Gor beat Sofapaka to dislodge Tusker at the top

By alex wafula
May 25, 2016
  • Tusker FC's Humphrey Mieno wins the ball against AFC's Eugene Ambulwa.(Photo by Alex Wafula)

Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia moved to the apex of the standings for the first time this season after beating Sofapaka 2-0 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos while Tusker FC drew two-all draw with AFC Leopards at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

The two results see Gor Mahia move to 29 points, same as Tusker who have an inferior goal difference.

Tusker were on the brink of a loss against AFC Leopards but Antony Ndolo scored at the death to salvage a point for Paul Nkata’s men.

Allan Katterega had scored what looked like a winner for AFC Leopards in the 92nd minute but a lapse in concentration saw them lose the three points.

“Well it is only unfortunate because today we played very well and the changes we made helped us. What costs us is that is that we have no depth on the bench,” Ivan Minnaert, the AFC Leopards coach told Sports News Arena.

Minnaert had handed two starts to youngsters Edwin Mukolwe in goal and Alfred Wekesa upfront.

Wekesa justified his start with a calmly taken goal in the final minute of the first half after racing to a Kepha Aswani through pass to beat David Okello.

All through the half, Minnaert’s side looked the hungrier and threw all their energy upfront as they sought to banish a spell of four losses in five matches. In the third minute, AFC Leopards had a chance that went begging.

AFC's two youngsters 

Tusker keeper David Okello lost the ball cheaply on the right in a bid to clear, being dispossessed by Wekesa.

The youngster cut back a cross inside the box but Katterega’s shot was too weak with Okello managing to collect after racing back from his blunder.

Wekesa’s speed proved a handful for the Tusker backline and he came close after 15 minutes but his curling effort after dancing past Martin Kiiza was saved by Okello.

The alemen were never incisive moving forward with former AFC Leopards men Noah Wafula and Mike Khamati struggling to impose themselves.

They had to wait till the 34th minute for their first chance, Shafik Batambuze’s well struck effort from the left flying just inches above target.

At the start of the second half, Tusker came better and threw their weight in attack, needing a win to stay top.

AFC Leopards’ keeper Mukolwe was called into a great save seven minutes from the restart, flying high to tip over a shot from Batambuze who picked up a rebound after his freekick hit the bar.

Tusker got the equalizer in the 64th minute with Shafik Batambuze scoring from the spot after Ramadhan Yakubu had handled inside the box.

Ten minutes later, the Ugandan left back came close with a freekick from the right which was palmed away for a corner by Mukolwe.

The 19-year old keeper was called into action again with 15 minutes left, this time putting his body strongly behind the ball to keep out a ferocious free kick from James Situma.

Finally, in the second minute of added time, AFC Leopards scored what looked like a winner with Katterega shooting low past Okello after Wekesa’s initial effort was blocked by Lloyd Wahome.

However, Minnaert’s charges could not hold on as Ndolo snatched the equaliser on the restart, slapping the ball into an empty net after keeper Mukolwe failed in to collect an aerial ball from the right.

“It is disappointing but we could not get ourselves to play well today. We have 29 points in the first leg and if we manage to get the same or more in the second leg, I think we can be champions,” Paul Nkata, the Tusker FC coach said after the match.

Sofapaka have lost 12 of their 14 games 

But it will be hard to dispose of Gor Mahia who have managed six back to back wins without conceding a single goal.

Against Sofapaka, a side which has lost 12 of their last 14 matches, Gor were favorites and won 2-0.

Ugandan midfielder Khalid Aucho opened the scores in the sixth minutes after picking up a rebound from his own shot.

Sofapaka who had been put back by Gor’s early pressure managed to have a shot on target in the 28th minute with Ken Maritim striking from distance but Boniface Oluoch parried the ball over.

Skipper Musa Mohammed ensured his side went into the break two up after side footing a short corner taken by Innocent Wafula and Godfrey Walusimbi.

Players will now shift their attention to the international fixtures with the league taking a month long break.