Gor Mahia paint Kisumu green as they edge closer to 21st Premier League title

Gor Mahia fans during their FKF Premier League match against Shabana at Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Kisumu Mamboleo. [Michael Mute, Standard]

Record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia moved closer to a record 21st Premier League title after narrowly seeing off relegation threatened Shabana 1-0 in an entertaining FKF Premier League match played at Jomo Kenyatta Stadium, Mamboleo in Kisumu on Saturday.

Thousands of fans painted the 15 stands at Mamboleo green, white and red as Kisumu welcomed K’Ogalo back to the Lake City after a long time.

Top scorer Benson Omalla scored his 15th goal of the season to guide Gor to victory as they opened a 12-point gap at the top of the table.

Gor are now two wins away from a record extending title win and they need to defeat KCB and Muhoroni Youth consecutively to achieve that feat.

Shabana started the match started on the front foot after creating two quick goal scoring opportunities that despite not finding the back of the net lifted the atmosphere at the nearly full Mamboleo stadium.

First, Ezekia Omuri released Mathew Tegisi with a neat pass that beat the K’Ogalo backline but Tegisi shot directly at Caleb Otieno in goal for the defending champion in a one on one situation.

Moments later, Shabana were back knocking at Jonathan McKinstry door but this time Lameck Onwonga shot wide 20 yards from goal.

The two offensive plays by Shabana sent shivers to the thousand of Gor fans donning the famous green and white colors and it took the brilliance of Lawrence Juma, Musa Masika and Austin Odhiambo to restore order as the midfield trio took matters in the midfield.

With their fans singing to some of the popular Luo victory songs and dancing to the rhythmic drum sounds, Gor players danced with the ball on the pitch as Juma effortlessly found Sharif Musa with a long diagonal ball, a delivery that led to a penalty after being brought down.

Musa controlled the ball before dashing into the penalty box where Prince Ayieko was penalized by center referee Josephine Wanjiku for tripping a dashing Musa.

Golden Boot leader Benson Omalla stood up but he could not mentally fend off the thunderous noises from the Shabana fans who were near the goal after he shockingly sent his attempt wide in the 25th minute.

Ten minutes later, Omalla atoned to his earlier penalty miss by tapping home from close range from a resultant Austin Odhiambo free kick set-piece that rebounded off Fredrick Otinda in goal for Shabana.

Gor held on to take a slender 1-0 lead at the break, a lead they firmly held on until the final minute.

Despite numerous attempts by Shabana to get the equalizer, the defensive line up made up of Geoffrey Ochieng, Kennedy Onyango and Sylvester Owino stood strong and dealt with any dangerous attacks.

On the other hand, Austin Odhiambo hit the bar from 20 yards out from a dead ball set piece as Gor picked their 18th win of the season.

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By AFP 3 hrs ago
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