Gor reclaim top spot with Chemelil win, Posta fumble in Muhoroni

By alex wafula
May 11, 2017
  • Gor Mahia Timothy Otieno scores past Chemelil Sugar Jarus Adira. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Chemelil sugar coach Juma Abdalla gestures reacts during the match against Gor Mahia. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Sofapaka defender Kennedy Oduor clears the ball under pressure from Ulinzi's Stephen Waruru. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Timothy Otieno and Kenneth Muguna scored first half goals as Gor Mahia leaped back to the top of the Kenyan Premier League log with a 2-0 win over Chemelil Sugar in Thika.

Gor moved to 22 points, same as Posta Rangers who have a lower Gor difference. Posta picked up a point in Muhoroni, having fought from a goal down to draw 1-1 with the hosts.

Georson Likonoh scored a 70th minute equalizer after Maxwell Onyango’s early goal had threatened to break the mailmen’s unbeaten record.

Jose Marcelo Ferreira, the Gor coach has now urged his charges to remain on top of the table until the last day of the league.

He conceded it wasn’t an easy outing against the sugar millers, who prior to meeting Gor had only conceded thrice in nine matches.

 Otieno picked up his goal scoring mojo after breaking his Gor duck during last weekend’s derby against AFC Leopards opening the scores in the 12th minute.

He slipped the ball past Jairus Adira after being played through by George Odhiambo who had won the ball off Faraj Ominde in midfield.

Gor kept their tempo throughout the opening minutes and were a constant threat with Meddie Kagere twice having efforts from distance go begging.

They got the second in the 40th minute when Muguna simply tapped in the after Adira had spilled a low shot from Innocent Wafula.

Muguna almost doubled his tally three minutes later but his freekick from the edge of the box went inches wide.

Abdalla changed formation

At the start of the second half, Juma Abdallah, the Chemelil Sugar coach changed his formation, pulling out defender James Omino for midfielder Benjamin Oketch.

However, Gor still posed more of the danger and Oliver Maloba had an effort go over after dribbling into the box.

Elsewhere at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, Ulinzi Stars registered a 1-0 win over Sofapaka to move third on the log. Daniel Waweru scored the lone goal on the hour mark.

The soldiers moved to 18 points, four shy of the leaders while Sofapaka suffered a second successive loss.

“Today, we did everything right. We played according to plan, but we just couldn’t get the ball in the net. The result wasn’t helped much by the referee who denied us a clear penalty. I think we now need to put more effort for the weekend match and go in to win. We can’t afford another loss,” Sam Ssimbwa, the Sofapaka tactician.

Overall, Sofapaka were the better side but Ulinzi used their chances.

The hosts had a seventh minute opportunity from a freekick at the edge of the box but keeper Mathias Kigonya who had raced up-field to take shot straight to the wall.

Ulinzi’s first effort at goal was in the 14th minute when Baron Oketch shot wide after twisting and turning past his marker on the left.

Sofapaka’s effort of using cross balls never worked as the Ulinzi backline defended effectively.

The hosts still had the bigger share of chances with Ugandan James Kasibante heading wide unmarked inside the box from a Charles Okwemba corner.

Three minutes to the break, the soldiers had a perfect opportunity to leap ahead but Stephen Waruru wasted the effort.

The league top scorer received the ball at the edge of the six yard box from Boniface Onyango but he tapped wide with Kigonya off his area.

Ulinzi started brighter

In the second half, Ulinzi started brighter and they needed just 14 minutes to break the deadlock. A mistake at the back saw substitute Evans Amwoka steal the ball off Maurice Odipo and the Ulinzi forward put Waweru through, the midfielder putting in a simple finish past Kigonya.

Immediately after conceding, Sofapaka turned the tide on the visitors, but their tact of playing long balls into the Ulinzi area did not work.

They had picked out defender Mohammed Hassan’s shakiness and tried to expose it, but Onyango who was playing in holding midfield time and again dropped back to assist, doing it efficiently.

However, Ulinzi failed to collect most of the second balls but were lucky that Sofapaka neither made the most use of them.

Wanok Pate, Charles Okwemba and Ezekiel Okare all attempted shots from distance, but not troubled Jacktone Odhiambo in the Ulinzi goal.

KPL Midweek results

Tuesday: Mathare United 1 Kariobangi Sharks 2 (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos). Wednesday: Bandari 2 Nzoia United 1 (Mbaraki, Mombasa), Gor Mahia 2 Chemelil Sugar 0 (Thika Stadium), Kakamega Homeboyz 1 Western Stima 0 (Mumias), Muhoroni Youth 1 Posta Rangers 1 (Muhoroni), Nakumatt 2 Thika United 1 (Ruaraka), Sofapaka 0 Ulinzi Stars 1 (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), SoNy Sugar 1 AFC Leopards 0 (Awendo), Zoo Kericho 0 Tusker FC 2 (Kericho Green Stadium).