Rampant Gor go nine clear, Mathare climb off relegation

By alex wafula
Sep 10, 2017
  • Ken Aswani came off the bench to score two goals for Nakumatt against Posta Rangers. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Western Stima Kevin Okoth dribbles past Mathare United Edwin Seda. Mathare moved off the relegation zone. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Sammy Omollo, the Posta Rangers coach admitted the title chase was slipping but will keep ut the charge for a respectable finish. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Dylan Kerr is satisfied with Gor Mahia's performance after beating Nzoia Sugar. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Gor Mahia moved nine points clear at the top of the Kenyan Premier League table as a result of an emphatic 4-0 win over Nzoia Sugar in Kisumu on Saturday afternoon.

Rwandese forward Jacques Tuyisenge put up a man-of-the match performance, scoring two and assisting one.

Their bid for a record 16th domestic league title was assisted by a 0-2 loss inflicted by Nakumatt FC to challengers Posta Rangers in Nairobi.

Ulinzi Stars were held to a barren draw by bottom side Muhoroni Youth while second-placed Sofapaka face Chemelil Sugar on Sunday.

“It was a great performance from the team today. We scored, something that has been a problem in the other matches and it brings in confidence,” Dylan Kerr, the Gor tactician said.

Gor were rewarded for a perfect bounce into the match, Tuyisenge scoring the first of his two with a neat header off a George Odhiambo cross.

They got their second a minute to the break whenMeddie Kagere sneaked behind the defense to head home a freekick from Kenneth Muguna.

In the second half, Nzoia were better starters and just 10 minutes in they won a penalty after Gor Mahia keeper Peter fouled Masita Masuta inside the box. Steve Wakhanya missed from the spot.

They were punished three minutes on the turn when Tuyisenge scored his second with the defense napping. Francis Kahata finished off the job barely three minutes after coming on with another header off a Tuyisenge cross.

Rangers' title ambitions slowed

In Nairobi, Posta Rangers’ title ambitions suffered a big blow after Kepha Aswani came off the bench to score twice for Nakumatt FC. The result saw Sammy Omollo’s men drift 12 points off the pace.

“Today we didn’t play like a team which wants to win the league. I am very disappointed with my players and their performance. I have a very experienced back four and in the pre-match meeting, we talked about Aswani and how to contain him. But they still gave him space and time. Now we just have to look at finishing the season in a respectable position,” a dejected Omollo explained.

Tanzanian midfielder David Tevelu had the first two chances of the match.

In the 11th minute, the midfielder’s shot from the edge of the box flew straight to Patrick Matasi in the Posta goal while two minutes later, his header off a Peter Nzuki freekick went over.

Georson Likonoh had a perfect opportunity to open the scoring for Posta in the 19th minute but his diving header unmarked inside the box from a Simon Mbugua delivery was off target.

Posta Rangers were struggling to keep the ball and despite Jerry Santo working hard to win the second balls in midfield, they were let down by poor control and lack of fighting spirit.

Their opponents, Nakumatt attacked every time they got the ball using the speed of Joshua Oyoo on the right.

Omollo’s men won many set-pieces on either side of the field, but couldn’t score.

In the second half, Nakumatt started by bringing on Aswani for Kevin Thairu. The striker had two quickfire chances just after coming on heading wide from inviting Oyoo crosses.

It was a warning sign to Posta because, from a well taken counter attack in the 71st minute, Joshua Oyoo won the ball off Geoffrey Kataka on the left raced on the flank before crossing low for Aswani to finish.

Two minutes later, he took Nakumatt 2-0 up with his 10th goal of the season, whirling in a superb volley unmarked inside the box from a Clinton Kisiavuki cross.

Despite late concerted effort, Posta could not overturn the deficit with Likonoh twice testing the Nakumatt keeper with shots from distance which were harmless.

Mathare move off relegation zone

In a late kick off, Mathare United moved off the drop zone for the first time this season with a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Western Stima.

Substitute Elijah Mwanzia scored an 89th minute winner as Francis Kimanzi’s men moved to 13th pending SoNy Sugar and AFC Leopards’ matches on Sunday

“It was a great performance and nothing sweeter than winning in the last minute. This is the product of hard work and now we move forward,” Kimanzi stated.

Stima remained on 16th but coach Henry Omino is confident they will not be relegated, promising to give it their all in the remaining 11 matches. 

“I can assure my supporters that we will not be relegated. You have seen how we play and there is no way we can go down. It is just a matter of polishing up the attack and we will be okay,” the tactician said.

Substitute Robert Achema had given Stima a lifeline with a 72nd minute equalizer after Chris Oduor had given Mathare the lead, but a resilient Mathare ensured they got the winner.

Mathare opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Oduor slotted above the Stima keeper after being picked out by a well weighted Edward Seda pass.

Five minutes on the turn, Stima had a chance to level after Marita had turned George Owino inside out on the right, but the shot deflected off Andrew Juma and went wide.

Push for an equalizer

In the second half, Stima were the better side, starting off with so much pace. Their push for an equalizer was rewarded in the 72nd minute and from a combination of two substitutes.

Achema tapped in at the far post after Hamadi Mbumba headed the ball towards him.

Stima upped their tempo but could not get the much needed goal.

Kimanzi responded to the increased pressure with a like for like change, bringing on Mwanzia for John Mwangi.

The change paid dividends in the 89th minute when Mwanzia rose in unmarked to head a Derrick Onyango cross past a dazed Samuel Odhiambo in the Stima goal.

The powermen were undone with Mwanzia scoring the goal as defender Maurice Ojwang was out receiving treatment.

KPL Weekend fixtures and results (All games kick off 3 p.m. unless stated)

Saturday: Bandari 0 Kariobangi Sharks 1 (Mbaraki), Kakamega Homeboyz 2 Thika United 1 (Mumias), Muhoroni Youth 0 Ulinzi Stars 0 (Muhoroni), Nakumatt 2 Posta Rangers 0, Mathare United 2 Western Stima 1 (Ruaraka Complex), Gor Mahia 4 Nzoia Sugar 0 (Moi Stadium, Kisumu).

Sunday: SoNy Sugar v Tusker FC (Awendo), Zoo Kericho v AFC Leopards (Kericho), Sofapaka v Chemelil Sugar (Narok).