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By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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The under pressure Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay has defended his decision to leave ace striker Dennis Oliech and Francis Kahata on the bench in their 2-0 win over Sony Sugar in a SportPesa Premier League match played on Wednesday at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru.

Oktay said that he was managing star striker Oliech ahead of busy schedule ahead. “This was a deliberate move as I didn’t want Oliech to be injured,” he said.

He further revealed that it was necessary for Kahata to rest after a series of tough matches in Cameroon and Tanzania. “Kahata is a great player but it is also good to rest him after a rigorous game against New Stars De Doula in Limbe, Cameroon where they played under sea level conditions.”

According to the tactician, Gor players need to manage their schedule and have adequate rest especially after the grueling Caf Confederation Cup qualifying matches and SportPesa Cup in Dar es Salaam.

The Kenyan champions face Egyptian giants Zamalek on Sunday in their first Caf Confederation Cup pool match at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

“Oliech has played 15 or 45 or 70 minutes in past matches and I always start him or he comes off the bench. He has to be fresh ahead of the crucial continental match against Egyptians on Sunday.”

At the same time Oktay said that his charges were clinical in their match against Sony Sugar, where they created few scoring opportunities but utilized them.
“When we lost against Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) last weekend, we created at least seven chances which we failed to convert but against Sony we created few chances and we utilised them.”

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Gor scored a goal in each half through Rwandan striker Jacques Tuyisenge to record their fifth win of the season and climb to fourth position on the log with 16 points.

Meanwhile, Oktay has lashed out the centre referee Goerge Mwai for denying them a goal against Sony. Samuel Onyango’s corner was deflected into the goal by a Sony defender but it was chalked off after Mwai consulted his second assistant.

“When the goal crossed the goal line the referee pointed at the centre and moments later he changed his decision and ruled it as an off side goal. That was wrong decision,” said Oktay.

His Sony counterpart Patrick Odhiambo blamed “side shows” and “intimidation” for his side’s loss. “The game was well contested but 60 minutes of the games was stoppages, and a lot of sides shows and intimidation of my players. This is very shameful because technically only 30 minutes of the play was football,” said an angry coach Odhiambo.

Odhiambo was also not satisfied with level of officiating by the day’s chosen match officials. “From as early as 15th minute I stopped enjoying the match because of bad calls and late timing and confused decisions leading to unnecessary stoppages. It’s disgusting and shameful.”



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