Kagere star of the show as Gor maintain winning run

By alex wafula
Sep 28, 2021
  • Meddie Kagere scored the winning goal for Gor Mahia who opened up a eight-point lead at the top of the table after beating Sofapaka 2-1 in Kisumu. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • AFC Leopards Aziz Kaka and Whyvonne Isuza underpressure Mathare United Roy Okal. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Meddie Kagere stole the limelight, assisting the opening goal and scoring the winner as Gor Mahia beat Sofapaka 2-1 at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu in a Kenya Premier League mid-week fixture.

As a result, Gor Mahia moved eight points clear at the top according to the revised standings with 48 points.

Dylan Kerr, the Gor Mahia coach remains unbeaten since his arrival and is confident Gor Mahia are headed to reclaim the league crown.

“This was a very tough match where character of the players won us the points. We fought hard, dug deep and at the end of the day we picked up three huge points against a tough opponent,” Kerr said after the match.

In this match, K’Ogalo had a perfect start to with the on form George Odhiambo getting them into the lead after eight minutes. He struck from the edge of the box leaving keeper Mathias Kigonya rooted to his spot after being picked out by a Kagere pass.

Kagere who had been lively in attack came close in the 12th minute but his connection from a Kenneth Muguna low cross went wide.

Batoto ba Mungu gradually grew into the match and had two chances in a space of 10 minutes. First, in the 20th minute, Kennedy Oduor’s shot from the edge of the area went over. Later, an Oduor cross landed on Umar Kasumba who headed over.

The pressure brought fourth results five minutes to the break when Kassumba headed home a deflected shot from Rodgers Aloro.

The Gor Mahia players protested arguing that Kassumba had scored from an offside position. The Ugandan forward ran into Aloro’s shot after Willis Ouma’s freekick from the right was cleared to his path.

Going all offensive, Sam Ssimbwa, the Sofapaka boss made two substitutions at the start of the second half, Morven Otinya and Bernard Mang’oli paving way for Ezekiel Okare and Hillary Echesa.

But the two changes didn’t have a hugely positive impact as Ssimbwa had envisioned.

Echesa tripped Kahata

Twelve minutes after coming on, Hillary Echesa tripped Francis Kahata inside the box and the ref pointed to the spot. Kahata had picked up a rebound after Kagere’s shot had been saved.

Jacques Tuyisenge’s effort from the spot went over despite sending Kigonya the wrong way.

But just three minutes later, Kagere made amends from Tuyisenge’s miss diving in to head from a Godfrey Walusimbi cross.

Ten minutes to time, Odhiambo should have sealed the victory for Gor Mahia when he rounded off the keeper, but his final effort hit the side netting.

Meanwhile, Mathare United and Thika United’s hunt for safety ended in a point a-piece with identical 0-0 score-lines against AFC Leopards and Ulinzi Stars.

They remain14th and 15th on the table with Mathare one point off safety.

“Coming off a run where we lost three matches in a row, this is a welcome point for us. It gives us some motivation and I am hoping for the remaining matches we will play just as well as we played today,” Francis Kimanzi, the Mathare United coach said.

His opposite number Robert Matano blamed the display on injuries which have plagued his team, but reckons it was an important point.

The two sides squandered many scoring opportunities. In the second minute, Mathare United defender Lennox Ogutu was forced to clear the ball off the line from a Vincent Oburu shot.

Three minutes on the turn, Mathare United had their first chance when Elijah Mwanzia sent Cliff Nyakeya through on goal but AFC Leopards keeper Ian Otieno made a superb save.

The attacking start by both teams continued with Mathare United keeper Levis Opiyo making a great save with his feet to deny Alexis Kitenge who had been fed by Oburu after the Slum boys lost the ball cheaply on the left.

Yellow card

On the half hour mark, Opiyo once again came to Mathare’s rescue. Oburu sent Kitenge through on goal and Opiyo came out to block the effort, handling outside the box, earning himself a yellow card.

From the resultant freekick, Samuel Ndung’u’s attempt kissed the top of the crossbar.

Five minutes later Mathare had a great opportunity when John Mwangi won the ball on the left, cut back for Tyson Otieno whose shot from the edge of the box was punched away by Ian Otieno.

At the start of the second half, Matano made two substitutions withdrawing Keziron Kizito and Samuel Ndung’u for Whyvonne Isuza and Marcelus Ingotsi. Minutes later, Kitenge was also hauled off for Aziz Okaka.

Kimanzi also made a change, bringing in Chris Ochieng for Mwanzia. The burly Ochieng had an almost immediate impact when the ball landed on him kindly on the right but his goal-bound shot was saved.

The rebound fell on Tyson Otieno, but the midfielder shot wide.