England skipper Wayne Rooney marked the start of his second stint at Everton with a goal as the former England champions saw off Kenyan Premier League giants Gor Mahia 2 – 1 in the friendly match staged at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam Tanzania on Thursday 13 July.
Rooney, a star attraction in the game picked out Boniface Oluoch in the Gor Mahia goal with a long range shot that dipped well behind the Kenyan international before Rwandan forward Jacques Tuyisenge flicked home the equalizer for a first half tie but Kieran Dowell grabbed a late winner with a powerful shot from range that beat Peter Odhiambo, who had replaced Oluoch in the second half.
Unexpectedly, Gor Mahia started the game strongly with the midfield duo of Kenneth Muguna and Ernest Wendo dictating pace with the support of the defence line led by captain Musa Mohammed. The domination however was restricted in their own half with pockets of threats as the Kenyan giants surged forward and it came as no surprise when K'Ogalo fashioned the first threat in the game.
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Gor Mahia dominance
Muguna, who was having a stellar evening let fly in the eighth minute after picking a poor pass from the Everton defence but his effort was too feeble to trouble Marten Stekelburg in the Everton goal.
Tuyisenge then combined well with Meddie Kagere but the former's through pass was too strong for Kagere and Everton got a free kick outside the Gor Mahia's 18 yard box in the 13th minute but Rooney's in-swinger was gathered by Oluoch.
Gor Mahia suffered a blow 18 minutes into the game when midfielder Ernest Wendo was withdrawn with a groin injury and as he received treatment before leaving the pitch one fan took advantage, racing to the pitch to hug Rooney before being whisked away by security and play resumed as Wendo was replaced by Philemon Otieno.
In the 34th minute Ademola Lookman, roped in from Charlton Athletic in January 2017 beat his markers on the right before squaring the ball to Rooney who was totally unmarked and the former Manchester United striker sent a swerving effort that sailed past Oluoch for the opener.
Even before Everton could settle in the lead, Gor Mahia equalized through Tuyisenge who rose at the Everton near post to nod in a corner floated in by Godfrey Walusimbi two minutes later.
Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr made a number of changes in the second half, bringing in keeper Peter Odhiambo for Oluoch with Meddie Kagere being withdrawn for Timothy Otieno but Everton went on to dominate in the half.
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Winger Kevin Mirallas' introduction changed the course of the game with the Belgian winger proving a handful for the Gor defence and a marker of the dominance was Kieran Dowell's hit that crashed the bar from a set piece and moments later, nine minutes from time, he smashed home a left-footed effort from 25 yards to secure a 2-1 win.
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Gor Mahia: Boniface Oluoch (Peter Odhiambo - 56), Karim Nizigiyimana (Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza - 63), Harun Shakava, Musa Mohamed - captain ( Wellington Ochieng - 71), Godfrey Walusimbi, Boniface Omondi, Kenneth Muguna (Anthony Mbugua - 81), Ernest Wendo ((Philemon Otieno - 18 (Oliver Maloba - 87)), Meddie Kagere (Timothy Otieno - 56), George Odhiambo (Francis Kahata - 45), Jacques Tuyisenge (John Ndirangu - 70)
First half: Maarten Stekelenburg (GK), Phil Jagielka, Ashley Williams, Calum Connolly, Jonjo Kenny, James McCarthy, Morgan Schneiderlin, Davy Klaasen, Wayne Rooney, Aaron Lennon, Ademola Lookman.
Second half: Mateusz Hewelt, Mathew Pennington, Leighton Baines, Michael Keane, Muhamed Besic, Gareth Barry, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Tom Davies, Kierran Dowell, Kevin Mirallas, Calvert-Lewin.
Goals; Wayne Rooney (Everton) - 35, Jacques Tuyisenge (Gor Mahia) - 38, Keiran Dowell (Everton) - 82
Bookings: Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza - yellow - 79