Uncertainty over how will 2019-2020 KPL title be decided

There is some uncertainty about the 2019-2020 KPL league. With Covid-19 taking centre stage, there is a likelihood that the remaining matches will be canceled. So how will the league be decided.

FKF CEO Barry Otieno says they are considering all options but they are likely to use the current KPL standings to determine the league winners, if the coronavirus pandemic persists.

“There is a possibility that we could use the current Kenyan Premier League standings to determine the champions.  But this is not the definite position because we are still deliberating and we don’t know how long it will take for the coronavirus to be contained,” Otieno told Standard Sports.

“We are still engaging the government as we monitor the situation because this is a global problem. But in case it will not be remedied in the foreseeable future and because CAF will need us to submit a name for next season’s Champions League competition, we will have no option but to use the current KPL standings to make that decision.” Otieno continued.

Asked about the FKF Betway Cup, whose committee is set to meet today to decide the fate of Gor Mahia, KCB and Bandari, who skipped last weekend’s round of 16 matches, Otieno said:

“For Betway Cup, it has to be played to its conclusion because we don’t have an alternative to choose the team to represent the country in the Confederation Cup. We are engaging the government and all those involved to ensure the Cup comes to its conclusion to the best interest of all stakeholders.”

But for KPL CEO Jack Oguda, they will only make the decision on the league after getting the green light from the government.

“It is our hope that the league will come to its inclusion but this depends on the state of the coronavirus as updated by the government. The league might stretch and then force teams to have a short preseason. Those are some of the possibilities,” said Oguda to the Standard.

“Even CAF and Fifa have said they will have to monitor the situation closely and there could be a change in calendar. That’s why as KPL, we are not in a rush to make a decision and we will make so after getting a directive from the government.”

Homeboyz disagree

Kakamega Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula differed with FKF CEO’s opinion to award Gor Mahia the title.

“As far as I’m concerned, if this coronavirus persists, then we should have a play-off between the top two teams in a neutral ground. I think this will be a fair decision to determine the champion because this title race is too close to call,” said Shimanyula.

However, for Tusker chairman Daniel Aduda, FKF and KPL should borrow a leaf from European league’s rule book.

“This coronavirus is beyond our control but if push comes to shove and we are forced to end the league prematurely then we should take a leaf from the other developed league’s rule book. Let’s go with the best practice in the world,” said Aduda.

 

Gor Mahia edge AFC Leopards 1-0

Scorer: Boniface Omondi

Gor Mahia scored a crucial victory over arch rivals AFC Leopards at Kasarani on Sunday. Crucial because it keeps Gor Mahia’s march towards the 2019-2020 KPL title on course. And also crucial because a win over the arch rival is the most important victory of the season. The all important goal came via Boniface Omondi in the 27th minute.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Boniface Omondi scored the winner for K’Ogalo in the 27th minute to ensure the team completes a double over Ingwe having won the first leg encounter 4-1.

Gor Mahia has now beaten AFC Leopards 29 times in the league. With the win, the league champions stretch their lead at the top of the table to 54 points from 23 games, while AFC Leopards is sixth with 40 points, having played the same number of matches.

A Gor Mahia fan cheers his team during the
A Gor Mahia fan cheers his team during the Mashemeji Derby at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on March 8, 2020. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |
Despite the win solidifying Gor Mahia’s lead at the top, coach Steven Pollack said the title race is far from over.

“One win doesn’t mean we have won the league. We still have more games left and have to work hard in the remaining games. However, I am very proud of my boys, they did well to contain the pressure especially in the second half,” he said after the match.

“AFC Leopards however have improved so much and I think their coach has done a good job – kudos to him. They fought hard especially in the second half and I am very happy to have won the game,” he added.

uizaIngwe coach Anthony Kimani rued his side’s missed chances.

