NAIROBI, Kenya, November 1 – The destination of the 2014 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) will be decided on the final day of the season after champions Gor Mahia and closest challengers Sofapaka won their penultimate round fixtures Saturday to heighten the drama.
Leaders Gor who could have retained the title if their bitter rivals AFC Leopards had done them a favour by beating Batoto Ba Mungu, continued their dominance over Muhoroni Youth with the Ugandan trio of Godfrey Walusimbi, Geoffrey Kizito and Dan Sserunkuma finding the back of the net in a 3-1 stuffing of the hosts at a capacity-filled Moi Stadium in Kisumu.
Enos Ochieng gave Muhoroni brief respite and caused the mammoth Gor support anxious moments when he struck in the 29th minute to equalise before the titleholders came good.
At the Mumias Sports Complex, Harambee Stars forward Enock Agwanda hit a brace to keep Sofapaka’s dream of reclaiming the title they last won in 2009 alive, after the 10-man visitors once again prevailed over the jaded Leopards 2-1.
Nigerian import Austin Ikenna netted wahat proved to be a consolation for Ingwe’s from the spot in the 75th minute.
“We knew we had to get maximum points for us to stay on course as we head to the last game. We did it the boys were organized and entertained us but even though we missed some chances, I’m happy with the win,” Gor head coach Frank Nuttall said post match.
K’Ogalo who made a change from their 3-2 loss to Sofapaka, starting youngster Timothy Otieno for Eric Ochieng, could have opened their account in the 11th through Sserunkuma but his header in an empty net went wide after keeper Allan Owiny had come off his line.
Harun Shakava could have gifted Muhoroni the opener by an own goal when the defender’s back pass beat his keeper Jerim Onyango but he managed to race and clear the ball for a fruitless corner.
Ten minutes later the Cranes forward made ammends by setting countryman Walusimbi in a lightening counter started by George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo to punish the hosts for the opener.
Muhoroni responded immediately through skipper Abass Akinyemi but Onyango denied him, minutes before Sserunkuma failed to double the scores in the 25th when Kizito put him through on goal with only Owiny to beat but the custodian struck out his left foot to deflect the danger.
Onyango had no answer when Ronald Otieno weaved past K’Ogalo’s defence to place a fine pass to Ochieng to beat the Gor keeper for the equaliser at the half-hour mark and quieten the vociferous Green Army.
Stung, Gor pilled pressure as the first-half neared to the end; with Walusimbi missing a guilt edged opportunity for his brace when he went past Owiny but his effort was deflected for a corner as half time beckoned.
The champions got on the score sheet from that play when referee Amos Ichingwa penalized Owiny for delaying in restating the game with Kizito stepping up to curve home the indirect free-kick inside the box from a lay-off to his path.
Nuttall introduced Eric Ochieng for Otieno, with his change bore reward in the 55th when the latter put through Sserunkuma to smash the leather past Owiny for Gor’s third as he extended his lead at the top of the scoring charts at 15.
Elsewhere, Meshack Karani was on target twice as Ushuru FC succumbed to their eighth successive loss after going down 2-0 in the hands of Chemelil Sugar.
Ulinzi Stars picked a point in Bandari in a match that ended to a goalless draw in Mombasa.
Final day drama will see Gor play Ushuru with Sofapaka seemingly having the more difficult task of taking on the might of Tusker FC who play Thika United on Sunday.