Gor Mahia beat AFC Leopards on penalties to lift Madaraka Cup

Gor Mahia players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Madaraka Cup on June 1 2022. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

Gor Mahia are the 2022 Madaraka Cup champions.

The record Kenyan champions saw off eternal rivals 6-5 (1-1) in post-match penalties to win the exhibition match organised by the government as part of the Madaraka Day celebrations yesterday.

The fixture was staged barely a few hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta led the country in marking the 59th Madaraka Day celebrations at the newly refurbished Uhuru Gardens.

At Nyayo Stadium, Austin Odhiambo was the hero of the day as Gor and AFC Leopards entertained Kenyans in a blistering final attended by thousands of fans donning green and blue jerseys.

Collins Shivachi gave Leopards a 1-0 halftime lead after heading past Gor custodian Gad Mathews in the 34th minute.

In the final half, Gor would level the scores through Austin Odhiambo who capitalised on slow reaction of Leopards goalkeeper Levis Opiyo to tie the scores at 1-1 with 20 minutes left on the clock.

With no winner at the end of the full 90 minutes, the match proceeded to penalties.

Esilaba Tedian, Washington Munene, Victor Omune, Lopaga Josephat and John Makwata successfully converted Ingwe’s opening five penalties to tie at 5-5 in the opening 10 penalties.

Gor captain Philemon Otieno had led his side in converting their own five penalties followed by Samwel Onyango, Benson Omalla, Dennis Njire and John Macharia.

Gor would then get an upper hand after Ingwe winger Peter Thiong’o blasted his shot wide.

Austin Odhiambo then returned to haunt his former club by sending Ingwe’s keeper Opiyo the wrong way with a low shot in the right side of the post to hand K’Ogalo a 6-5 win.

Gor Mahia in the process walked away with Sh1 million in prize money promised by the government who were represented by Sports CS Amina Mohammed.

Ingwe have now failed to beat Gor Mahia in the last six-years. Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards have now met 95 times with K’Ogalo winning 33 encounters and AFC Leopards securing 28 victories. The other 30 clashes have ended in draws.

President Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga were expected to grace the match but they were nowhere to be seen.

The match started on a low note with the first clear chance coming in the eighth minute when Gor’s Benson Omalla header went off target.

A free kick for Gor four minutes later outside the 18 yard area was cleared by Collins Shivachi before AFC Leopards responded with Ojo Olaniyi who narrowly missed Gor’s net in the 20th minute.

At the half hour mark, Opiyo was forced to pull off a wonderful save from Gor Mahia forward Peter Lwasa.

Against the run of play, Shivachi gave Leopards the lead in the 34th minute after rising high to beat the on-rushing Gad Mathews before nodding the Washington Munene’s left foot delivery into an empty net as Ingwe led 1-0 at the break.

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