“We missed a couple of very good chances in both halves, while Gor Mahia utilised one of theirs. However, I’m proud of my boys, they showed character and a good fighting spirit,” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, attending his first ever Kenyan Premier League match, waved at the cheering crowd as the referee blew the whistle to kick off the 88th ‘Mashemeji Derby’ He was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Vice President Musalia Mudavadi and Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.

AFC Leopards were evidently the better side from the onset and missed a couple of good goal scoring chances, Elvis Rupia was twice denied by Gor Mahia custodian Boniface Oluoch.

Gor Mahia grew in the game and got their first real chance in the 21st minute, captain Kenneth Muguna’s shot from outside the box flying just inches wide. Muguna was at if at again five minutes later with a clever header after a quick cross by Jackson Owusu, but Ingwe custodian Benjamin Ochan averted the danger.

K’Ogalo opened the scoring through Boniface Omondi in the 27th minute. He capitalised on a goalmouth melee after an inviting cross by Clifton Miheso to slot in.

Nicholas Kipkirui missed a seater just before the break, blasting his effort wide with just Ochan to beat as the game went to the break with Gor Mahia on the front foot.

On resumption, Ingwe brought in Boniface Mukhekhe for the ineffective Jaffary Odenyi. Ingwe won a free kick just outside the box in the 51st minute after Austine Odhiambo was fouled by Charles Momanyi, but Washington Munene’s resultant free kick was easily handled by Gor Mahia keeper Boniface Oluoch.

Clifton Miheso forced Benjamin Ochan to a finger tip save five minutes later as both sides continued their hunt for goals. Miheso was minutes later rested, former Ulinzi Stars forward Sammy Onyango taking his place.

Rupia missed a golden opportunity to equalise with only an empty net to tap in to after Boniface Mukhekhe released an inviting cut back into the box that found the Gor Mahia defenders napping.

Gor Mahia brought in Juma Balinya for Nicholas Kipkirui in the 70th minute as they continued to dominate the proceedings.

Two minutes later, Ingwe forward Vincent Oburu failed to connect to an in swinger by the impressive Mukhekhe. Oburu was then taken off, former Kariobangi Sharks and Vihiga United forward Francis Manoah taking his place.

With 10 minutes to go, Gor Mahia brought in Ernest Wendo to steady the ship in midfield, taking the place of goalscorer Boniface Omondi, who had put in a good shift by all standards.

AFC Leopards rested Saad Tsuma, bringing in former Nzoia Sugar forward Hansel Ochieng. Collins Shivachi cleared Juma Balinya’s shot from the line in the 83rd minute as Gor continued to press for a second goal.

Gor Mahia switch off Western Stima 3-2

Kipkirui celebrates

Gor Mahia on Saturday dispatched a determined Western Stima side by a score of 3-2. Gor Mahia were leading 3-0 after 14 minutes before the Power men fought back. Goals came from Boniface Omondi, Kenneth Muguna and Nicholas Kipkirui.

This coupled with Tusker’s 2-2 draw against Kisumu All Stars, puts Gor Mahia in good position to defend the league title.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Champions Gor Mahia move sevens point clear at the summit of the Kenyan Premier League with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Western Stima at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi on Saturday.

The powermen have emerged as one of Gor Mahia’s stubborn opponents in recent times, as they have not lost to the champions in the last three league meetings.

In this season’s first leg match in Kisumu, the two sides drew 1-1.

But this changed quickly at Kasarani on Saturday as Bonface Omondi Kenneth Muguna and Nichols Kipkirui struck inside the opening 13 minutes to give the champions a comfortable 3-0 lead before Baron Oketch and Benson Ochieng’ rduced the deficit for the visitors late on.

The defeat was a blow to Stima who came into this match looking to bring to a halt their five-match winless streak.

Omondi opened the scoring three minutes into the match before Muguna scored against his former employers on 10 minutes after collecting a loose ball outside the box, to beat goalkeeper John Njau with a low drive.

And three minutes later, Kipkirui placed the game beyond their opponents reach with an easy finish, after Njau had miscalculated his run.

