NAIROBI, Kenya, March 22 – Champions Gor Mahia maintained their perfect start to the 2015 Kenyan Premier League season by swatting visiting Chemelil Sugar 3-1 at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.
In the second of the live televised double header on SuperSport at the same venue, midfielder Khalid Aucho opened his account for Gor when he put them ahead in the 41st minute with a brilliant right footed swinger from outside the box before Ali Abondo doubled the lead after the restart to continue his roaring start to the campaign.
Meshack Karani pulled one back after tapping into an empty net from a Dennis Onkangi back heel in the 86th but it took only two minutes for K’Ogalo to seal the win through Rwandan Meddie Kagere who made it two from two after scoring midweek against Bandari.
The early televised first fixture at the same venue saw Francis Kimanzi side Tusker FC stunned by Ushuru FC 1-0 to leave the perennial title contenders winless thus far as old boy Robert Omunuk return to haunt his former side with a fifth minute winner.
At Nairobi’s Ruaraka Sports Ground, GOtv Shield champions, Sofapaka were held to a 2-2 draw by Bandari.
Former Nairobi City Stars forward George Abege opened the scoring for the Dockers in the fourth minute before veteran John Baraza drew them level on 22.
Enock Agwanda put Batoto Ba Mungu ahead but Abege was at it again when he beat Sofapaka keeper Wilson Obungu in the 27th to share the spoils.
Elsewhere, John Makwata scored from the spot in the 20th as Ulinzi Stars beat visiting Western Stima 1-0 at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium to pick their first win.
-Three on the bounce-
Gor opened an early five point lead over Sony Sugar who have a game on hand and head coach Frank Nuttall believes his charges will continue with the tempo as their dream start to their title-treble chasing season continued apace.
“We played very well after a tough game against Bandari. The team gave 100 percent they were motivated and are buying what we are trying to do. I’m pleased with Aucho’s performance; we have been encouraging him to strike from long range as he does in training and he did us proud,” Nuttall declared.
His opposite number Mike Mururi slammed his defence for the loss, “We conceded because of a disorganized defence who gave Gor a lot of space.
“We lacked match fitness compared to Gor who have been playing all through but I have 48 hours to work on my finishing before we face Mathare United,” Mururi, the reigning Coach of the Year underscored.
The hosts, who maintained their winning squad against Bandari, could have opened the scoring in the second minute when the Sugar Millers conceded a corner that was brought in by Abondo but both Olunga and Kagere missed the ball that rolled harmlessly off the field of play.
There was a scare for Chemelil in the 12th when their shot-stopper Fredrick Onyango came out of his line to try and prevent Olunga from racing into the box but he missed the ball before fouling the former Tusker forward.
Abouba Sibomana took the resultant free-kick that forced Onyango to stretch and tip over the bar for a fruitless corner.
Mururi charges composed themselves to settle in the match but Stephen Wakanya wasted two chances in the 25th to shock the champions.
Wakanya could have sent the visitors ahead in the 36th when he received a pass from the midfield and did well to beat two defenders but dallied on the ball allowing Gor keeper Boniface Oluoch to beat him to it as Harun Shakava recovered to clear the danger.
With four minutes to the interval, Kagere won a free-kick that was curved in by Sibomana before Aucho collected the miscued clearance to exchange passes with Olunga before the former Tusker FC man powered in a cracker for the opener.
Onyango was forced to make a finger tip save from a Sibomana free kick when the game resumed before Gor doubled the lead a minute later when Olunga’s shot was blocked only for the rebound to fall on Abondo who smashed home a deflected shot for the second.
In the 67th, Aucho missed a chance to notch a brace after Olunga found him in the box but his header went wide.
With four minutes to the final whistle, Chemelil pulled one back when Onkangi back heeled Collins Kisuya’s corner to find Karani who taped into an empty net after Oluoch had come off his line.
Chemeil’s hopes of staging a comeback were crashed when Kagere scored his second goal and Gor’s third after Godfrey Walusimbi played a one-two with Olunga before the former made a run into the box.
He was disposed by Kisuya with a sliding tackle only for the ball to find Kagere who made no mistake.
–No win for Kimanzi–
In the early kick-off, Tusker who was looking to bounce back from their 1-1 stalemate at Thika in their opener fell behind in early when their former forward Omunuk finished past advancing keeper Farouk Shikhalo.
The Brewers took control of the match after conceding but were frustrated by the taxmen who opted to sit back and try to get Tusker on the break.
Kimanzi charges had a number of chances with Andrew Tololwa heading Dennis Ng’ang’a’s cross wide while James Situma saw his free-kick blocked by Ushuru defense.
Former Tusker custodian and skipper, Samuel Odhiambo was on top form to deny his previous side twice before the interval when he parried Nga’ng’a’s shot for a fruitless corner.
Odhiambo did well once again to ensure they don’t concede a goal, this time stopping Ismail Dunga’s effort on the stroke of half time, as Tusker trailed at the break.
Tusker made an attacking change after the break, introducing Ghanaian striker Stephen Owusu for Ng’ang’a as they pushed for an equaliser.
Ushuru responded by solidifying the defence, when head coach Ken Kenyatta pulled off foward Nelson Simwa for former AFC Leopards defender, Eric Masika as they looked to contain Tusker attackers.
The Brewers made further changes withdrawing Andrew Tololwa for Kevin Kimani, Ishmail Dunga was as well rested for 2013 KPL midfielder of the year, Brian Osumba as they looked to get back into the game with Ushuru employing defensive tactics to frustrate them.
Kimani and Brian Osumba brought the much needed urgency in the match piling pressure on the taxmen but were unable to break through Ushuru’s compact backline who held on to collect maximum points and win their first match of the season.