NAIROBI, June 27 – Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga produced a sterling performance to inspire champions Gor Mahia thrash Chemelil Sugar 4-1 as the Kenyan Premier League second-leg got underway on Saturday.
Olunga was the hero after netting all the goals to see K’Ogalo maintain their unbeaten run and open a 12 point lead at the summit of the KPL on 42 points.
Elsewhere, Vitalis Akumu was on target as GOtv Shield winners, Sofapaka beat Western Stima 1-0 while Bandari silenced KCB by the same margin with Anthony Kimani netting the winner in the 27th from the spot.
In Nakuru, Olunga (22) opened the scoring in the 36th minute before the hosts cancelled the lead three minutes later through Alloys Mangi to see both sides share spoils at the break.
The back-to-back champions dominated the last half with Olunga grabbing his first KPL hat-trick to complete the rout that saw him lead the top scores chart on 11 goals, two ahead of team-mate Ali Abondo.
The Sugar Millers began the match on a high with Stephen Wakanya and Stephen Kariuki forcing Gor keeper, Boniface Oluoch into early saves.
Daniel Murage also had a chance to break the deadlock in the 6th when he cut in from the left to unleash a ferocious shot from inside the area but Oluoch was equal to the task parrying the ball out for a fruitless corner.
K’Ogalo’s first attack came on the 13th with Olunga testing Chemelil custodian, Jairus Adira from Abuoba Sibomana’s cross before the former Thika United striker broke through from the midfield, only for the keeper to punch away the thunderous shot.
Adira was at it again in the 26th when he rescued the former Thika United striker’s header from an Ali Abondo corner.
Olunga finally got the breakthrough when he received a fine pass from Karim Nizigiyimana on the right to control the ball and fired into the bottom right corner to send the champions ahead.
The lead lasted for three minutes after Mangi restored parity when he connected Murage’s rebound that had rattled the cross bar.
Olunga send Gor ahead on resumption when the former Tusker FC man received a pass from Meddie Kagere to finish past Adira who was out off his line for his second.
He completed his hat-trick three minutes later after looping the ball over advancing Adira with a fantastic back foot flick to extend K’Ogalo’s lead.
Meddie Kagere thought he had scored his 10th of the season in the 78th but the goal was disallowed after he was ruled offside but Olunga made it up with a brilliant finish to see Chemelil drop to 11th on 20 points.