Stima twice missed an opportunity to respond from corner-kick deliveries, before their first best chance arrived in the 23rd minute, but goalkeeper Fredrick Odhiambo was alert and saved Benson Ochieng’s header.

In the 28th minute, Stima coach Salim Babu withdrew Vitalis Akumu who had earlier been booked for Kevin Akongo.

Three minutes to the break, Oketch reduced the deficit for Stima from the spot after Ochieng’ was fouled inside the box.

Oketch came close to making it 3-2 but Odhiambo stretched well to clear the danger.

Gor continued to dominate exchanges in the early minutes of the second-half, but Stima defence dealt with their attacks.

Ten minutes into the second-half, coach Steven Polack made a change, introducing Samuel Onyango for Cliffton Miheso.

Goalkeeper Njau was forced to leave his line early and make a save on 63 minutes, before an on rushing Samuel Onyango could connect.

Ochieng’ benefitted from a defensive lapse in the 75th minute to score Stima’s second goal.

Thereafter, the tempo of the match went down and Stima failed to create another chance to share spoils with the champions.

The win sees Gor Mahia open a seven-point gap at the helm of the standings. Second-placed Kakamega Homeboyz, who host Nzoia Sugar on Sunday at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, could reduce the gap to four points with victory over sugar millers.

Gor Mahia in escape against Zoo Kericho 3-2

Gor Mahia once again came from behind twice. This time they needed a 90th minute goal from Samuel Onyango to win 3-2 against Zoo Kericho at Kericho Green stadium on Sunday. Zoo had taken a 1-0 lead at halftime. Gor Mahia equalized in the 53rd minute. But Zoo took the lead again in the 67th minute.  Kipkirui scored against his former team to level the score. Before Samuel Onyango scored from a goalmouth melee.

Additional reporting from the Nation

A last-minute strike by Samuel Onyango handed Gor Mahia a convincing 3-2 win over Zoo FC in a Kenyan Premier League match at Kericho Green Stadium on Sunday.

Following the result, Gor Mahia remain top with 48 points while Kakamega Homeboyz climb to second with 44 points after thrashing Chemelil 6-0 at Bukhungu Stadium.

Zoo had the upper hand to cause an upset but poor defending cost them. The hosts, who dominated majority of the first half, opened the scoring through Kepha Ondati’s low shot after he caught Gor defenders napping.

Zoo forwards Collins Neto and Bernard Odhiambo were a constant threat to Gor’s defence in the first half.

K’Ogalo missed a chance to restore parity in the 31st minute when Geoffrey Ochieng’s shot wide after Clifton Miheso picked him out with a delivery from a freekick.

But Elvis Ronack made no mistake in the 54th minute to level the scores. However, the hosts regained their lead through Mathew Odongo who capped a brilliant solo run with a goal in the 67th minute.

Nicholas Kipkirui punished his former employers in the 77th minute after converting from close range following a goal-mouth melee.

Gor continued to pile pressure and it’s Onyango who found the winner at the stroke of full time with a powerful shot.

Elsewhere at Bukhungu Stadium, title contenders Kakamega Homeboyz humiliated Chemelil Sugar 6-0 in a lopsided match.

The victors scored their goals via Chris Masinza who netted a brace, Benjamin Oketch, Shami Kibwana, Ronald Omino and Peter Thiong’o.

Efforts by Chemelili forwards Frank Doso, Richard Oti and Paul Odanga to secure an early lead were thwarted by a strong backline led by Kennedy Onyango.

Homeboyz, however, stunned their opponents in the 10th minute when Masinza scored the first goal after connecting to David Okoth’s cross from the left.

Chemelil resorted to long balls after they were unable to penetrate Homeboyz’s defence.

Oketch doubled Homeboyz lead with a rasping drive from the edge of the box which flew past custodian Daniel Kiptoo in the 37th minute.

At the stroke of half time, Homeboyz roving attacker Masinza netted the third after he was put through by Oketch.

In the 55th minute, Omino fastened on a loose ball in the box to score the fifth for the hosts before Thiong’o sealed the big win with a goal of his own.

