NAIROBI, August 29 – Gor Mahia inched ever closer to their third successive SportPesa Premier League crown when Ugandan Godfrey Walusimbi buried a brace to sink home team Bandari 2-1 in a pulsating match played at the Mombasa County Stadium on Saturday.
The win leaves unbeaten K’Ogalo requiring six points from their remaining six games to emulate the class of 1985 who were the first lot to defend the national title thrice in a row.
Walusimbi set the tone in the 24th minute with a long range shot but Anthony Kimani levelled in the second-half from the spot before the hero of the day completed his double in the 79th as the most decorated club in the country’s history opened a yawning 18-point lead at the summit on 62.
“The game was very tough and I must congratulate the boys for keeping their cool. I must commend them for being patient because many times, things went against us like the penalty they got it was a foul on us but the end result justified the means. We have won and that what matters.
“We want to seal the title because we have two more games and next will be Ullinzi Stars. If we beat them and win the other, think it will be over,” Gor, assistant coach John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla said after the match.
Bandari head coach, Twahir Muhiddin, blasted his keeper, Wilson Obungu, for leaking the two goals adding it was high time the former Harambee Stars shot-stopper considered hanging his gloves.
“We had an equal chance to win the game and from the two opportunities we created. We could have finished it off but with these two goals, we have to go back to the drawing board because it was school boy mistakes.
“Obungu has been down in the last five matches and I think it’s time for him to pave way for others. I think he is tired and it’s time for others to take over for the remaining matches.
“We still have five matches to go and our target is to win three and finish in the top five,” disappointed Muhiddin charged.
With their talisman, Michael Olunga away in South Africa for trials at Soccer Premier League side Bidvest Wits, K’Ogalo head coach, Frank Nuttall started with Enock Agwanda who came close twice in the first-half.
The opening 20 minutes were fairly even until Walusimbi separated the two sides when he found the back of the net four minutes later from a long range shot that bounced past Bandari keeper, Obungu who was returning from a five yellow card suspension.
The goal sparked celebrations from the Green Army who travelled to the coastal city in their droves to rally their team that has been in brilliant form this season, going 24 matches unbeaten.
The Dockers had Victor Ndinya, former Gor winger Shaban Kenga and George Abege spearheading their raids but all their attempts ended in vain before Obungu stopped Agwanda’s ferocious shot at the half-hour mark.
Abege nearly equalised in the 39th after he was set up by Kenga inside the box but the former Nairobi City Stars forward could not keep his shot down with only Gor custodian, Boniface Oluoch to beat.
The hosts returned a more determined side and could have restored parity three minutes into the second-half through Ndinya but Oluoch did well to come off his line to clear the danger with his right foot.
Hard working Bandari finally found the equaliser in the 62nd when centre back Harun Shakava handled the ball in the box to gift the dockers a penalty that was calmly converted by Kimani who sent Oluoch on the wrong way for his fourth of the season.
Muhiddin pulled out David King’atua for Duncan Otewa but even before the midfielder could settle, Walusimbi doubled the lead after taping home Agwanda’s cut back to send the stadium into frenzy.
Towards the final whistle, Abuoba Sibomana could have scored his debut K’Ogalo goal but the Rwandese blazed over an empty net after Obungu spilled Meddie Kagere’s shot in a shaky display between the posts.
In other results, Muhoroni Youth were 1-0 winners over KCB while basement side Nakuru All Stars lost 2-1 to visiting Thika United.