Additional reporting from the Nation
Reigning champions Gor Mahia dislodged their arch rivals AFC Leopards from third position after beating 2009 champions Sofapaka 1-0 in a chaotic Football Kenya Federation Premier League match staged at the Thika Sub County Stadium on Sunday.
Second half substitute Jules Ulimwengu scored the lone goal through a close range shot in the 74th minute after receiving a neat pass in the danger zone from Kenneth Muguna.
Gor's win took their points tally to 37 after 19 games, same as Leopards, who have an inferior goal difference, with 14 matches left to play.
At Utalii grounds, Tusker got back to winning ways edging out Kariobangi Sharks 1-0 courtesy of Chrispinus Onyango 63rd minute strike.The breweres are now on 41 points, one shy of league leaders KCB both teams having played 20 matches. Sharks, who have not won five straight matches, are fifth on 31 points.
Newbies Bidco United forced a resurgent Posta Rangers to a barren draw in another contest at Ruaraka grounds.
KCB leads the log on 42 points from 20 matches after securing a vital 1-0 win against bottom placed Mathare United on Saturday. Batoto ba Mungu on the other hand dropped to 12th on 23 points.
After winning the first leg by a solitary goal in Wundanyi, K'Ogalo were on the rampage from the onset, pitching tent in Sofapaka's half in the early stages of the contest.
Gor got a free kick at the edge of the box after Sammy Imbuye's dangerous foul on Kenneth Muguna, who had to limp off to be attended to. Clifftone Miheso took the ensuing free kick which went wide for a goal kick.
Gor Mahia's Sydney Ochieng (left) joins Jules Ulimwengu in celebrating his goal against Sofapaka during their Football Kenya Federation Premier League match at Thika Sub County Stadium on June 20, 2021.
Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group
The onslaught continued in Batoto ba Mungu's half with Andrew Juma releasing a long range high ball from the midfield, but Burkina Faso import Abdoul Karim's bullet header went inches wide in the 17th minute.
Four minutes later, former K'Ogalo midfielder Lawrence Juma was booked for a rash foul on youngster Alpha Onyango as the duo tussled for an aerial ball in the midfield.
Juma would then dribble past left back Geoffrey Ochieng at the half hour to pick out burly forward Piston Mutamba, but the latter fired wide to the disappointment of Sofapaka technical bench.
The Sofapaka defence locked out K'Ogalo attacking trio of Miheso, Karim and Muguna forcing Ernest Wendo to provide reinforcement and opt for longs shots which didn't trouble custodian Kevin Omondi.
With five minutes to the break, Harambee Stars under-23 call up and teenage midfielder Ambrose Sifuna then rounded Andrew 'Roma' Juma on the left, found Titus Achesa, but instead of shooting in an empty net, opted to pass the ball to a wasteful Mutamba whose low powerful shot went wide.
Gor Mahia goalie Gad Matthews was forced to come out of his line to block Achesa's shot in the final moment of the first half.
Tusker's Crispinus Onyango (centre) beats Kariobangi Sharks goalkeeper Brandon Nathan during their Football Kenya Federation Premier League match at Utalii grounds on June 20, 2021.
In the 56th minute, Wendo unleashed a powerful shot at the edge of the box which was parried by Omondi back to the field, but Kibwaga cleared it out.
Gor's Portuguese tactician made the first change of match in the 60th minute with 2- year old Burundian Jules Ulimwengu coming on for Juma. Alpha Onyango was then booked for a challange on Juma in the midfield a minute later.
Sofapaka tactician Ken Odhiambo then made a double change, Alex Imbusia and Amissi Bizimana coming on for Nixon Omondi and Mutamba respectively in the 70th minute.
Four minutes later, Muguna fed the ball to Ulimwengu on the right and the Burundian wasted no time clinically shooting past a helpless Omondi.
Sofapaka then threw every one upfront, but Gor thwarted the moves with Vaz Pinto bringing on Sydney Ochieng and Charles Momanyi late on to help control the midfield and cement the defence.
Hell broke loose in the final minute after Sofapaka were denied a clear of penalty from Lawrence Juma's free kick after Charles Momanyi handled the ball.
It took the intervention of security officials to save the centre referee as players from both sides and team security officials engaged in fist fight.