Gor Mahia held by Western Stima 1-1

Samuel Onyango in action against Stima

Gor Mahia’s 2019-2020 league campaign once again veered off track when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Western Stima at Kisumu on Wednesday. Gor Mahia’s goal was scored by Clifford Miheso. But disaster had stuck earlier in the 10th minute when Joash Onyango was sent off for fouling Benson Omalla. Which means Gor Mahia had to play most of the match with 10 men.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia Wednesday settled for a 1-1 draw with Western Stima in a Kenyan Premier League match at Moi Stadium, Kisumu.

Both sides finished the match with 10 men in the fiercely contested clash after Joash Onyango (Gor) and Oramchan Villa (Stima) were sent off.

Gor remain top with 45 points from 20 matches while Western Stima are still seventh with 32 points.

“The draw is okay considering we were playing most of the match with 10 men so I’m quite okay with how the boys played after the red card,” said Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack.

“I’m okay with the results as a draw is better than a loss,” said Western Stima coach Salim Babu.

The match was off to a slow start as neither side settled in the early exchanges.

Gor suffered a setback in the 12th minute when their defender Joash Onyango was red carded after hacking down goal-bound teenage sensation Benson Omala.

Polack introduced Joachim Oluoch for Geoffrey Ochieng in the 18th minute in what was a tactical move to counter the numerical disadvantage.

After a goalless first half, K’Ogalo grabbed the lead against the run of play when Cliffton Miheso lobbed Stima goalkeeper John Mwangi in the 52nd minute.

Babu responded by resting Chamberi Wankuru for Henry Onyango tow minutes later. And Stima got the equaliser in the 65th minute through Villa who beat Gor keeper Bonface Oluoch with a low shot.

Stima’s goal irked Gor supporters as they argued that Villa was offside.

“I believe the officials were not fair enough in today’s game but we can do nothing but accept the outcome,” said Polack.

Villa turned from hero to villain when he was sent off for a nasty sliding tackle on Gor midfielder Lawrence Juma.

Gor had a late chance to win the game but Juma shot straight at Mwangi.

Gor Mahia go down to Sofapaka 3-1

Muguna in action against Sofapaka

Gor Mahia’s march to the 2019-2020 Kenya Premier League title was slowed down on Saturday at Narok when they went down 3-1 to Sofapaka.

Additional reporting from futaa.com
Sofapaka got their revenge in Narok after stunning Gor Mahia 3-1 in a Kenyan Premier League clash played on Saturday 8th.

High flying Sofapaka got themselves ahead seconds after kick-off with a brilliant header from Chinonso. However, Samuel Onyango leveled the scores in the 15th minute. In the second half, John Baraza’s men had a brilliant display and restored their lead through Chinonso who grabbed his brace. Minutes to stoppage time Ikekhai Sunday’s stunning goal put the game beyond Gor Mahia’s reach.

Chinonso opener
Sofapaka took the lead inside 28 seconds of play through Promise Chinonso who headed in a cross from close range. Gor Mahia lost the possession after kick and Sofapaka took the chance to counter, Esieche had the ball on the left before delivering a searching pass to Chinonso, who made no mistake by nodding home to hand his side an early lead.

K’Ogalo were on a mission to respond after going down early. Confusion at the back saw Juma Balinya get the ball outside the 18 area, he took a shot which was parried by Richard Aimo with the ball hitting the post.

Equalizer
Gor Mahia found the equalizer in the 15th minute from a corner. Kenneth Muguna stepped up to deliver a corner that met Samuel Onyango who was in between two Sofapaka defenders and the Green Army were level.

Another attack from the men in green was on the cards, Balinya had the ball on the right, delivered a searching pass to Onyango, who was left one on one with the keeper but failed to beat Aimo from close range.

Chinonso brace
In the second half, Sofapaka were controlling the match, making a number of attempts with Gor Mahia forced to clear the ball from the line twice. In the 55th minute, Sofapaka restored their lead through Chinonso. Captain Asieche delivered a beautiful corner that was headed in by unmarked Chinonso.

