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Gor Mahia Secures Mashemeji Derby Bragging Rights

Gor Mahia beat AFC Leopards to win the Mashemeji Derby.

Gor Mahia took Mashemeji derby bragging rights in a commanding fashion with a comprehensive victory over arch-rivals AFC Leopards at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.

K’Ogalo won 2-1 after the teams were deadlocked 1-1 at half-time.

Jacques Tuyisenge opened the scoring for the 16-time Kenyan Premier League champions after 22 minutes only for Whyvonne Isuza to equalise in the 44th minute.

George Odhiambo restored the lead for the green army in the second half with a well-taken left foot shot to settle matters.

It was one-way traffic in the first half where K’Ogalo dominated, created numerous chances. However, Ingwe coach Rodolfo Zapata made a strange decision to play midfielder Mike Kibwage as a centre forward – a move which almost backfired during the opening 45 minutes.

Kibwage missed a couple of gilt-edged chances, but he was not alone as Nabwire and the inspirational Ezekiel Ondera also missed the target.

Leopards’ Ezekiel Owade was the busier of the two keepers. Owade did well to first punch away a dangerous cross from Tuyisenge in the tenth minute as Gor made their attacking intentions clear.

Ephrem Guikan missed his first sitter a minute later when he failed to capitalise on a terrible defensive mix up between Leopards defender Dennis Shikhayi and Salim Abdalla collected the loose ball and, with only Owade to beat, seemed to get stage fright and hit his shot well wide off the woodwork.

Haron Shakava will remember this miss as it is not often a player is presented with a goal-scoring chance on a plate by poor Leopards’ defending in a derby. Then, on four minutes, Humphrey Mieno was wasteful when he collected a well-aimed pass from Guikan but he ballooned his shot over the Leopards crossbar.

The miss of the game came in the 17th minute when Joash Onyango released a defence-splitting cross to Guikan who, in turn, laid on the perfect cross to Owade who again showed no composure by blasting over the crossbar from close range.

K’Ogalo keeper Boniface Oluoch made his first save of the game from Marvin Nabwire in the 20th minute when he palmed the Leopards striker’s shot for a corner. A minute later Whyvonne Isuza missed another chance at breaking the deadlock.

Gor went up in the 22th minute when Salim Abdalla gifted Jacques Tuyisenge an open chance to score his 11th league goal when his feeble back pass did not get to Owade on time with the Rwandan forward lurking large just outside the box. Tuyisenge lobbed the ball beautifully over Owade in the 22nd minute for the opener.

But Leopards equalized when Isuza bicycled a kick past a helpless Oluoch in goal. Marvin Omondi had overrun Walusimbi on the left to swing the ball that was met by the midfielder for his tenth goal of the season.

After the break, K’Ogalo came back stronger pinning their counterparts in their own half. Francis Kahata who had a great game, hit a trade mark free kick against the post in the 54th minute as Gor kept searching for their second goal.

Leopards substitute Alex Orotumal, who replaced Marvin Omondi at the break, had K’Ogalo fans’ hearts beating faster when his shot skimmed past the woodwork in the 49th minute.

Gor got their second in the 53rd minute when George Odhiambo finished off Francis Kahata’s weighted pass from inside the box.

Then Leopards nearly got to level terms but Vincent Oburu steered off Isuza’s shot in the 78th minute over the bar.

Ingwe had most of the possession as the game wore on. But Gor intelligently and stubbornly defended their lead.

The win sends Gor to 52 points, 12 clear of second-placed Sofapaka and 16 better of Leopards who succumbed to their fifth loss of the season.

How they lined up:

AFC Leopards Starting XI: Ezekiel Owade, Dennis Shikhayi, Salim Abdalla, Mike Kibwage, Said Tsuma, Edward Seda (Eugen Mukangula,), Marvin Nabwire ( Alex Orotomal,), Ezekiel Odera, Jeffery Odeny (Vincent Oburu, ), Whyvonne Isuza,

Gor Mahia Starting XI: 29. Boniface Oluoch, 26. Philemon Otieno, 2. Godfrey Walusimbi, 12. Joash Onyango, 18. Haron Shakava, 30. Humphrey Mieno, 7. Innocent Wafula, 25. George Odhiambo, 8. Francis Kahata, 9. Jacques Tuyisenge (23. Francis Mustafa), 19. Ephrem Guikan (6. Samuel Onyango).

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