NAIROBI, Kenya, July 27 – Talisman Dan Sserunkuma continued his scoring streak against AFC Leopards with a brace as champions Gor Mahia and archrivals shared a thrilling 2-2 Kenyan Premier League Mashemeji Derby draw on Sunday at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium.
Sserunkuma would have won the match for K’Ogalo only for their captain and inspiration, Jerim Onyango’s blunder to open the door for Leopards to level the match in a fast paced encounter marred by violence during the break.
Fans were forced to dash for safety as police lobbed tear-gas to disperse rowdy supporters who breached the buffer zone before security forces restored control with the second-half delayed for over 15 minutes.
Winger Noah Wafula broke the deadlock for hosts Ingwe at the half hour mark after Gor’s defence went to sleep to afford him the space to tap in an Austine Ikenna’s flicked header before Sserunkuma levelled three minutes to the breather after powerfully heading home Eric Ochieng’s corner.
The Ugandan hit-man completed his brace just upon resumption, slotting home a Musa Mohammed deflected shot to record his ninth goal of the season that took him to the top of the scoring charts.
Skipper Martin Imbalambala restored parity for Ingwe through a long range shot that bounced over Onyango, embracing the skipper who had come out of his line.
Both coaches were not satisfied with the results with Gor’s Bobby Williamson particularly miffed by Onyango’s mistake that denied them victory.
“It was a nice game although I’m disappointed with our keeper’s blunder that cost us the win, he could have handled the ball well but that’s how football is. The good thing is that we are still on top of the log.
“It’s surprising teams celebrate when they draw with Gor instead of winning, that was seen in today’s match as Leopards fans celebrated after the final whistle,” Williamson said after the match.
His opposite number, Pietier De Jongh blamed officials for poor officiating; claiming Gor’s second goal was off side.
“Both the referee and linesman were biased since they failed to call offside in our opponents second goal but picking a point is not bad, I’m happy for that and I’m planning for Wednesday’s match,” the Dutchman told.
The sides were without key players who featured in the first leg encounter won 3-1 by Leopards with Harambee Stars forward Allan Wanga and winger Paul Were ditching the den for Sudan and South Africa leagues respectively.
K’Ogalo lost midfielder Anthony Okumu, Rama Salim, Kevin Omondi and Shaban Kenga departed for other clubs.
The teams took control of each half with Leopards having a good run in the first period, Wafula giving K’Ogalo’s defence a hard time as he came close after eight minutes of play when Abdallah Juma picked him from the left and did well to cut in but no one was in the box to tap home for Mohammed to clear the danger.
Six minutes later Sserunkuma, who returned to the team Friday from attending trials with Danish side HB Koge, got a chance to give Gor the lead but he lost his footing after beating defender Jackson Saleh before the sides traded goals for 1-1 at half time.
Gor dominated the first 15 minutes of the second half with Sserunkuma tearing apart Ingwe defence before they could settle in the game.
Ingwe keeper, Wycliffe Kasaya bailed out his side as Otieno, David Owino and Ochieng threatened for Gor before Onyango spilled an effort from Jacob Keli in the 72nd minute but no one capitalised as the champions survived.
However, the captain was caught out by a ball a keeper of his calibre should have handled before Leopards almost stole it when strong appeals for a penalty after Harun Shakava tangled with Ikenna was waved away by the referee moments after the equaliser.
In other results, Chemelil won the Sugar Derby after beating Sony 2-0 in Awasi while Tusker failed to reduce Gor’s lead following their 2-2 draw with Bandari in Mombasa.
Thika United were 1-0 winners over KRA while Sofapaka lost by the same margin to Western Stima at Mumias Sports Complex.