By Lotan Salapei
KPL champions Gor Mahia fell to a 4-0 defeat in the hands of Everton in the much anticipated SportPesa cup final at the Goodison Park.
Despite the pre-match hype, Gor was outplayed, out-muscled, out classed further proving the massive gulf of class between the Premier League and the Kenyan Premier league.
After a nervy first 15 minutes, Gor found themselves on the back foot after Toffee forward Cenk Tosun cleverly beat the offside trap then teeing off in form Ademola Lookman for the first goal.
Youngster Kieran Dowell was on hand to double the hosts lead in the 23rd minute through as rasping shot which keeper Bonniface Oluoch, could not keep out despite getting a hand on it.
Gor manager Dylan Kerr introduced Humphrey Mieno after the break in an effort to salvage the result but the damage had already been done. A quick double by youngster Nathan Broadhead and danger man Oumar Niasse were enough to put the match to bed.
Despite making 11 changes from the team that beat Brighton and Hove Albion over the weekend, Toffee boss Marco Silva started a solid team giving much needed game time to Morgan Shneiderlin, Yerry Mina, Calvert-Lewin, skipper Phil Jagielka and veteran keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
The visitors had to make changes to their line-up after marksman Jacques Tuyisenge couldn’t travel due to visa issues instead starting with Francis Mustafa, Francis Kahata and George Odhiambo Blackberry in attack. New boy Batambuzi got the nod in defense alongside Bonniface Oluoch who was a surprise start in goal.
Gor’s best chance came at the end of the first half after Francis Mustapha could not convert a George Odhiambo’s devilish cross after a spirited run.
Francis Mustapha missed another glorious chance to half Everton’s lead missing an empty goal from 18 yards out after the toffee substitute keeper, Virginia scuffed a clearance.
Despite Everton’s’ domineering display it was the green Army’s skipper Harun Shakava and George Odhiambo who caught the crowds’ eye with the latter making marauding runs that caught the Toffees defense of guard but the team was unable to convert the chances.
However, it is Gor’s inability to hold the ball under pressure that should be of concern. Their inexperience was often their undoing as Everton closed down on them quickly choking their options thus Gor struggled to impose their personality on the game.
Everton will be back in action on Sunday away to high-flying Chelsea at the Bridge while Gor’ will travel back to Kenya to prepare for the new KPL season that starts later on this year.