Everton FC overcame Gor Mahia 2-1 in a friendly match played on Thursday July 13, 2017 at the Tanzania Stadium. The match was the highlight of the SportPesa Super Cup played in Tanzania in which Gor Mahia emerged as champions amid eight teams from Kenya and Tanzania. It was also to celebrate Everton’s record partnership with betting firm SportPesa.
Gor Mahia started the match as the stronger team, connecting a string of passes as they sought to open up the Everton defense. In the 8th minute, Muguna chose to try his luck with an ambitious shot from the left flank but it was nowhere near the post. Everton then started getting into the match, with Rooney seen in action for the first time in the 12th minute when he stepped up to take a free kick outside the box but the ball went straight into Oluoch’s hands.
Ernest Wendo’s involvement in the rare match ended earlier than expected after he suffered a thigh injury in the 18th minute and was forced to come off. Following Wendo’s injury, Gor Mahia had to play with ten men on the pitch until he was replaced by Philemon Otieno in the 23rd minute. Meddie Kagere’s pacy skills created a chance out of nothing for Ko’galo in the 28th minute, with the Rwandan striker navigating his way past several Everton midfielders to set up Nizigiyimana with a skillful pass but the latter’s effort was cut away for a corner.
Kagere almost took Gor ahead in the 33rd minute after a loose ball fell on his feet only for his strike to be blocked by Callum Colney. In his first match for Everton since his return, Wayne Rooney made the stadium burst into celebrations in the 35th minute after his 25-yard strike went flying to the top-left corner past Boniface Oluoch to take the Toffees 1-0 up. The fans had however not fully settled down when Gor leveled the scores two minutes later courtesy of Jacques Tuyisenge’s bullet header from a Kenneth Muguna cross. The first half ended with the scores tied at 1-1.
The second half started with a different Everton side and several new Gor Mahia players including Francis Kahata. Gor made further substitutions ten minutes into the second half with Fredrick Odhiambo and Timothy Otieno coming in for Boniface Oluoch and Meddie Kagere. The new set of Everton players seemed to have more confidence, dictating the play while trying to catch Gor Mahia on the counter attack through Kevin Mirallas.
Harun Shakava produced a superb goal line clearance in the 63rd minute to deny Idiss Gueye a goal after the rebound had found the Everton man. Quick attacks in Gor Mahia goal followed thereafter but their defense were up to task to clear any danger. The Green Army continued with substitutions, John Ndirangu and Wellington Ochieng replacing Jacques Tuyisenge and Musa mohammed respectively.
Kieran Dowle was unfortunate not to get into the score sheet in the 80th minute, his strike hitting the woodwork after being fed by Mirallas. He however redeemed himself two minutes later, directing the ball into the net after a pass from Tom Davies to take Everton 2-1 up.
The last substitution for Gor Mahia saw Oliver Maloba come in for Philemon Otieno. Everton managed to maintain the lead and emerged winners of the much awaited match.