Kenyan champions Gor Mahia beat arch rivals AFC Leopards 2-0 in the ‘Mashemeji’ Derby on Saturday at the Kasarani Stadium to extend their recent dominance over ‘Ingwe’ and move second in the Kenyan Premier League standings with a game at hand.
Goals in either half from Kenneth Muguna and Francis Kahata saw Gor pick up the win and bragging rights from the derby and some huge confidence ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup trip to Angola where they are scheduled to play Petro Atletico in the capital on Wednesday.
“I am very happy with my players and how we worked today. We executed the tactics so well and possibly, we should have won by a bigger margin. This is a massive result for us especially for the confidence for Wednesday,” said Gor coach Hassan Oktay who took charge of his first derby.
His opposite number Cassa Mbungo, also in his maiden derby was dejected with the result.
“We conceded two goals off set pieces and we didn’t defend well. We came back stronger in the second half but again the few chances we created we couldn’t utilize. We pick the lessons from this loss today and move forward,” the Rwandese tactician who was unveiled earlier Tuesday said.
Gor who are enjoying good form after struggling in the early stages of the season were flawless and took only 15 minutes to break the deadlock. Midfielder Kenneth Muguna tapped home from a yard out on the second attempt after his first off a Francis Kahata cross.
Muguna had also threatened earlier with his shot off the right being saved by Leopards’ Rwandese keeper Eric Ndayishimiye.
Muguna who enjoyed a brilliant afternoon came close to picking number two for himself and the team on the half hour mark but his venomous strike from the edge of the box came against the crossbar.
Leopards had struggled to create chances but had a few in the final minutes of the half. Marcel Kaheza had a freekick come off the wall while Whyvonne Isuza headed the rebound over before Jaffery Owiti shot wide from the left.
At the stroke of halftime, Isacc Kipyegon tried to get his side back into the game with a curling freekick off the right, but the effort sailed inches over the bar.
In the second half, Leopards came back a bit recharged and they started off with so much energy as they sought the single ticket that would hand the, a way back into the match.
They nearly did so 12 minutes into the half when Owiti beat keeper Boniface Oluoch to a Robinson Kamura freekick and headed it back to the edge of the six yard box, but Whyvonne Isuza somehow failed to hit the target.
They were punished for that glaring miss four minutes later when Kahata’s freekick from the right rolled into the far right of Ndayishimiye’s goal after skipper Harun Shakava’s dummy had taken him off balance.
Tuyisenge thought he had made it 3-0 minutes later but his headed goal off a Kahata cross was ruled out for offside.
Leopards tried to get into the game and had two chances, first, Vincent Oburu who had just come on stealing the ball off Joash Onyango before feeding Mukangula, but the latter’s shot whistled just inches off target.
Boniface Oluoch was called into his first save of the afternoon minutes later when he punched away a shot from Owiti off another industrious supply from Oburu.