacks increased towards the later stages of the first half, and in the 40th minute, Talanta survived. Kagimu and Omala’s quick shots at goal were blocked as Talanta defenders crowded their area in a bid to deny their opponents shooting spaces.

Kevin Otieno, in Talanta’s goal, remained alert as K’Ogalo were resolute in their search for an equalizer. At the edge of the box, an unmarked Austin Odhiambo launched a fierce shot, but Otieno punched the ball back into play.

Although he remained untested for the better part of the last quarter of the first half, Gad Mathews almost fumbled a shot by Alvin Ochieng. The ball landed in the path of the Talanta midfielder, who attempted to find the top corner from some distance away.

Mathews saw the ball and attempted to stop it, but it was too powerful, and as he conceded a corner, he was lucky that the ball did not end up in his net.

K’Ogalo started the second half much more determined and hungry, and their effort was rewarded in the 50th minute when Omala converted a penalty.

The in-form striker planted the ball into the right bottom corner as goalkeeper Otieno flew in the opposite direction.

There were scenes in the 72nd minute when Gor Mahia got the second goal. The record league champions won a freekick just outside the box; they took it quickly, and Omala scored as Talanta took their time to organize for the set-piece.

Even Otieno was caught off guard as Omala slotted the ball into an almost empty net. The former Kisumu Day star did not initially celebrate as he also waited for the referee to give the next signal. The official ruled that the goal would stand, which sparked a prolonged protest from Talanta.

Gor Mahia held on for the 2-1 win to keep the title race in their hands. 

As Omala keeps striding fast towards the Golden Boot award, his tally now stands at 25 goals.