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Gor milk Thika to keep Giniwasekao alive

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SSERUNKUMA-CELEBNAIROBI, Kenya, October 16- Another win, another step closer to the promised land with no end in sight for Giniwasekao, phenomenon, a term concocted by the Green Army to embody their march to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title meaning this thing is ours.

Leaders Gor Mahia’s procession to the trophy continued after K’Ogalo steamrolled past the tricky challenge of Thika United with a 2-1 away triumph at the bumpy Thika Municipal Stadium.

In form Ugandan import, Dan Sserunkuma scored what proved to be the winner in the 37th minute of the first half to add to Eric Ochieng’s opener as a Dennis Odhiambo penalty reduced the arrears for the home side with four minutes left.

The expected frenetic finish to the feisty encounter never materialised and Gor rode the remaining minutes to maintain their seven point cushion over closest challengers Sofapaka who kept the title race going with an identical home win over Chemelil.

“The state of the pitch is very bumpy and it could not allow good passing football. We had to get the ball to their half and we did very well in the first half with two goals.

“Thika are a good football team but today, we had more than they had and we will focus on winning our games starting on Saturday in the GOtv Shield,” K’Ogalo coach, Bob Williamson, the picture of calm amid the bedlam among the Green Army support itching for their team to bag the title said post-match.

“I will not chose to concentrate on the negative things my team is doing. We have slumped in recent games but our play in the second half gave me satisfaction that we can finish strongly,” his opposite number, John Kamau ruefully offered.

In truth, Gor were good value for their win against the side they share the Brookside Dairies, Tuzo Milk brand sponsorship and only the award of a late penalty for a crude foul blotted their composed display.

K’Ogalo mustered the bumpy condition and the hoof-fest it invited better than the hosts who elected against the tie being played at the much better Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.

A stinging free-kick from Kevin Omondi forced Lucas Indeche in the Thika goal to stretch every sinew to crash it against the post on 11 minutes to lay the platform.

Six minutes later, Omondi and the latest sensation, Timonah Wanyonyi, combined and Ochieng, lurking in the box, fired a venomous shot high to the roof of the net to give Gor the lead.

On 27 minutes, they had the first of two goals ruled for off-side as Wanyonyi, Sserunkuma and Edwin Lavatsa surged forward with the latter getting the final touch.

Odhiambo, one of Thika’s best men on show, then made Gor captain and keeper, Jerim Onyango, earn his corn by forcing him to tip his dipping free-kick from range out for a fruitless corner on 34.

Three minutes later, Wanyonyi first miscued his intended through ball to Sserunkuma but with no one impeding him, he gathered the leather and using his heel, threaded the Ugandan through.

The rest was the inevitable as Sserunkuma beat Indeche on his near post with a curling low finish for the 2-0 half time lead.

With Harambee Stars midfielder, Francis Kahata, well shackled by the combined efforts of Israel Emuge and Joseph Njuguna, Kamau hauled in David Kingatua five minutes after the break to give his side some territorial advantage.

The change inspired his side to see more of the ball and take gradual charge but his team could not penetrate the two banks of four that Gor placed ahead of them to shield their goal.

On the hour mark, a rare incursion forward led to the award of a free kick some 30 metres out and Lavatsa, who has grown since Williamson took charge mid-season, saw his stinging free-kick crash against the right post with Indeche well beaten.

The lively Wanyonyi evaded two defenders on 83 minutes and curled the ball low towards goal as the Thika keeper stuck to his line and might have well got the reward his play deserved had Sserunkuma not lashed it into the net from an offside position.

Gor were made to ensure a nervous finish three minutes later when Thika substitute, Ezekiel Odera, was impeded in the area and Odhiambo dispatched the resultant spot-kick past the despairing dive of Onyango to halve the deficit.

A nasty looking injury to Sserunkuma in added time that saw him leave the pitch in a stretcher after colliding with Indeche was the only other blight to Gor’s work as the final whistle brought their passionate supporters to their feet in ecstasy, Giniwasekao still intact.

Elsewhere in a packed midweek KPL programme, City Stars went down 1-2 at home to bottom side Karuturi Sport, Bandari edged out equally threatened Kakamega Homeboyz 2-1 as AFC Leopards clawed Western Stima 2-1 in Mumias.

KCB edged the highest scoring match of the day 3-2 at the expense of Sony Sugar while Muhoroni Sugar put more daylight between them and the bottom pair by caning Ulinzi Stars 2-1.

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