Ikekhai stunner
With 6 minutes remaining to stoppage time, Sofapaka grabbed the third goal and it was an absolute stunner. The hosts had a throw-in on the right side, Gor’s defence failed to clear the danger fully with the ball landing on Ikekhai Sunday’s leg. He took a touch before unleashing a hard shot that beat Mapigano.

Gor Mahia trounce Nzoia Sugar 3-0

Juma Balinya scored a brace on his full debut as Gor Mahia consolidated their lead atop the league with a 3-0 win over Nzoia Sugar.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Ugandan Juma Balinya on Sunday opened his accounts at Gor Mahia, scoring a brace as the defending champions thumped Nzoia Sugar 3-0 to maintain their lead at the top of the Kenya Premier League (KPL).

Captain Kenneth Muguna was K’Ogalo’s other scorer in the entertaining match at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

Gor have now won their last three matches and remain atop the table on 44 points, while Nzoia Sugar are still in the danger of being relegated, as after 19matches, they have only accumulated 11 points.

Gor ‘s coach Steven Polack was full of praise for Balinya saying, “There is no better way to make your full debut than score a brace. I gave him more time to score a hat-trick, unfortunately he got tired. But I am very happy of his performance.”

Nzoia Sugar’s coach Collins Omondi said his side failed to utilise their chances well.

“We had a few chances, but we were very poor in converting. The shots were very weak to trouble their goalkeeper,” said Omondi.

Gor Mahia edge Sofapaka 2-1

Debutant: Balinya

Gor Mahia rocketed back to the top of the standings with a 2-1 win over Sofapaka at Kisumu stadium on Wednesday.

Additional reporting from soka.co.ke

Gor Mahia FC were 2-1 winners over Sofapaka FC in a rescheduled Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match played at the Moi Stadium from 4 pm, a result that takes them back to the summit of the KPL table standings from 17 matches.

Getting their goals through midfielders Lawrence Juma and Kenneth Muguna, Gor thwarted any attempt at a comeback even with Jaden Nana getting one for Sofapaka.

Gor Mahia started strongly in the match, with two clear chances in the opening ten minutes. Boniface Omondi and Clifton Miheso had their efforts on target but had the defensive efforts of Willis Ouma deny them an early lead.

In the 12th minute, however, the hosts would go up. Lawrence Juma was primely positioned for a Boniface Omondi pass and this he buried. As expected, this rattled Batoto Ba Mungu, and their fightback began immediately. Jaden Nana would be the one to restore parity 6 minutes after Gor’s opener. Clearing up the mess from Kepha Aswani’s initial shot, Nana made no mistake making it 1-1.

The two teams would go into the break tied.

Skippering Sofapaka on the day, Elli Asieche wanted his presence felt and had a spirited chase for Sofa’s second three minutes after the resumption but David Mapigano in goal for Gor Mahia could hear none of it.

The first change of the tie would come in the 55th minute when left-back Thomas Wainaina was rested for striker Collins Wakhungu. Sofapaka clearly wanted all the spoils. The tide was to swing in Gor’s favour however when in the 63rd minute, Kenneth Muguna struck after being set-up by Samuel Onyango.

Brian Nyakan was Sofa’s second roll of the dice and he took David Simiyu’s place.

With four minutes of regular time left, Nyakan rose to meet Titus Achesa’s cross and heading it home, found Mapigano astute in between the sticks. The Gor Mahia keeper had closed shop and no more goals would be scored in the tie.

The champions kept their 2-1 lead till full time, a result that takes them back to the top of the Kenyan Premier League table.

Polack confident of beating Bandari

Samuel Onyango scored against Bandari in November last year

The 2019-2020 season is proving to be a difficult one. Gor Mahia has faced the adversity of losing its short sponsor, not having a convenient home ground, lower gate proceeds as well as the loss of other revenues like TV revenues. As a result is that the club has lost key players while other teams have gained ins strength.  The net result is that the league is proving tougher as the gap between Gor Mahia and other teams has been reduced to almost nothing and the player depth that the club has always had, is dimished.

