Gor Mahia clinch the 2018 SportPesa Premier League title with six matches left after 2-0 win over AFC Leopards
Protests from a section AFC Leopards fans over referee Felix Ekai's poor officiating could not stop Gor Mahia from lifting their 17th unprecedented SportPesa Premier League title after beating them 2-0 in Saturday’s chaotic Mashemeji derby at Kasarani Stadium.
Boniface Omondi and Bernard Ondiek's first half goals is all that the fringe Gor side needed to complete a double over their eternal rivals in a clash marred by acts of hooliganism.
Wvyonne Isuza wasted a chance to bring Ingwe back into the game on the stroke of halftime after he missed his penalty kick. This was just a few moments after the game had been interrupted for ten minutes due to the crowd trouble. Fans started uprooting seats and throwing them onto the pitch after the referee failed to make a call on dangerous tackle by Samuel Onyango on Baker Lukooya in the build up to the second goal.
The victory saw Gor crowned champions in front of their fierce rivals with six game to spare after opening unassailable 23-point gap at the summit.
And just after the final whistle, jubilant Gor fans stormed into the pitch to celebrate their title triumph with the players.
It was a perfect morale booster for Dylan Kerr's men ahead of Wednesday's CAF Confederations Cup crunch tie against USM Alger in Algeria.
"It is a great feeling to have scored and provided an assist that won us the title. We are now going to Algeria psyched up and ready to fight for the quarterfinals slot," Boniface Omondi told The Standard Sports.
Just like Omondi, Kerr was excited to have won the title against their rivals.
"I think we dominated the game. I have faith in all my players and I am happy they have won us a title. It is an amazing to have lifted the trophy against our rivals. Save for the disappointment scene after the second goal, it is an amazing feeling to have lifted the trophy against our rivals," said Kerr.
AFC Leopards coach Rodolfo Zapata conceded defeat and congratulated Gor for retaining the title.
"The boys played their hearts out. This is work in progress. But congratulation Gor Mahia for winning the League title," said Zapata.
But Ingwe captain Duncan Otieno blamed poor officiating for the defeat. "As players we put a lot in preparing for such matches, only for referee's mistakes to cost us. Everybody thought that Lukooye had been fouled and that's why we stood waiting for the referee to make a call which he neglected," said Otieno.
Gor started off the better side, with Omondi's third minute effort easily saved by goalkeeper Ezekiel Owade before Brian Marita's effort went wide on the opposite end.
Moments later Joachim Oluoch saw his shot blocked by one of Leopards defender before Bernard Ondiek's header went into Owade's gloves.
Owade then made a fine stop to deny Omondi another scoring opportunity after he had beaten his marker on the right flank.
Marita could have put Leopards ahead in the 22nd minute after being released through by Isuza, but indecision making cost him.
Five minutes later, Wesley Onguso could have given Leopards the lead but he was lucky not to have scored into his own goal while trying to make a clearance before Edward Seda missed a sitter from the resulting corner kick.
But Omondi then capitalized on AFC's defensive error on the half hour mark to beat Owade before Ondiek doubled the lead in the 40th minute after the referee had declined to give a free kick to Leopards following Samuel Onyango's dangerous tackle on Baker Lukooya.
This prompted angry Leopards fans to uproot seats and start throwing bottle and stones on to, forcing the referee to temporary stop the match for ten minutes.
On resumption,Leopards earned a penalty after Charles Momanyi handled the ball in the box, but Isuza missed it to the disappointed of Ingwe fans.
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