NAIROBI, Kenya, November 17 – A second half strike by Peter ‘Pinches’ Opiyo’ was enough to deny K’Ogalo repeat the 1987 history when they clinched double, as AFC Leopards beat arch rivals Gor Mahia 1-0 in the GOtv Shield final on Sunday at Nyayo National Stadium.
The former Tusker player netted home for Ingwe in the 52nd minute after connecting a Noah Wafula cross from the right wing.
Leopards Coach James Nandwa was delighted with the win saying determination and hard work from his boys gave him the victory.
“The first half was difficult for us because Gor dominated our midfield, they had a lot of chances but failed to convert.
“We came in the second half fighting for goals and after missing quite a number of chances, Opiyo finally slotted home, so focus now shifts to the Confederation Cup next year,” Nandwa who won his first title with Leopards stated after the match.
Gor Coach Bobby Williamson blamed the referee Davis Omweno for the loss.
“We wanted to win two titles and end the season on a high, Leopards got their chance and utilized it.
“My players played very well but they did not convert the chances they created, but the referee was not fair at all,” the Scottish uttered.
As usual being a ‘Mashemeji derby’, fans from both side converged at various venues in the Central Business District, before matching to Nyayo Stadium.
With fans streaming in the Stadium as early as 12 pm, it was all colored with Green and Blue with supporters chanting and dancing songs for their respective clubs and for the first time, the Green Army had a band that entertained their fans all through.
Ingwe started on a high with Paul Were attacking in the third minute forcing Jerim Onyango to lose the ball but the keeper recovered to stop the resultant shot and send the ball out for a corner.
Gor responded through a brilliant run by Dan Sserunkuma who managed to penetrate the defense on several occasions with only Martin Musalia to beat, but his shot went wide.
Abdalla Juma should have opened the score charts for Leopards through a free kick in the 25th minute but Jerim produced a brilliant save.
With one minute to the breather, Gor defender Donald Musoti could have given his side the lead through a powerful header that forced keeper Martin Matasi to punch the ball away to enable the match head into halftime in a barren draw.
Noah Wafula again ran through the right wing in the 75th minute but sent in a wayward shot as Wanga waited in the box.
Gor Mahia substitutes Edwin Lavatsa, Paul Kiongera and Kevin Omondi were instrumental after coming on but neither managed to tear apart the tight AFC defense with Matasi denying Kiongera thrice in the dying minutes of the game.
However the match did not end without chaos, as Police had to fire tear gas that dispersed K’Ogalo fans who threw stones to their opponents, who had already invaded the pitch.
The matter was brought to a close after ten minutes to allow the prize giving ceremony that was presided over by Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga go on.
Leopards who pocked Sh2m (USD 23162.00) are the first club to lift the glittering Shield as their arch rivals who clinched the Kenya Premier League settled for Sh750,000 ( USD 8685.75).
Ingwe who won the domestic title after four years, will represent the country in the CAF Confederations Cup next year.