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Gor Mahia turn on class in Mashemeji Derby

Sunday November 10 2019

Gor Mahia defender Joash Onyango (right) tackles AFC Leopards forward Hansel Ochieng during their Kenyan Premier League match at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on November 10, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Gor Mahia defender Joash Onyango (right) tackles AFC Leopards forward Hansel Ochieng during their Kenyan Premier League match at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on November 10, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

JEFF KINYANJUI
By JEFF KINYANJUI
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Gor Mahia continued their dominance over AFC Leopards with a 4-1 humiliation in the Mashemeji Derby at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Sunday.

Two goals from Yikpe Gislain as well one each from Clifton Miheso and Lawrence Juma reduced Tresor Ndikumana's effort to a mere consolation as K'Ogalo made up for an underwhelming first half.

This is also Steven Polack's first win in the Derby which takes Gor to the summit of the league with 18 points.

A dejected Ingwe tactician Casa Mbungo refused to talk to journalists after the match, while Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack rejoiced in the win, but urged his charges to maintain the focus in their remaining matches.

“AFC Leopards were clearly the better team in the first half, but they didn’t take their chances.

I think the pep talk at halftime changed the things for us as the boys gave a better performance in the second half. This is my first derby and I’m definitely happy we won convincingly, but really we have 27 more games left and we need to perform in the same way we did today,” Polack said after the match.

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Yikpe opened his league account with a powerful header in the 55th minute and doubled the lead nine minutes later a powerful shot from inside the box to silence Ingwe fans.

Miheso made it 3-0 with a powerful volley from the edge of the box after a good pass from captain Kenneth Muguna. Ingwe thought they were staging a comeback when Ndikumana caught Gor Mahia keeper David Mapigano off guard with a rasping shot in the 83rd minute, but Lawrence Juma killed off the game three minutes later with a precise shot after a clever cutback by second half substitute Boniface Omondi.

GOR DOMINATED

Kasarani though was half empty, testament enough that the derby is continuously losing its allure. Hosts Gor Mahia brought in Ohangla artist Onyango Alemo to cheer up the fans ahead of the game and he didn’t disappoint as he sang hit after hit as K’Ogalo fans danced in unison.

Coach Polack even pumped them up further by running towards them and kissing the Gor Mahia badge on his shirt just after his pre-match interview.

Barely a minute after kick off, Bernard Ondiek found Gislain Yikpe with a perfectly timed long pass, but the Ivorian lost the ball to Clyde Senaji who cleared the danger.

Gor’s Joash Onyango hacked Hansel Ochieng down outside the box in the sixth minute, but Isaac Kipyegon resultant free kick was fruitless.

The game settled down thereafter as both teams tried to dominate the proceedings. Ingwe almost opened the scoring in the 27th minute - Tresor Ndikumana brought in a delightful corner kick that Soter Kayumba rose highest to meet with a powerful header that rattled the cross bar.

Two minutes later, injured youngster Collins Shichenje was replaced by Austin Ochieng, Eugene Mukangula slotting back to central midfield as Ochieng went upfront to partner Mark Makwata.

Gor could have taken the lead at the half hour mark, but Bernard Ondiek’s low shot from inside the box after an inviting free kick by Muguna went inches wide.

Ghanaian striker Francis Afriyie missed an open chance just before the break as he collected a lose ball inside the box, but his feeble shot was easily picked by Benjamin.

Late in the second half, Ingwe introduced Boniface Mukheke for Dennis Sikhayi and Vincent Oburu for Hansel Ochieng, but the changes had little effect as Gor Mahia dominated the second half.

Polack pulled out Muguna for Joachim Oluoch, while Nicholas Kipkirui and Boniface Omondi replaced Francis Afryie and the injured Gislain Yikpe.

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