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Gor charge to the top, Leopards fall

Gor FansNAIROBI, Kenya, April 23- Champions Gor Mahia returned to the summit of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) after thrashing Muhoroni Youth 3-0 as bitter rivals AFC Leopards suffered their third loss of the season in a 1-0 reverse to Mathare United in Wednesday action.

Gor laid a marker and made mockery of their woes with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) who slapped a Sh118m lien on them on Tuesday by moving top on 20 points at the expense of Tusker FC who were stunned 1-0 at home by Chemelil Sugar.

Elsewhere on a busy day, KRA continued belying their promoted status by silencing hosts City Stars 2-1, while KCB continued their resurgence with a 2-1 win over Top Fry Nakuru to register their first win of the KPL season.

Thika United held Sofapaka to a barren draw and the games between Western Stima at home to Sony Sugar and Bandari versus Ulinzi Stars ended in identical 1-1 stalemates.

At Nairobi’s City Stadium, Gor charged back to the summit courtesy of Shaban Kenga, Geoffrey Kizito and Eric Ochieng who scored in the 25th, 33rd and 42nd minutes of the match to accumulate 20 points in ten games, two ahead of Chemelil who shocked Tusker through a late Innocent Wafula strike.

The Brewers slid down to third after their second successive loss also on 18 points but with an inferior goal difference.

Newcomers KRA continued their upward momentum with Roosevelt Blaty netting a brace at Hope Centre to stuff the home side 2-1 at Hope Centre to move up to fifth on 17 points.

All eyes were at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium where Abdallah Juma, sacked from KCB a week previously, led Leopards as assistant head coach but left with no league wins in ten matches as a spectacular strike from Hussein Zzinda made the difference.

Zzinda struck in the tenth minute in a swift counter attack as Stanley Okumbi’s Slum Boys held on a spirited barrage from Ingwe who were once again left to rue missed chances.

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“We had many chances in the first half but we failed to execute them and that really cost us since we don’t have good finishers something that we will work on before our next match.

“We want to take one match at a time because we cannot force a game. We have motivated the boys and letting them believe on themselves since that’s what they lack,” Washington Muhanji, who was in interim charge before Juma joined the Den, said after the match.

“We have been better opponents in the past three games but in both occasions we have failed to score, we disappointed our fans but promise to perform better next time,” the goalkeeper trainer added.

“We played well in the first half and that’s why we scored an early goal. I told my players to run after the ball and create many chances as possible and with that I was sure of the win.

“We could have won the match 3-0 or 4-0 but I’m content with the win since we needed it. I believe I have youthful players who can play in Mathare for a long time unlike last season where we lost good players,” the delighted Okumbi, whose side remains in 12th on ten points, offered.

Juma made two changes, bringing in defender Eric Masika for a rare start and Nigerian Austine Ikenna replacing Harambee Stars winger Paul Were.

The visitors missed a couple of chances through forward Jacob Keli who came close after four minutes but last year’s KPL top scorer blasted wide from close range.

Mathare responded in the eighth through Noah Abich’s free-kick but keeper Martin Musalia punched out for a fruitless corner.

They were not to be denied two minutes later when Daniel Mwaura set Zzinda free from the right wing for the former Sony Sugar striker to volley home on the counter.

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Khalid Jumaan had a chance to restore parity three minutes later after he beat Mathare defenders but his shot was easily picked by Robert Mboya in goal who was eventually named the man of the match.

Musalia was forced to pull three saves, denying Edwin Ombasa twice before rescuing Mwangi’s thunderbolt as Mathare enjoyed a 1-0 lead at the interval as Jumaan and Keli spurned glorious opportunities to level just before the break when Charles Okwemba free-kick caused panic in the Slum Boys box.

Juma introduced Bernard Mang’oli and Oscar Kadenge in the second half but try as they might, the 2008 champions held on for the win.

In the early kick off of the televised double header at the same venue Sofapaka played to a goalless draw with Thika United.

Elsewhere, Sony Sugar held Western Stima at home after playing to a 1-1 draw in Mumias Sports Complex.

Paul Odhiambo gave the hosts a first half lead in the 31st before Marwa Chamberi levelled in the 56th.

In Mombasa, 2010 champions Ulinzi Stars picked their seventh draw of the season after battling to a 1-1 stalemate with home team Bandari at Mombasa County Stadium.

Salim Mohammed broke the deadlock to give the visitors the lead in the 48th before Kepha Aswani notched the equaliser three minutes later.

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