SportPesa Premier League champions Gor Mahia made their intentions of retaining their title absolutely clear when they hammered hosts Sofapaka FC 3-0 in a mid-week clash at the Narok County Stadium on Wednesday.
The game started on cautious note with each team careful not to concede early.
Host Sofapaka had a chance to snatch lead in the 14th minute when Gor goalkeeper Fredrick Odhiambo brought down striker Ezekiel Okare in the box with referee Caroline Wanjala awarding Batoto ba Mungu a penalty.
But Odhiambo made amends by saving from striker Kephas Aswani.
COLLECTED LOOSE BALL
Gor took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Lawrence Juma who collected a loose ball after Sofapaka defenders failed to clear and unleashed a powerful shot into the net.
On resumption, Innocent Wafula inscribed his name in the score sheet when he converted a penalty after Sofapaka keeper Wycliffe Kasaya brought down striker Samuel Onyango in the box in the 64th minute.
Kasaya was sent off with Matthias Kigonya called between the sticks with striker Mico Justin the player sacrificed.
Seven minutes to full time, K’Ogalo launched another attack and with Onyango on target from Lawrence Juma’s assist.
Sofapaka coach, former Kenya international and league top scorer John Baraza conceded that they played badly and were affected by the sending off.
"We didn’t expect to lose this game, not until after my first-choice goalkeeper was red-carded," said Baraza who rued the many missed chances in the first half, including the penalty.
"We had our best team but football is football, and with 44 points, we will still fight on and reduce the gap and at least finish at position two," he added.
He said he would pick from the mistakes to prepare his team for this weekend’s game against Kariobangi Sharks at the same venue.
Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr said he fielded his best squad after a criticism by the club’s management after last weekend’s loss to Rwanda’s Rayon Sport in the Caf Confederation Cup.
"We did approach the Sofapaka match with a lot of caution, and I had a point to prove here, that we can do better and we will win games," Kerr said.
"Now I want to see what kind of criticism the management will raise again," added Kerr who said he is now ready for the "Mashemeji derby" against perennial arch-rivals AFC Leopards on Saturday in Nairobi.