NAIROBI, April 8 – Rwandan import Meddie Kagere struck twice as champions Gor Mahia warmed-up for Sunday’s derby with an emphatic 3-1 win on Thursday at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium to deliver a strong message of intent to their archrivals.
Elsewhere, Muhoroni Youth piled pressure on rapidly fading GOtv Shield champions Sofapaka by forcing them to a 1-1 draw to leave last season’s Kenya Premier League (KPL) runners-up winless in four successive matches.
Kagere gave K’Ogalo the lead 60 seconds after kick-off from Ali Abondo’s pass before grabbing his first brace for his new side in the 40th after Michael Olunga sent him through.
Victor Majid pulled one back in the 52nd but Innocent Wafula sealed the points three minutes later.
Gor shot back to the KPL summit on 12 points same as Western Stima who have an inferior goal difference with champions having two games in hand ahead of Sunday’s clash against their archrivals who were forced to a 1-1 draw last weekend at their Mumias backyard.
K’Ogalo returned to continue their title defence after elimination from the CAF Champions League in the first round by Congo’s AC Brazaville.
Head coach Frank Nuttall was forced into a change in the defence after Liberian centre back, Dikir Glay was ruled ineligible to feature in KPL until he obtains a work permit.
The first period belonged to the hosts who took control with Kagere destroying the Bankers with their keeper Zachary Onyango denying Olunga and Ronald Omino as Gor threatened to run riot.
Majid brought KCB back in the game when he found the back of the net from a long range free-kick after Benjamin Chaka was hacked down by Omino.
The celebrations did not last long as Wafula celebrated his first goal for the champions since joining the club from Chemelil Sugar when he latched on Kagere’s rebound that rattled the woodwork.
Nuttall could then rest Omino, Olunga and Abondo for Ernest Wendo, Timothy Otieno and George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo to contain KCB’s midfield while on the other end the Bankers introduced forwards Tirus Omondi, Ronald Musana and John Macharia for Chris Onyango, Chaka and Joshua Oyoo for no chance in the result.
-Off the pace-
In Muhoroni, skipper Abbas Akinyemi sent the hosts ahead in the 25th from the spot after Abdoul Yourou handled in the box.
Collins Shivachi restored parity for Batoto Ba Mungu in the 75th from a well curved set piece at the edge of the box.
Sofapaka have won once, drawn three and lost once to leave them off the pace early on.