ANAIROBI, April 19 – Champions Gor Mahia maintained their unbeaten run despite being held a home to a goalless draw with GOtv Shield holders Sofapaka in a tense Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match at Nairobi City Stadium on Sunday.
In Kisumu, Francis Kimanzi breathed a sigh of relief after snapping a three-match winless run as Tusker blanked hosts Western Stima.
At Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium, Ulinzi Stars beat basement side Nakuru All Stars 3-1 to climb up to second on 16 points, one off Gor who have a match in hand.
The stalemate at City Stadium saw last season runners-up Sofapaka cut Gor’s lead to four points in an ill-tempered encounter that was halted for seven minutes by centre referee Rafael Nduati after Burundian Fiston Abdul Razak was hit by an object from the crowd.
His decision to book K’Ogalo center-back Dikir Glay and Razak who were involved in a scuffle in 74th minute inflamed the situation but the situation was contained as play resumed.
Both coaches condemned the incident and urged fans to exercise peace and decorum in all their matches.
“The game was okay players responded well except some decisions were not correctly made. Probably if they could have been made early the game, it could have been much smoother.
“The officials should have asked for security which I didn’t see and when one of the linesmen is being stoned then his decisions is questionable. I’m very disappointed with the fans because whenever we play Gor, there has to be chaos and instead of us learning football we are going back with tears,” Sofapaka head coach Sam Timbe decried after the match.
“On the balance of chances we deserved to win but we drew we can’t complain. It’s a marathon we will work harder in the coming games. The fans need to control themselves better, what happened in the field stays in the field and the boys settled it on the pitch.
“I will concentrate on the positives because we kept a clean sheet and all other 15 teams would want to be in our place so we can’t complain,” Gor assistant coach Frank Ouna declared after head coach Frank Nuttall declined to address the press after the match.
The first-half belonged to K’Ogalo who created numerous chances that could have seen them lead by three goals at the breather with the combination of Rwandan Meddie Kagere and Michael Olunga tormenting Batoto Ba Mungu’s defence.
Olunga threatened in the second minute with his left foot shot that rattled the cross bar before squandering a glorious chance from Ali Abondo through pass to allow Sofapaka keeper, David Okello easily pick the ball.
Kagere then missed the target after Olunga put him through while on the other end Sofapaka’s only chance came at the half hour mark when former Gor creative midfielder, Kevin Omondi fed Enock Agwanda but Glay rescued the host with a cleaver tackle on the latter.
On the stroke of half-time, Okello made a brilliant dive save to deny Innocent Wafula’s right shot in a one-on-one situation.
The last half was more tensed with both sides resulting to play hard but still neither Olunga nor Kagere’s effort could change the difference for the champions not even Sofapaka’s Ekaliani Ndolo cracker that was stopped by K’Ogalo keeper, Boniface Oluoch.
In other results, Jackson Macharia was on target as Thika United edged out Chemelil Sugar 1-0 while Mathare United and Sony Sugar settled for a 1-1 draw.