‘Ntakufinya’ Mashemeji derby: Gor Mahia smack AFC Leopards to win Betway Cup
Gor Mahia are the 2021 champions of the Football Kenya Federation-Betway Cup following a dramatic 4-1 win over perennial rivals AFC Leopards on Sunday, July 4 2021 at Nyayo Stadium.
Evergreen K’Ogalo midfielder Kenneth Muguna emerged man of the match as coach Manuel Vaz Pinto boasts of his first domestic cup with Gor Mahia.
Goalkeeper Gad Mathews was instrumental in the game as AFC Leopards' Said Tsuma and Captain Isaac Kipyegon having their spot-kicks saved.
Gor Mahia scored all taken shootouts through Sydney Wahongo, Kenneth Muguna, Samuel Onyango and Clifton Miheso to lift the trophy.
The only goal from AFC Leopards was by Washington Munene.
Coach Vaz Pinto was a relieved man. “I am very happy because we prepared well even for our penalties. What is important is that the team can enjoy this because honestly, we deserved it," he said.
The win was revenge for the 2012's 1-0 loss against the traditional rivals with the 89th meeting providing good fodder for entertainment.
The opening half was open for all teams as the game started in a feverish fashion.
However, it was AFC Leopards who enjoyed some clearcut chances with danger man Elvis Rupia hitting the post in the 10th minute in what was the best chance of the opening stanza. Austin Odhiambo was always causing trouble forcing Kenneth Muguna and Earnest Wendo to watch his runs and passes in the first minutes of the game.
15 minutes into the match, K’Ogalo gradually started showing their intent with slick footed John Macharia and Clifton Miheso shining, but the Ingwe full-backs Lewis Badi and Captain Isaac Kipyegon kept them at bay.
Tito Okello was also a figure to note in the field having troubled Collins Shichenje at the heart of AFC Leopards' defence a number of times.
Apart from a few unsuccessful attempts from corners, it was otherwise a quiet affair in the pitch of play with Centre Referee Peter Waweru awarding only two yellow cards; to Said Tsuma of AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia’s Frank Odhiambo.
Meanwhile in the third-place playoffs of the tournament, Bidco United beat Division One side Equity FC 1-0 courtesy of a Kassim Mwinyi effort in the 32nd minute to go bag ksh 750,000.