By Gilbert Wandera
Thika, Kenya: Gor Mahia became the first Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side to hit the 50-point mark after stopping Thika United 2-1 Wednesday away in a result that sees them march towards their first title in 18 years.
It was sweet revenge for Gor Mahia as the result was registered against a team that denied them the chance to win last year’s KPL title on the last day of the season.
Inspired by their travelling fans, Gor did not take time to settle and 10 minutes into the start, Kevin Omondi hit the bar from a free kick awarded after he was brought down.
Eight minutes later, Eric Ochieng’ beat Lucas Indeche to the Thika goal with a low effort to give Gor the lead.
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The move leading to the opener began in the midfield and came at the end of an awesome exchange of passes between Edwin Lavatsa and Kevin Omondi, with the latter letting lose Ochieng’ to score the goal that sent the packed stadium into wild celebrations.
The early goal motivated Gor players as they continued to dominate with every passing minute. Thika got a slight reprieve in the 30th minute when Jerim Onyango made a finger tip save to keep out Michael Aluvis’s shot.
Upfront, Ugandan striker Dan Sserunkuma and Kevin Omondi were giving the Thika defence trouble and it was always a question of when the second goal would come.
It came 18 minutes after the opener, this time from Sserunkuma who hit the back of the net after being fed by the ever impressive Joseph Wanyonyi.
Gor fans will be particularly happy with Sserunkuma who has scored in the last three matches. The Ugandan seems to have repaid the trust put in him by the fans and the technical bench after he attempted to leave the club in July, only to return when the move failed.
Despite playing at home, Thika were struggling against Gor.
But their key men, Francis Kahata and David Kingatua, were always a danger in the Gor defence, coming close a couple of times before the first half ended. But they could not get the elusive goals.
With two goals in the hat, Gor struggled in the second half as the tide turned against them but only briefly. It was Thika United who settled first and were awarded with a 50th minute corner which did not bear fruit.
But from then on, Thika kept the pressure, overworking the Gor defence. In the 84th minute, Donald Mosoti fouled David Kingatua while trying to clear a ball and the referee pointed to the spot.
Thika captain Dennis Odhiambo scored from the spot but it was not enough as his side fell again at home.