By Robin Toskin
Rama Salim converted City Stadium into a personal theatre to write his name, using his left-foot, in the hearts of Gor Mahia fans and, perhaps left Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic craving pjenušavo wine to wash down his hat-trick.
The Mwembe Tayari-born (Mombasa) youngster was in ruthless form as Gor Mahia dispatched KCB 3-1 in dramatic fashion in a Kenyan Premier League tie, on Sunday.
The bankers were not overawed, though, but will nevertheless hold up their hands and give it to the son of former Harambee Stars player Athman Mbuguss, who twice fed off the cunningness of Ugandan Dan Serunkuma to punish KCB.
Logarusic had warned K’Ogalo to respect the money men and their overall display bore characteristics of a side cautious of gungho-style attacking.
KCB had the better statistic in terms of shots at goal, corners and perhaps, too, ball possesion — which they started right from the first whistle.
But Gor Mahia’s first shot at goal gave them the lead in the 17th minute. Diminutive striker Serrunkuma peeled away on the left flank after escaping a tackle before laying the ball invitingly to the onrushing Salim.
And cool as a cucumber, the midfielder used at an advanced position in a three-pronged attack, rounded goalkeeper Kaleb Adola to plant the ball in the net.
KCB replied four minutes later through Elvis Ayany, when Edwin Mwaura’s deft touch of the ball with the outside of his right foot released Brian Osumba who cut back to the former Ulinzi Stars man to coolly finish at the bottom right corner of goalkeeper Jerim Onyango.
Gor Mahia looked suspect in defence, prompting Logarusic into action by withdrawing debutant holding midfielder Oscar Mbugua for Teddy Akumu in 36th minute.
The change worked, allowing K’Ogalo to pour foward although with little danger to KCB until a minute to half-time.