There’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded leopard as Gor Mahia came to learn on Sunday when they were given a 3-0 hiding by AFC Leopards at Nyayo National Stadium in the only Kenyan Premier League match of the weekend.
It was a sweet revenge for Ingwe, who had lost 3-1 to Gor in their first leg meeting in July and enjoyed their unprecedented second three-goal win on the trot having defeated Sony Sugar by a similar margin last Saturday but one.
Jan Koops’s men had plenty of character yet too much rests with the goals from Charles Okwemba, Mike Barasa and Laurent Tumba as Leopards continue to impose their authority on this campaign.
The blessing for the Leopards coach lies in the fact he continues to have a few men who can sway a game as their striker Barasa did here. His efforts dispelled talk of all other issues, but concerns do exist.
Salim Khamis, for instance, operated in a deeper position and although that ensured involvement it took him no closer to the rediscovery of his habitual impact.
Leopards however had no need to count on him when another striker teemed with a virtuosity that was encapsulated in his team’s second goal.
‘One of my best goals in as many years’
There had been a presumption that the creativity in the Leopards’ den would swamp the visitors, and that goal was exquisite.
“That was one of my best goals in as many years. I just saw the ball coming and thought very fast not to control and just shoot straight and it happened to beat the keeper all the way. I’m very happy,” said Barasa, who survived a freak road accident two weeks ago in Nakuru.
The atmosphere was red-hot and the crowd roared to a crescendo as the old foes strolled into the field.
When play under way it was not long before Leopards gained possession and were quickly on the attack.
It was the towering Harambee Stars striker who exposed Gor’s shocking vulnerability in early minutes and suggested that their wheels are not just falling off but bouncing far away over the horizon.
K’Ogalo looked so poor here, especially deep into the second half, one wonders if they have the resources to limp through to the title next month.
Ingwe entered the match with a purpose as Oscar Kadenge forced a pin-point save from Gor’s custodian Fredrick Onyango then Barasa volleyed a chance into the crowd in the 13th minute.
Three minutes later, Onyango’s indecisiveness at goal gifted Okwemba as he tapped in the first goal to send the sea of blue and white fans into a frenzy.
Gor started to creep into the game and Kevin Omondi went close with a curling volley which Patrick Matasi clipped out for a fruitless corner.
A searching ball from Moses Otieno found Moses Odhiambo but the dreadlocked forward just could not connect but shot close straight at Matasi.
At resumption, Leopards tormented their opponents at every opportunity. They extended their lead in the 62nd minute by virtue of a brilliant exchange between Collins Kisuya and Okwemba, who picked up the ball on the left and dazzled past three defenders before lobbing across the face of goal.
Barasa happily connected home. Barely 10 minutes later, super-sub Tumba capitalised on a defence blunder from Collins Omondi as he fired from close range for the winner.