Against this backdrop, Gor Mahia will resume their league campaign on Saturday January 25 against Bandari. The dockers are looking to put their campaign back on track. A string of bad results caused coach Bernard Mwalala hos job. Veteran coach Twahir Muhiddin is now the caretaker coach and his first order of business is to keep his charges from putting themselves under pressure.

“Gor Mahia game is just a normal game and we hope for the best as the boys have also regained their fighting spirit,” Muhiddin told goal.com

Bandari are in high spirits after winning a midweek friendly against Omax by a score of 7-0

His colleague Stephen Polack knows that another loss will send alarm bells ringing. But he is happy that for once, the team has had a good week of training.

I always play to win and I will play to win against them on Saturday. The league is difficult and every team playing against Gor Mahia is trying to beat us but I know we trained well this week and everything is looking fine, we are ready to beat them.”  said Polack to goal.com

Polack also confirmed to goal.com that Wellington Ochieng is back from long term injury

“[Wellington] is back, he is also training but I have to give him some time to see how he responds, but so far he has not complained of any pain,” Polack continued. “I don’t think I will have him ready for the weekend match against Bandari, that might be too soon for him but he looks good and soon he will get a starting role.” said Polack

When given a chance to work with the whole team, Polack has proven to be an astute coach. Kogalo. When these two teams last met in November, Gor Mahia won 2-0.

Gor Mahia hammer Chemelil 4-0

Gor Mahia’s aspirations for winning the 2019-2020 Kenya Premier League are back on track.  This after they beat relegation candidates Chemelil Sugar 4-0. Goals came from Samuel Onyango who scored a brace,  Nicholas Kipkirui and Boniface Omondi.

Additional Reporting from the Nation
Gor Mahia on Wednesday bounced back to winning ways with a 4-0 victory over struggling Chemelil Sugar 4-0 in their rescheduled Kenyan Premier League match at Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

The win saw Gor Mahia trim the lead between them and leaders Tusker to just two points although K’Ogalo have two more games in hand.

Samuel Onyango scored a brace while Boniface Omondi and Nicholas Kipkirui were on target for the defending champions at the 21st, 47th, 71st and 73rd minutes respectively.

The result leaves K’Ogalo third on the pile with 35 points drawn from 15 matches, while the Millers are bottom on the table with four points drawn from 17 matches.

“We are happy to have won this match having lost over the weekend to Kakamega Homeboyz, and are optimistic that will go back to the top,” said Gor coach Steven Polack.

His opposite number Charles Odero blamed the loss on the financial troubles the team is facing.

“We had very few players turning up for training sessions and this greatly affected the outcome of the match,” said Odera.

Gor threatened first in the second minute through Clifton Miheso who sent a pass from the left wing to Kenneth Muguna but his attempts was blocked, before Chemelil cleared their lines.

MIHESO WASTES CHANCE

In the sixth minute, Muguna found Samuel Onyango inside the area but the former Ulinzi Stars man was penalised for a foul.

Miheso wasted a chance four minutes later when his shot from the left wing missed the net by inches.

Samuel Onyango then put K’Ogalo ahead on 21 minutes when he found the back of the net with a right footed shot.

Bernard Ondiek could have made it 2-0 in favour of Gor, but his headed effort from Muguna’s cross went wide at the half-hour mark.

Samuel Onyango then made it 2-0 for Gor two minutes after the restart when he capitalised on poor communication between custodian Daniel Kiptoo and Timothy Omondi, sending the K’Ogalo fans in the stands into a frenzy.

Polack then introduced Boniface Omondi for the jaded Ondiek and the impact was almost immediate. Omondi latched onto a good pass from Kipkirui before slotting home past Kiptoo. Before the dust could settle, Kipkirui put his name on the scoresheet to put the score beyond doubt.