Gor Mahia lose narrowly to EPL side Everton
Rooney in action/ Credits: Reuters
The much hyped SportPesa Cup friendly clash pitting EPL side Everton versus Kenyan champions Gor Mahia lived to its billing with sumptuous football on display at the National Stadium in Dar, Tanzania on Thursday evening.
Everton escaped with a 2-1 win, a respectable score-line for Gor Mahia in the historic clash.
Gor Mahia had the best start to the game and surprisingly dominated possession with some slick passing game.
It took half an hour for Everton respond and as expected, it was the crowd favorite boy Wayne Rooney who showed some class with some neat touches before a beautiful curled shot from the 30-yard that soared past an advancing Gor Mahia keeper Boniface Oluoch.
It took only two minutes for the confident Gor Mahia to respond through Jacques Tuyisenge who headed in a crisp corner.
The goal seemed to re-energize Gor Mahia who took over control till the half time with the board still reading 1-1.
There were minutes of awkwardness when a fan clad in Manchester United managed to get into the field to hug Rooney before security quickly swung into action and whisked him away.
The second period was a different ball game as Everton coach tweaked his side with Rooney off and Hewelt, Pennington, Baines, Keane, Gueye, Besic, Mirallas, Barry, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Dowell making the starting eleven
Unlike the first period, it was Everton who seemed hungrier for victory by creating more chances.
Substitute Gor Mahia keeper Peter Odhiambo had to make a timely intervention to deny Everton’s Calvert-Lewin past the one hour mark. Calvert-Lewin followed with another save that the keeper blocked.
Calvert-Lewin managed to score but was ruled offside.
In the 79th minute, Kylen Dowell rattled the post from a low free kick.
The pressure from Everton paid off when Dowell finally got into the scoring books in the 80th minute with a great 20-yard strike.
Despite many substitutes by Gor Mahia, a better Everton denied them further chances for the clash to end in favour of them.
Despite the slim loss, Gor Mahia walked proud with their display against such a well-oiled side.It was a good lesson for the Kenyan champions and a great moment for the many fans who thronged the stadium for the live action.