• K’Ogalo were forced to play for more than an hour with 10 men after an early red card to defender Joash Onyango, which Polack said was undeserved.
• At the coast, Zico was left fuming after seeing his side fall 2-1 to hosts Bandari. He blamed poor officiating for the loss and accused their hosts of ‘underhand tactics.’
Gor Mahia Steve Polack and KCB’s Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno have once again lambasted Kenyan Premier League referees after what they termed as unfair officiating during their respective matches yesterday.
Champions Gor Mahia were held to a 1-1 draw by Western Stima at Moi Stadium Kisumu while KCB lost 2-1 to Bandari at the Mbaraki Sports.
K’Ogalo were forced to play for more than an hour with 10 men after an early red card to defender Joash Onyango, which Polack said was undeserved.
“We played 65 minutes with 10 men. I feel the red card was not deserved because the Western Stima player was offside when Joash tackled him. The officiating was not good today but I am proud of my boys,” said Polack.
“After going ahead, our players went to sleep leading to the equaliser which I feel was from an offside position but I’m not a referee.”
Interestingly, Stima also ended the match with 10 men after Villa Oromochan was sent off in the 75th minute after a tackle on midfielder Lawrence Juma.
But despite the early numerical disadvantage, Gor Mahia dominated proceedings the first half but failed to create chances. In the second half, the champions continued asking questions of the Stima defence, which paid off just three minutes upon resumption as Cliffton Miheso nodded home captain Kenneth Muguna’s pass.
However, Stima intestified the pressure and Villa levelled matter in the 65th minute after looping the ball past an advancing Boniface Oluoch.
Villa would then turn villain after he was sent off.
However, Stima coach Salim Babu was content with the point, saying: “Playing against 10 men made it difficult for us because Gor Mahia resorted to packing the midfield and defended in numbers. We played well and deserved the point. We need to continue working on converting chances.”
At the coast, Zico was left fuming after seeing his side fall 2-1 to hosts Bandari. He blamed poor officiating for the loss and accused their hosts of ‘underhand tactics.’
“It is unfair to play a match in Mombasa in February at 2pm. It is not good for both sets of players,” said Zico.
A controversial penalty, dispatched by William Wadri, three minutes into the second half put Bandari in the driver’s seat after left-back Dennis Odhiambo was adjudged to have impeded diminutive winger Cliff Kasuti in the box, much to the chagrin of the KCB bench and travelling supporters.
“I watched the replays several times and it is not a penalty. In fact it is our own player who was fouled,” Zico lamented.
He also accused Bandari of time-wasting tactics.
“They kept on lying on the pitch every time they felt contact,” he said.
Talismanic striker, Yema Mwana, back from a two-month injury lay-off, extended the Dockers’ lead seven minutes after coming off the bench to give Bandari some breathing space.
However, the home team could not keep a clean in their first win in five matches as KCB striker Reagan
Otieno took advantage of a terrible miss by defender Brian Otieno to place the ball at the bottom right corner.
And despite the win, Dockers’ coach Twahir Muhidin was not amused by his forward line.
“I am disappointed with our finishing. The build-up play was good but we lacked clinical finishers,” said Muhidin, who was quick to defend his players following KCB consolation goal.
“I cannot single out a player. They all played well. It is our weak moments that the opponents capitalised on,” he said.
Despite the loss, Zico was encouraged by his charges’ first-half display.
“We controlled the game in the first half. We knew how Bandari would play and we worked to counter it, which worked in the first half,” said the former Gor Mahia coach.
KCB remain fourth on the table with 38 points from 20 matches as Bandari remain 11th with 23 points.
However, a second straight loss for KCB means they are only two points ahead of fifth-placed Ulinzi Stars.
“It is a concern but it changes nothing. This was our game in hand. We are now focused on our next match against Posta Rangers, but that is two weeks away so we have enough time to rectify our mistakes,” said Zico.
Bandari welcome ninth-placed Mathare United on February 22.