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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Resurgent Gor Show True Mark of Champions

It was a match that lived up to its true billing. A typical derby match that had all the on-pitch drama as well as fun and banter from the fans on the stands.

And at the end of 90 minutes, it was hard to judge which team deserved victory more. Gor Mahia were the better team during the opening minutes of the half with the dangerous Dani Sserunkuma showing just why he’s had a devastating scoring run against his former employers.

Gor could have taken the lead at the quarter hour mark through Paul Kiongera but the lanky frontman saw his first two efforts draw fine saves from Leopards custodian Matasi before his third effort rebounded off the cross bar.

Leopards took control of the game from there and Allan Wanga could have put them ahead minutes later but Gor keeper Jerim Onyango was alert. It wasn’t long before the 13-time champions made their dominance count. A slick counterattack on the left channel saw Allan Wanga feed the soon-to-be man of the match Noah Wafula who finished exquisitely past Jerim to send the blue half of the crowd into a delirium.

Luc Eynamel’s charges took it from where they left in the second interval with the Wanga-Were partnership proving especially dangerous. Were put the Leopards 2-0 up in the 55th minute with a neat finish following another counterattack.

Table-topping Gor Mahia could be credited for not panicking by hoofing the ball high and up with hopes of finding Kiongera. At the hour mark, they drew a goal back, Sserunkuma tapping into an empty net after Leopards defenders failed to clear their lines following Innocent Mutiso’s corner which was met by Moses Odhiambo.

The goal gave Kogalo the belief they needed and they got the equalizer with five minutes before the final whistle, substitute Kevin Omondi feeding David Owino who riffled in to ensure the match ended in equal terms.

The win took Gor to 41 points, 8 ahead of second-placed Ulinzi Stars but who have a match in hand while Leopards are a point behind the soldiers on 32.