Marauding Leopards maul Gor Mahia

By nesta kizito
Jun 08, 2021
  • AFC Leopards Paul Were leads his teammates in celebration.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • AFC Leopards Jacob Keli in action during their KPL match against Gor Mahia at the Nyayo National Stadium.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

AFC Leopards put in their best performance so far in the 2014 Kenyan Premier League season with a resounding 3-1 win over bitter rivals Gor Mahia in a pulsating match on Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Playing their first league match under new coach Pieter de Jongh, and their first since returning from the Nile Basin tournament in Sudan, Leopards were by far the better side and should have won the match by a wider margin if not for the many chances that they wasted, especially in the second half.

The result perfectly suited Tusker who slashed Gor’s lead to just two points with a 3-0 thumping of Mathare United at Kinoru Stadium in Meru.

The brewers played almost 80 minutes of the match with ten men after goalkeeper Samuel Odhiambo sent off for handling the ball outside the box.

But the brewers turned on the style in the second period with a Brian Osumba brace and a late goal from Clifford Alwanga Gor Mahia are still on top with 29 points from 14 matches while Tusker have moved to 27 points from an equal number of matches.

Inspite of an uncharacteristically low-key build-up to the derby, the match at Nyayo Stadium got off to an explosive start with Leopards firing the first salvo. referee made what was clearly a wrong call by ruling out the goal.

Off the hooks

Having been let off the hook, K’Ogalo, who had upto that point been on the back foot, began asserting themselves in the match and took the lead in the 24th minute against the run of play.

A quick ball forward from Gor’s half found Dan Ssserunkuma in full flight and after turning James Situma inside out, the Ugandan striker picked out the unmarked Timonah Wanyonyi who had all the time in the world to steady himself up before smashing the ball home with a half volley into Wycliffe Kasaya bottom right corner.

But Leopards, who were generally bossing proceedings in midfield, didn’t let up and were soon on level terms.

In the 35th minute man of the match Charles Okwemba found Keli with a clever through ball after a neat interchange with Joseph Shikokoti and this time there was no denying the 2013 KPL Player of the Year who squeezed the ball underneath the onrushing Jerim Onyango.

The tempo of the match was intensifying by the moment and two minutes later there were penalty shouts from Gor Mahia after George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo tumbled in the box from Situma’s challenge but the center referee would hear none of it.

Then in the 40th minute, Rama Salim missed a glorious chance two yards out after being set up by Godfrey Walusimbi. After the break it was Leopards who showed up for the second half, pinning Gor Mahia in their own half for prolonged spelled.

Sustained pressure

Gor Mahia were always going to crack under the sustained pressure and they did crack on the hour mark when the impressive Okwemba met Juma Abadallah’s free kick with a glancing header.

That goal killed off the fight within Gor Mahia and with 15 minutes remaining on the clock Bernard Mangoli hammered the final nail in the sorry K’Ogalo’s coffin after chesting down Okwemba’s cross and hitting a shot that went in off Onyango’s upright.

Late in the match, Musa Mudde missed what should have been goal number four after Gor Mahia defence was yet again caught in sixes and sevens by the marauding Leopards. Gor Mahia coach Bobby Williamson conceded defeat saying his players conceded too much space which Leopards exploited but hastened to add that the team will respond in their next matches.

“This is obviously a blip after a run of six straight wins but the desire is still in the team and I will try to motivate the player for the next match,” Williamson said.

His opposite number De Jongh was full of praise for his players’ performance. Ingwe thought they had taken the lead as early as the 11th minute, when Jacob Keli got to the end of Charles Okwemba’s delivery and side footed the ball home but the first assistant

“My players showed the right mentality and a big fighting spirit. This is a big club with a massive following and today’s result is a big one for the team. We played well deserved to win,” De Jongh said.

Line-ups-Gor Mahia: Jerim Onyango, Musa Mohammed, Israel Emuge, David Owino, Godfrey Walusimbi, Geoffrey Kizito, Eric Ochieng, Timonah Wanyonyi, Rama Salim, Dan Sserunkuma, George Odhiambo

AFC Leopards: Wycliffe Kasaya, James Situma, Abdalla Juma, Jackson Saleh, Martin Imbalambala, Joseph Shikokoti, Musa Mudde, Bernard Mang'oli, Charles Okwemba, Jacob Keli and Austine Ikenna.

KPL Results: Gor Mahia 1 AFC Leopards 3, Tusker 3 Mathare United 0, KCB 0 Sofapaka 1, Muhoroni Youth 1 Top Fry Nakuru 1