Record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia thumped Kakamega Homeboyz 3-0 to make a potentially decisive step in the Kenya Premier League title race at Moi Stadium in Kisumu yesterday.
Goals from Charles Momanyi, Francis Afriyie and an own-goal from George Odiwour was enough for the defending champions to seal their seventh win of the season and open up a two-point lead at the top of the table.
The victory, which saw Gor cement their lead at the top with 21 points (with two games in hand) and Homeboyz slip to sixth, left Englishman Steve Polack an elated coach.
“We are happy to be back in Kisumu and I am very delighted with the win today. To play in front of an amazing atmosphere is always a morale booster for the players and I thank the fans for helping us win especially after a slow start,” said a delighted Polack.
The two rivals staged a cautious start into what turned out to be a physical game, but it is was Homeboyz, who appeared to be on the front foot.
The visitors dominated possession for the better part of the opening 20 minutes but failed to convert that into goals.
Steve Wakanya was first to test Bonface Oluoch in goal with a long shot which was parried to safety by the Gor stopper for a corner in the eighth minute.
Six minutes later, a defensive slip by Tobias Otieno left former Harambee Stars striker Allan Wanga unmarked but the Homeboyz striker failed to beat Oluoch in a one-on-one encounter.
Gor grew in confidence as the game progressed and their first opportunity fell to striker Yikpe Ghislain, who failed to score after launching on a loose ball that was not cleared by Homeboyz’s goalkeeper Geoffrey Oputi.
Moments later, former Leopards winger Clifton Mihesoi dribbled into the area, beat his marker but his shot was blocked Homeboyz defender Festus Okiring.
Gor came close to breaking the deadlock in the half-hour mark but Kenneth Muguna’s perfectly executed volley went over the bar.
Homeboyz responded in the 37th minute but Allan Wanga’s thumping header from Moses Mudavadi’s cross went wide before Afritie failed to find Ghislain.
K’Ogalo would, however, break the deadlock in the 45th minute after Momanyi drilled a loose ball past an unguarded Oputi from a throw-in.
The defending champions grabbed their second goal of the day when Afriyie placed Miheso’s cross in the top right corner 10 minutes after the restart.
Moments later, Odiwour deflected Miguna’s cross into his own net for Gor’s third goal in the 64th minute.
In Mombasa, AFC Leopards picked up a point after drawing 2-2 against Bandari at Mbaraki Sports Club. The first half was thriller of goals, as all the four were scored in the opening 45 minutes.
Jaffari Owiti gave Leopard the lead in the sixth minute before Sosthenes Idha restored parity with a curling bicycle kick.
The dockers’ joy was short-lived as Leopards made a quick run to retake the lead a minute later through Vincent Oburu.
Cliff Kasuti ensured parity for the dockers in the 36th minute as he pounced on a rebound from goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan.
At Ruaraka, Humphrey Mieno’s last-minute goal saw Tusker rally from behind for a 2-2 draw against Western Stima.
Elsewhere, Ulinzi Stars moved to second after defeating Kariobangi Sharks 4-2.