K’Ogalo assume league lead after downing Sofapaka
James Magayi and Charles Thuku
Gor Mahia returned to the summit of the Kenyan Premier League after grinding out a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sofapaka at Moi Stadium, Kisumu yesterday.
The opening minutes saw K’Ogalo score an exquisite goal borne of fine interplay between skipper Kenneth Muguna, Boniface Omondi and Lawrence Juma.
From central midfield, Muguna spread the ball wide for the enterprising Omondi who raced to the byline before delivering a precise cross to the box.
Juma, who was arriving in the box, timed his run well and side footed the goalkeeper with his cleverly placed header.
Sofapaka, against the run of play, canceled out Gor’s goal rather casually as Jedinak Ameyaw pounced on Robert Mapigano’s spilt ball after failing to deal with Kepha Aswani’s fierce shot from range.
The goal stunned K’Ogalo who stepped on the gas but resolute defending by Sofapaka and wasteful play ensured parity at half-time.
Gor made two changes early in the second half, sending on Geoffrey Ochieng for Bernard Ondiek then followed it up with Samuel Onyango for Ernest Wendo.
Onyango would whip in a perfect cross in the 63rd minute which Muguna buried. K’Ogalo went on to create several other chances with Ugandan forward Juma Balinya making his debut.
John Baraza equally made changes but his ace Collins Wakhungu ran into a resolute defence. At Kericho Green Stadium, hosts Zoo FC came from a goal down to salvage a 2-2 draw with Mathare United.
Mathare were faster off the blocks and duly grabbed the lead in the eighth minute through South Sudanese striker Daniel Gumnok Lual who was making only his third appearance for the team after being signed from Atlabara FC.
Eight minute later, Zoo picked themselves up to level matters when an on-rushing Wilson Anekeya found an opening in Mathare’s defence to put the ball at the back of the net.
Mathare regained the lead courtesy of James Kinyanjui’s strike in the 53rd minute before Collins Neto assured Zoo a share of the spoils with a goal in the 71st minute.
Following the result, Zoo remain in 12th position with 16 points from 18 matches while Mathare are still 10th slot with 26 points after the same number of outings.