NAIROBI, Kenya, October 4 – Talisman Dan Sserunkuma notched a hat-trick as champions Gor Mahia opened a five point lead after thrashing 10-man Nairobi City Stars 4-1 to push them closer to relegation in a Kenyan Premier League clash at Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.
In the opening game of the televised double header, Tusker bounced back from a 2-1 defeat against Ulinzi Stars to beat Mathare United 1-0 with Andrew Tololwa scoring the winner in the 26th minute as Francis Kimanzi charges remained third on 45, six behind K’Ogalo.
In other results, Josh Onyango’s own goal helped troubled KCB pick a point against Western Stima at Kisumu’s Moi Stadium to cancel out Collins Neto’s to keep the Bankers four points ahead of City Stars.
KRA lost their sixth match in a row following their 3-1 stuffing at Muhoroni Youth with Mike Khaduli netting a brace and Ezekiel Otwoma completing the rout.
Ivan Anguyo scored the consolation for the taxmen who dropped from the top eight to sit ninth on 33 points.
At the Nyayo Stadium, Gor head coach Frank Nuttall said the league was still a close affair despite the victory that piles pressure on closest challengers Sofapaka who play Sony Sugar away Sunday.
“I’m happy for the win, the three points were very crucial to us and I hope we don’t lose the remaining four matches. There is no easy team in the league so we will play our next matches giving our best,” the Scotsman said after the win.
His opposite number Robinson Ndumbuisi decried poor refereeing saying, “If this is officiating we are going nowhere, the two penalties were not genuine and that made my boys lose morale.
“We are still soldiering on. We have four matches left so we still have hopes of playing in the league next season.”
Sserunkuma extended his lead in the Golden Boot race taking his tally to 14 after opening the scoring in the 42nd tapping in Timothy Otieno’s cross from the left before adding the second a minute later from the spot after defender John Amboko handled Godfrey Walusimbi’s strike in the box.
On the stroke of half-time, George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo scored his first goal since returning to Gor after Walusimbi feed him to unleash a cracker that Amboko deflected for the third goal of the champions.
K’Ogalo continued where they left upon resumption with Sserunkuma finding the back of the net and for his first treble of the season from the spot once again after referee Amos Wanjala adjudged Mark Ongwae had pushed Harun Shakava in the box.
Substitute Rey Omondi gave the Kawangware based side the consolation after the visitors lost concentration in midfield.
City Stars who are avoiding playing in the second tier next season kicked off on a high note dominating the better part of the first period but it was Odhiambo who got Gor off the blocks when he rattled the woodwork after three minutes of play.
George Abege found the back of the net in the 20th but Wanjala ruled the effort offside after Oscar Mbugua beat Kevin Oluoch to cross in.
The host continued to press with Kevin Ochieng trying with a low shot that Jerim Onyango rescued in the 29th.
Abege could have broken the deadlock after beating Onyango who had come off his line, only for the City Stars forward to miss the target.
Following their late capitulation in the first half City Stars failed to muster a comeback in the second half with Ndumbuisi’s charges finishing with 10 when Nelson Marasowea was sent off with a quarter on hour to go for a second bookable offense.