Sserunkuma's brace lifts Gor Mahia to pole position

By nesta kizito
Sep 20, 2014
  • Dan Sserunkuma celebrates with Godfrey Walusimbi after scoring one of the two goals that saw Gor Mahia beat Chemelil Sugar 2-0 in a KPL league match. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Frank Nuttal, the new Gor Mahia coach registered his first win after three matches when Gor Mahia beat Chemelil Sugar 2-0 at City Stadium on Saturday. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Gor Mahia gave the strongest indication yet of their intentions to retain the Kenyan Premier League title with a hugely deserved 2-0 win over Chemelil Sugar on Saturday at City Stadium.

With presumably their strongest title challengers Tusker having blown their chances of going top 24 hours earlier, Gor Mahia went into the match fully aware that victory would put them in a commanding position in the title.

Elsewhere, AFC Leopards survived a major scare when they clawed back a two-goal deficit to claim a 2-2 draw with KCB while Bandari also settled for a 1-1 draw with Western Stima in Mombasa.

Ronald Musana, Kassim Mohammed gave the bankers a two-goal advantage early in the first half but Ingwe dug deep for a share of the spoils with goals from Noah Wafula and Austin Ikenna.

Andrew Waswa for Bandari and Fredrick Shimoyo for Stima were the goal scorers in the match at Mbaraki Sports Club.

At City Stadium, K’Ogalo produced their best performance under their new coach Frank Nuttall, but it was their ever reliable go-to-man Dan Ssserunkuma who made all the difference a goal either side of the break to assume pole position in the goal scorers’ chart with 11 goals.

Two-goal hero

This was Nuttall’s first victory in three league matches since he took over from fellow Scotsman Bobby Williamson at the helm of the club last month.

“It’s absolutely delightful for everyone in the club to pick all three points. The players were fantastic today and it’s a good feeling to winning this match,” said Nuttal whose team has now gone four points clear at the top on 47 points with just six matches remaining.

While lauding the team’s collective effort, the coach singled out his two-goal hero for special mention. “Sserunukama has got great awareness and he is a natural goal scorer,” Nuttall said of the Ugandan striker.

His opposite number Mike Mururi was gracious in defeat terming the match as a great contest. “Both teams played well and created good chances, we wasted our chances and got punished. But I’m not worried by the loss. There are at least five more matches to come and I believe all will be well,” Mururi said.

Victory, however, did not come easily as Gor Mahia who were made to wait until the tail end of the first half to break the deadlock from Sserunkuma’s looping header that caught a stranded Chemelil Sugar goalkeeper Jairus Adira in no man’s land.

Speculative effort

If that first goal was somehow speculative, Sserunkuma’s second strike ten minutes after the break had a touch of composure that very few strikers in the league would exhibit under a similar situation.

George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo, who gave an all-round great performance on the evening, was the architect of the goal finding the Ugandan international with an incisive pass.

The diminutive striker needed only three touches to plant into the bottom left corner with the outside of his right boot. Gor should have gone three goals up at the hour mark when Odhiambo stole the ball from his marker, surged forward from the left and unleash a hard drive which Adira did well to claw away from goal.

On the other end of the pitch, Gor Mahia’s Jerim Onyango was soon called into action when he parried out Dennis Onkangi’s 20 yard piledriver.

Odhimabo had a final chance to put his name on the scoresheet in the 71st minute when he found himself one-on-one with the keeper but he failed to turn the ball in from two attempts.

Six minutes later Eric Ochieng too was denied by Adira from point blank range after being put through by the freshly introduced Patrick Oboya.