NAIROBI, Kenya, October 26- Gor Mahia announced their return to continental football next season after edging out titleholders Sofapaka FC 1-0 in the final of the Football Kenya Limited Cup on Wednesday evening.
Striker Edwin Lavatsa’s 34th minute effort was enough to sink the 2009 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions at their Nairobi City Stadium fortress to ensure Gor, who last won the trophy in 2008, will feature in next season’s CAF Confederations Cup.
The result that sealed K’Ogalo’s ninth domestic club triumph was greeted by delirium by their club supporters after enduring eight KPL matches without victory, the latest a goalless stalemate against Chemelil Sugar on Monday.
They advanced to the final after edging out bitter arch rivals, AFC Leopards 1-0 in an ill-tempered semi final last Thursday that was called off ten minutes from time after the stands erupted in violence, a day after Sofapaka booked their place by edging out KPL rivals, Thika United 2-1.
Nairobi residents who were busy finding their way home had to contend with disruption in traffic caused by jubilant fans that jammed the streets of the capital in song and dance soon after their captain and man of the match, Jerim Onyango received the trophy from city mayor, George Aladwa.
Onyango was the toast for K’Ogalo when he kept a marauding Sofapaka at bay in the second half as they came in determined to level the match.
Harambee Stars midfielder, Humphrey Mieno saw his shot from range cannon off the cross bar 14 minutes from time before forward Joseph Nyaga saw his effort miss the target by inches.
Striker John Onami had Gor fans in panic when his goal bound header was cleared off the lines in the 85th minutes, the hat trick of chances being the only efforts that beat the spirited Onyango in goal as Sofapaka pounded K’Ogalo’s defence.