Nairobi — Goalkeeper Gad Mathews saved a second half penalty as Gor Mahia beat Kariobangi Sharks 2-0 at the Utalii Ground on Thursday to progress to the semi-final of the Football Kenya Federation Betway Cup.
Trailing by a solitary goal scored at the stroke of halftime by Karim Nikiema, Sharks were awarded a 61st minute penalty, but skipper Geoffrey Shiveka saw his tame effort saved.
Gor will now take on Bidco United in Saturday's semi-final after the latter beat Nairobi City Stars by a similar margin in the other semi-final tie.
Both teams set up similar tactical shapes with a three man backline, but it was Gor who sought to exploit Sharks' weak side, the left channel that was manned by James Mazembe.
With weaker defensive qualities, K'Ogalo looked to set up most of their attacks from that lane.
Clifton Miheso had the opening eye on goal in the fourth minute when he was set up by Kenneth Muguna, but his first time shot flew inches over the bar.
On the other end, Sharks who were playing their usual short passing game had a chance in the 18th minute when Julius Masaba took a shot on a quick half turn, but keeper Mathews made a good save and bounced back up to collect the rebound.
In the 34th minute, Douglas Mokaya came close when his freekick curled beyond the ball, but it flew wide off target with keeper Mathews left flat footed.
But it was Gor who would go to the break leading when Masaba fired in the opener from the same channel they'd been trying to exploit all afternoon. A dipping ball from Philemon Otieno picked out Nikiema's run, the Burkina Faso man in turn swinging a first time volley into the net.
In the second half, Sharks came off hungrier and looked to dump the balls into the box.
Sixteen minutes after the restart, they were handed a massive opportunity to get back into the game when Shakava handled inside the box. However, Shiveka couldn't take a strong penalty, the keeper stretching to his right to save his penalty.
From the missed penalty, Gor breathed a collective sigh of relief, but Sharks as well piled in the pressure. However, their resolve to play in the long balls wasn't a success.
Tom Teka came close with an angled header off Mazembe's corner that flew inches wide.
Back to back, with 10 minutes to play, they were denied once again. Keeper Mathews spilled a long ball and Peter Lwasa took the shot. However, it hit his own teammate, Erick Kapaito who was on the ground.
Masaba collected the rebound, rifled a shot on target with the keeper still down, but his effort came off the outside of the post.
Gor would cement their win in added time when substitute Sidney Ochieng scored off a counter attack. Gor broke quick when they defended a Peter Lwassa freekick with defender Frank Odhiambo playing Ochieng on, before he slid the ball past the keeper.