Gor Mahia beat Nakuru All Stars 2-0 to reach the final of the inaugural Sportpesa Super cup. Arch rivals AFC Leopards for their part, reached the final by beating Young Africans of Tanzania 4-2 on post match penalties.
Meddie Kagere who scored twice in the opener against Jangombe of Zanzibar, scored again against All Stars in the 44th minute. And just as in the first match, it was also a header. That was before George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo doubled their lead five minutes from time.
Gor Mahia are thus far the most convincing side in the tournament. They have won their matches outright while the others have been settled by penalties.
“It was a tough match but we kept on pushing hoping to get the opener. We didn’t underrate them because we saw what they had done earlier on. I am happy with the victory which sends us to the final.” Gor assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno said after the match.
Additional reporting from Capital Sports
In the 28th minute, Kenneth Muguna put Timothy Otieno through on goal with a neat pass, but the striker could not beat the All Stars keeper one on one.
Gor Mahia players line up before their match against Nakuru All Stars in the SportPesa Super Cup semi-finals on June 8, 2017. PHOTO/SportPesa
The National Super League side continued to fight and push for an opener but they could not find the right rhythm when it came to the final third. In the 38th minute, some good play saw Baraka Nturukundo meet a low cross from the right, but his volley went straight to the keeper.
With the half seemingly headed for a barren draw, Kagere who hit both in Gor’s 2-0 quarter final win over Jang’ombe pounced once again, glancing in a header from a Wellington Ochieng cross from the left.
In the second half, Gor commanded more chunks of play and three minutes in, Odhiambo saw his effort from close range saved by keeper Martin Lule.
Gor made changes with Amos Nondi coming in for Innocent Wafula and the youngster should have done better in the 73rd minute but he volleyed wide from close range.
Odhiambo however put the game beyond All Stars with a neat finish in the 82nd minute, slapping the ball home after it had come off the crossbar.
Substitute Olover Maloba had taken on a daunting run on the left before his cheeky chip over the keeper bounced off the bar.
Gor Outclass Nakuru To Set Mashemeji Derby Super Cup Final
by Mutwiri Mutuota
Meddie Kagere struck his third goal of the tournament to inspire Gor Mahia FC to set up a mouth-watering Mashemeji Derby SportPesa Super Cup final against AFC Leopards on Sunday when they outclassed compatriots Nakuru AllStars 2-0 in Dar-es-Salaam on Thursday.
Kagere scored in the first minute of added time in the first half of the second semi final of the inaugural competition before George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo put the game to bed in the 83rd to put the tie beyond the reach of the National Super League side.
In the absence of compatriot and record Gor signing Jacques Tuyisenge from the Super Cup, Kagere has taken his chance to impress with relish and is set to finish as the tournament top scorer as he set Gor on their way to the final at the Uhuru Stadium.
K’Ogalo have simply been the most dominant team in the eight-team knockout tournament, finishing their business inside the 90 in both their games so far and will be fancied to beat Leopards on Sunday.
The second Mashemeji Derby of the year follows the 3-0 drubbing Gor handed to their eternal rivals in their first leg meeting of the 2017 SportPesa Premier League (SPL) in Nairobi.
Once again, Gor under the tutelage of Assistant Head Coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno struggled to turn their territorial advantage to goals in the first half and were heading for the interval locked at 0-0 before Kagere’s crucial intervention.
AllStars had the ball cleared off the line midway through the first half to the disappointment of many neutrals who were urging them on and that is the closest they came to cause the second monumental upset at the competition following Monday’s heroics.
Beaten Nakuru All Stars players receive their bronze medals from FKF CEO, Robert Muthomi (2nd right) after losing their SportPesa Super Cup semi-final 2-0 to Gor Mahia at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam on June 8, 2017. PHOTO/SPN
Perhaps with an eye on the final, Otieno rested Kagere who was also among the goals when they crushed Leopards in the SPL in the 52nd minute for Oliver Maloba.
Maloba went on to be the architect of the second goal when his shot thundered off the cross bar inviting Odhiambo to emphatically fire in the rebound with a rising shot to seal the match.
The Super Cup decider will be the first ever meeting of the Kenyan arch rivals at a final on Tanzanian soil, with Leopards booking their ticket earlier when they knocked out Dar giants Yanga SC in the first semi final at the same venue.
The last time they vied for a trophy on foreign soil was during the 1985 Cecafa Club Championships where Gor overpowered Leopards 2-0 in Khartoum, Sudan.
AllStars will now return home to focus on their bid to return to the SPL next season with their heads high after winning the hearts of many in Dar and pocketing USD5,000 for making the last four.
They would have gratefully accepted that outcome at the start of the tournament they were given no chance of progressing past the opening day in what ranks as the greatest achievement since winning the national league in 1963 as AC Nakuru when they became the pioneer Kenyan club champions.
Gor Mahia FC
Harun Shakava (18), Fredrick Odhiambo (1), Innocent Wafula (14), Wellington Ochieng (4), Joash Onyango (12), Philemon Otieno (30), Francis Kahata (8), Kenneth Muguna (10), Timothy Otieno (17), Meddie Kagere (22), George Odhiambo (25)
Shaban Odonji (16), Bernard Odhiambo (15), Mike Simiyu (33), Anthony Mbugua (27), Amos Nondi (11), Teddy Osokhi (26), John Ndirangu (21), Oliver Maloba (28), Jeconia Uyoga (19).
Anthony Ng’ang’a (6), Martin Lule (30), Thomas Njenga (3), Teddy Omondi (4), James Mukhwana (17), Japheth Ekuba (5), Peter Kamau (10), Dennis Nandwa (8), Peter Amani (14), Geoffrey Kang’ethe (16), Daniel Ndungu (11).
Daniel Likoko (1), Philip Ooko (12), Peter Ndungu (7), Jerome Baraka (20), Peter Ng’ang’a (9), Fortunatas Ongoro (29), Joseph Egenya (19)