Kipkirui's brace sinks AFC Leopards as K’Ogalo extends dominance over eternal rivals

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Sunday, May 19th 2019 at 19:22 GMT +3 | Football
AFC Leopards' Vincent Oburu (centre) challenges Samuel Onyango (bottom) and Haron Shakava during their Kenyan Premier League match dubbed Mashemeji Derby held at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on May 19, 2019. Gor Mahia FC won 3-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

Nicholas Kipkirui scored his first Mashemeji derby brace as Gor Mahia continued their march towards the 2018/2019 Sportpesa Premier League title with a convincing 3-1 victory over eternal rivals AFC Leopards at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.

The match was marred by incidents of hooliganism when a section of AFC Leopards fans started uprooting seats after their team conceded the third goal.

But with the victory, Gor who now have 69 points, just need two points from their remaining three matches to lift their third consecutive title and unprecedented 18th league crown.

Kipkirui opened the scoring in the 26th minute before he capitalized on Leopards' defensive blunder after being set up by Jacques Tuyisenge on the hour mark to double the lead.

Five minutes later, the former Zoo Kericho winger returned the favour after being involved in the Rwandese' third goal before Vincent scored a late consolation goal for Ingwe, who last won the derby bragging rights in 2016.

"I expected AFC Leopards to give us a tough game, but unfortunately they didn't show up. There was no competition at all. We should have won by a bigger margin. All the same, it's not yet celebration time, we still have three matches to go," said Gor coach Hassan Oktay.

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But for his AFC counterpart Casa Mbungo, defensive errors cost them the match.

"Just like the other past matches, individual defensive blunder cost us in the derby. But we are on a rebuilding process, expect a different team next season," said Mbungo.

Leopards threatened first in the third minute when David Ochieng released Isuza but goalkeeper Frederick Odhiambo came off his line to stop the former Mathare United man before Jacques Tuyisenge's effort went wide on the opposite end.

Gor responded three minutes later when Nicholas Kipkirui latched on a loose ball but his effort went inches wide.

Paul Were then initiated a counter attacker but Joash Onyango did well to out-muscle Isuza in the box.

Leopards came close to breaking the deadlock in the tenth minute when Vincent Oburu rounded off his marker in the box only for his shot to go wide.

But Gor replied immediately but Tuyisenge failed to make contact to Muguna's incisive cross after arriving late in the box before AFC goalkeeper Ezekiel Owade punched away Francis Kahata's free kick.

Moments later, Were forced a fine save from Gor keeper before Kipkirui pounced on Tuyisenge's rebound following Kahata's delivery to give Gor the lead in the 26th minute.

In the 35th minute, Tuyisenge rounded off his marker after receiving a perfectly weighted pass from Kenneth Muguna, but the Rwandese's shot missed target by a whisker.

Brian Marita could have restored parity in the 37th minute but Were's cross outpaced him before he forced a fine save from the keeper.

Leopards almost equalized two minutes into the second half but Were's well-curved free kick was deflected for a fruitless corner before Odhiambo pulled off a brilliant save to stop Marita's free kick on the hour mark.

A minute later, Kipkirui capitalized on Said Tsuma's defensive error to grab his double after being teed up by Tuyisenge.

Tuyisenge finally got his name on the score sheet in the 61st minute when he pounced on Kipkrui's rebound off the post following Salim's defensive error.

And just after the third goal, a section of frustrated Ingwe fans started uprooting seats, throwing them and empty bottles into the pitch forcing the referee to temporarily stop the game for five minutes.

Western Stima  0 Mathare United 0        

Vihiga United     1 Tusker 2

Chemelil 0           Ulinzi Stars 0

Bandari 3              Zoo Kericho 0

AFC Leopards 1 Gor Mahia 3