Gor march towards league title, Junior Starlets proceed to next round

By alex wafula
Sep 30, 2017
  • Bandari's Abdallah Hassan tries to clear the ball under pressure from Gor Mahia's Jacques Tuyisenge. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

  • Harambee Starlets taking on Ethiopia at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Gor Mahia produced another clinical performance, beating Bandari FC 3-1 at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu to move 11 points clear of second-placed Homeboyz on the Kenyan Premier League table.

Goals from Francis Kahata, Meddie Kagere and Wellington Ochieng handed the 15-time league champions their ninth win in 11 games.

The loss was Bandari's fifth from consecutive matches consecutive which has put coach Paul Nkata on the spot. 

Bandari expected a tough match from the high flying Gor and defended in numbers while waiting for an opportunity to counter attack.

They held on for an entire half hour but as halftime beckoned, so did their hold on defense.

Gor got the breakthrough seven minutes from the breather when Kahata side footed a cutback cross from Wellington Ochieng.

After the break, Gor kept on with the business and they needed seven minutes to double their lead.

Kagere intercepted Mulumba pass

Kagere scored for the second consecutive game after intercepting a short pass from Bandari defender Felly Mulumba.

The two goals stirred response from Bandari who began to attack frequently. In the 57th minute, Mike Apudo had a chance after finding space at the edge of the box but Gor Mahia keeper Boniface Oluoch stretched fully to turn the ball behind for a corner.

Nkata went all out attack pulling out defender Noah Abich for striker Anthony Wambani. His introduction was to add the numbers upfront.

Bandari had managed to put Gor on the back foot, but couldn’t penetrate the solid defense. 

Then, K’Ogalo won a corner, Kahata took and the roles changed this time with the midfielder floating an inviting ball that Ochieng nodded home.

Dylan Kerr, the Gor Mahia coach made changes. He brought Oliver Maloba and Philemon Otieno for George Odhiambo and Kenneth Wendo.

The K’Ogalo midfield stabilized, but still Bandari surged. They got their consolation nine minutes from time when the lively Apudo sneaked in behind the defense to head home an Abdul Hassan cross. It was too little too late.

Starlets proceed to next round

Elsewhere, the Harambee Starlets Under-20 football team reached the second round of qualification to the 2019 FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup after beating Ethiopia 4-3 on aggregate.

They rallied from behind to draw 2-2 in the first leg in Addis Ababa two weeks ago and won the return leg 2-1 with Wiyeta Girls High School’s Gentrix Shikangwa scoring a second half winner.

Ethiopia had come from a goal down when Mirkat Feleke cancelled out a Corazon Aquino’s opener.

Aquino scored the opener in the 11th minute from the edge of the area after being flicked on by Martha Amunyolete.

Ethiopia replied in the 23rd minute when keeper Lilian Awuor brought down Feleke inside the box and the Ethiopian danger-girl slotted from the spot.

Five minutes after the break, Harambee Starlets took back control of proceedings when Shikangwa nodded home from a Wincet Kaari cross.

The Kenyan girls kept their composure throughout and 10 minutes from time, they should have comfortably settled the tie but Cynthia Shilwatso’s shot came off the crossbar after skipping past Ethiopian legs inside the box.

Kenya will now face the winner between Ghana and Algeria in the penultimate third round. The two play their second round match on Sunday with Ghana leading 5-0 from the first leg.

KPL Weekend results and fixtures (Kick off 3 p.m. unless stated)

Saturday: Gor Mahia 3 Bandari 1 (Moi Stadium, Kisumu), Nzoia Sugar 0 Western Stima 0 (Sudi Stadium, Bungoma).

Sunday: Posta Rangers v SoNy Sugar (2 p.m.), Thika United v Kariobangi Sharks (4 p.m.- Thika Sub-County Stadium), Chemelil Sugar v Mathare United (Chemelil), Sofapaka v AFC Leopards (Narok Stadium), Ulinzi Stars v Kariobangi Sharks (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru).