Record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia put their troubles behind them to record a 1-0 win against soldiers Ulinzi Stars in what was both teams first league action of the season.
The two clubs have been embroiled in a battle with Football Kenya Federation (FKF) over the media and commercial rights deal between the federation and StarTimes Media Limited.
They however put all their woes behind them at the Nyayo Stadium to treat their fans to some great football in what was the highlight match of the weekend.
Both teams fired blanks in the first half with Gor Mahia dominating early in the first half.
It is however Ulinzi that almost got the opener in the 15th minute through Daniel Waweru who had his well taken freekick hit the bar.
Gor’s Miheso almost scored a beauty in the 29th minute but his effort from the edge of the area went wide.
The soldiers almost went up 12 minutes before the break but Masita Masuta missed after pouncing on a lose ball in the Gor Mahia box.
The match went into halftime with the scores still 0-0. It is however in the second half that substitutions made by Gor seem to have paid off.
Captain Kenneth Muguna came in for Bertrand Konfor before a double sub in the 61st minute that saw Tito Okello and Clifton Miheso go out for Kevin Wesonga and Jules Ulimwengu.
Ulinzi had also made a double sub of their own in the 57th minute with Oscar Wamalwa and Elvis Nandwa replacing John Njuguna and Enosh Ochieng.
Ulimwengu proved to be the lucky charm as he gave Gor Mahia the lead from close range in the 63rd minute.
Ulinzi striker Wamalwa almost restored parity immediately but missed a glorious scoring opportunity after being put through by Masita in the 67th minute.
A couple of exchanges between the two sides saw each pose threat and it almost paid off once again for Ulinzi in the 74th minute. Nandwa had a long range effort at goal come off the bar despite beating Gor’s custodian Gad Matthews.
The soldiers once again failed to grab an injury time equalizer in stoppage time after Daniel Waweru fail to put the ball in an empty net following a blunder by Gad Matthews.
Ulinzi will rue the many chances they missed but for Gor, it’s a first step in the right direction as the defence of their league title begins with a positive result.