Tension as Gor, Leopards draw

Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN
Referee Davis Omweno stands by his decision to red card Gor Mahia’s Victor Ali (second left) for a foul on AFC Leopards’ Amon Muchiri (on the ground) during Sunday’s goalless Kenyan Premier League derby at the Nyayo National stadium.

What you need to know:

  • Crowd trouble holds up goalless derby match at Nyayo National Stadium with Sofapaka taking advantage to leapfrog ‘Ingwe’ to the top of Kenyan Premier League table

Gor Mahia goalkeeper Wycliffe Kasaya and captain Moses Odhiambo averted what could have been an abandoned Kenyan Premier League derby as K’Ogalo and AFC Leopards played to a barren draw on Sunday.

lsewhere, Thika United beat Sony Sugar 1-0 in Thika while Sofapaka edged Western Stima 2-1.

The hype ahead of the Gor vs AFC game was massive, the crowd big and the excitement at its best but the game failed to live to its expectations.

Referee Davies Omweno sent off Victor Ali with 20 minutes of the game remaining and Gor fans, unamused, started hurling stones into the pitch.

Play was stopped for 15 minutes, it seemed the game won’t continue but Kasaya showed leadership advising players to collect the stones from the pitch and ask the fans to calm down. It worked.

Matchwise, there was nothing to write home about in this 71st derby as both sides played a cautious game.

Attack-oriented

There were no chances, Gor were stronger in the midfield, Leopards were more attack-oriented trying their luck from the wings.

Allan Wanga who has been on form could not go past David Owino and Musa Mohammed in defence.

It was Gor’s fourth point, after three successive defeats in the hands of Muhoroni Youth, Karuturi Sports and Tusker.

Eric Masika, a former Gor Mahia player giving his heart out at the center of the Leopards defence.

Gor coach John “Bobby” Ogolla and Leopards tactician Jan Koops were fine with the result.

“We had gone through so much problems but today the players played their hearts out. Im fine with the result. Thanks to the boys,’’ said Ogolla.

And Koops said: “It’s a derby, Gor is a big team and they gave their best. Leopards too worked their best. I’m happy.’’

In Thika, Dennis Odhiambo scored the lone goal as hosts Thika United beat Sony Sugar 1-0. Thika were arguably the better team taking advantage of a fatigued Sony.

Thika had three good attempts in the first half with their strikers Francis Kahata, Kepha Aswani and Moses Arita blasting wide.

Thika’s pressure paid off  handsomely in the 75th minute when Francis Kahata sent a long pass to captain Denis Odhiambo who scored with a header.

In Kakamega Sofapaka came from a goal down to beat Western Stima 2-1 and go to the top of the league.

Wesley Kemboi had put Stima ahead in the eighth minute after a David Otieno cross but John Baraza equalised in the 67th minute scoring an rebound from a James Situma free kick before Abdalla Juma gave all the points to Sofapaka in the 72nd minute.

Thika United coach John Kamau was a happy man after his team won their first match of the season.

“We shall have to build from here. After struggling very hard, we have at least achieved something to be proud of,” said Kamau.

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