Gor Mahia beat arch rivals AFC Leopards for the first time since the Logarucic era
Additional reprting from goal.com
Gor Mahia revived their slim hopes of winning league title after they beat rivals AFC Leopards at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday
Gor Mahia defeated their fierce rivals AFC Leopards 2-0 in a hotly contested match played at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday.
This is a match that usually attracts massive crowd and Sunday was no different as fans of both the Green Army and Ingwe came in large numbers to cheer their respective sides.
K’Ogalo came into the battle knowing anything less than three points would kill their bid to defend their crown, with AFC Leopards also aware that maximum points were all the side needed to at least make a step forward into the top eight positions.
Gor Mahia, who were boosted with the return of Collins “Gattuso’ Okoth, started a brighter side of the two, threatening earlier on in the third minute as George Odhiambo was left free, but Jacques Tuyisenge failed to connect the resultant cross with the goal at his mercy. In the sixth minute, Karim Nizigiyimana was at it again, crossing the ball but Edwin Wafula cleared it.
Ingwe finally had a chance of their own in the eighth minute courtesy of Paul Kiongera, who hit a long range effort that went wide. As the first half continued, it was Gor Mahia, who looked the better side, threatening regularly, but was unable to get the ball into the back of the net.
At the stroke of half time, Gor Mahia won a corner that was delivered by Francis Kahata, but Tuyisenge hit the cross-bar with keeper Lucas Indeche well beaten, and the ball was put into a safe position by Wafula. After the break, AFC Leopards came stronger trying to break a stubborn Gor Mahia defense, and in the 55th minute, Paul Kiongera did well to go past Haron Shakava but he hurriedly released a pass in search of Kepha Aswan which defender Musa Mohammed did well save.
Gor Mahia continued pressing, with full backs Karim Nizigiyimana, and Eric Ouma bringing crosses that troubled Ingwe defense. However, it was Tuyisenge, who was brought down in the danger zone, and the referee had the easiest of decisions awarding Gor Mahia a penalty.
Meddie Kagere rose to the occasion, sending Indeche the wrong way to give K’Ogalo a deserved lead in the 64th minute.
AFC Leopards coach Ezekiel Akwana responded by bringing in Alfred Wekesa and Yusuf Suf in places of Simon Abuko and Andrew Tololwa, but it was substitute Enock Agwanda, who had replaced Collins Okoth, who finished off Ingwe in the 83rd minute.
The former Sofapaka man hit the roof of the net, after Eric Ouma had floated in a wonderful cross from the right. The result puts the defending champions firmly in contention for the title, after Tusker were held to a 1-1 draw by Nairobi City Stars.
AFC Leopards: Lucas Indeche (GK) (C), Edwin Wafula, Cresten Mwanzo, Eugene Ambulwa, Joshua Mawira, Bernard Ongoma, Simon Abuko, Moussa Sissoko, Andrew Tololwa, Mungai Kiongera, Kepha Aswani.
Subs: Edwin Mukolwe (GK), Yakubu Ramadhan, Haroun Nyakha, Bernard Mangoli, Yusuf Suf, Alfred Wekesa, Jack Bruno.
Gor Mahia: 23. Bonface Oluoch -GK, 14. Karim Nzigiyimana, 5. Musa Mohammed (Cpt), 18. Haron Shakava, 21. Eric Ouma, 6. Collins Okoth, 8. Francis Kahata, 22. Maddie Kagere, 25. George Odhiambo, 9. Jacques Tuyisenge, 2. Godfrey Walusimbi.
Subs: 1. Jerim Onyango -GK, 4. Wellington Ochieng, 3. Abouba Sibomana, 11. Amos Nondi, 29. Innocent Wafula, 27. Jacob Keli, 24. Enock Agwanda.