Gor Mahia beat Ulinzi to secure 16th Kenyan Premier League title

By alex wafula
Oct 21, 2017
  • Gor Mahia’s Jacques Tuyisenge takes on Ulinzi Stars’ John Kago and Geoffrey Kokoyo. (Photo Courtesy)

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, two teams with the biggest following in Kenya shared the same headline.

They have tro of the most coveted trophies in Kenya football.

On Saturday, AFC Leopards won the GOtv Shield by beating Kariobangi Sharks 2-0 in the final at Kasarani and a few hours later, Gor Mahia beat Ulinzi Stars 1-0 ina rain-drenched Kericho stadium to win the Kenya Premier League.

In Kericho, Gor Mahia needed just one point to secure the 2017 Kenyan Premier League crown, but bagged three to confirm their status as the new league champions.

Meddie Kagere scored the lone goal that took K’Ogalo 18 points clear at the top of the table, making it mathematically impossible for anyone to beat them to the crown.

Dylan Kerr, the Gor Mahia coach who secured his first ever league title in his coaching career was delighted.

“It is a proud day for us. We came in here today looking for three points and that is exactly what we got. The second half was a bit tough because Ulinzi showed they wanted the three points but at the end of the day we left here winners,” the tactician said.

Skipper Musa Mohammed who will be lifting his fourth title as captain couldn’t hide the joy especially after the team appeared to struggle at some point.

“It was really painful to lose it last year because you know that Gor Mahia is a club that is addicted to winning. Today’s game gives me the same joy like 2015 when we won the league almost at the same level. To win a fourth title as a captain, words can’t describe,” Mohammed said.

Deserved champions

Ulinzi tactician Benjamin Nyangweso heaped praise on Gor, saying they were deserved champions because of how they had managed to bounce back from a poor spell and move clear of everyone.

“Congratulations to them because they deserve it having shown what they can do especially with their good run in the last few games,” the Ulinzi boss said.

Gor’s hunger was evident from kick off and they needed only 14 minutes to get into the lead. Kagere pounced on a through ball from Francis Kahata before beating Ulinzi keeper Timothy Odhiambo one on one.

K’Ogalo should have gone two up in the 22nd minute again from a one on one situation, but Jacques Tuyisenge failed to make the most of a defense-splitting pass from Kenneth Muguna.

Muguna had a chance a minute later but could not direct a strong header to goal from a Tuyisenge cross.

Ulinzi struggled to match up the strong start by Gor Mahia and their defense was particularly in shreds.

Mohammed Hassan and Geoffrey Kokoyo who returned having missed Tuesday’s loss to AFC Leopards, showed lapses in concentration as the league leaders raided.

Ulinzi’s closest chance of the first half came in the 28th minute when Hassan’s freekick from the edge of the box went wide.

Nyangweso made changes at this point, Boniface Onyango coming off for Ibrahim Shambi. Onyango missed the last two matches with injury and appeared to lack match fitness just like his mates.

Birgen cleared the ball off the line

Gor Mahia were relentless in attack and came close in the 32nd minute but were denied by Brian Birgen who cleared the ball off the line.

George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo picked up the ball inside the box, rounded off keeper Odhiambo but a proactive Birgen raced back to keep his side in contention.

On the other end five minutes later, Musa Mohammed also cleared the ball off the line for Gor, keeping off Onyango’s shot from the right with the winger having sprung up past Wellington Ochieng.

In the second half, Ulinzi Stars started strongly. Daniel Waweru, the club’s top assist provider replaced Cliff Kasuti,

But, it was Gor Mahia who once again threatened, Kagere going through one on one again with Odhiambo but the Ugandan-born Rwandese shot wide.

Despite bagging the title, Kerr has urged his players to put in the same shift in the remaining four games of the season,.

KPL weekend results and fixtures (kick off 3 p.m.)

Saturday: Nzoia United 1 Tusker FC 2 (Sudi Stadium, Bungoma), Ulinzi Stars 0 Gor Mahia 1 (Kericho Green Stadium).

Sunday: Muhoroni Youth v Kakamega Homeboyz (Muhoroni Complex), Nakumatt FC v Bandari (Ruaraka Complex), Sofapaka v Western Stima (Narok Stadium), Thika United v Mathare United (Thika Sub-County Stadium).