Football Football

Kagere double helps Gor reclaim Top 8

Gor Mahia Striker Meddie Kagere celebrates after scoring in a past SPL match. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya.
Gor Mahia Striker Meddie Kagere celebrates after scoring in a past SPL match. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya.

NAIROBI, November 7 – ‘Unbwogable’ SportPesa Premier League champions, Gor Mahia reclaimed the KPL Top 8 title after labouring to a 2-1 extra-time victory over composed Sony Sugar in a pulsating final at Moi’s Kisumu Stadium on Saturday.

Ugandan born former Rwandan international Meddie Kagere was the hero of the day scoring a double to enable high flying K’Ogalo clinch their third domestic title of the season to add on to the league and DSTV Super Cup crowns.

The unbeaten champions found themselves trailing after seven minutes when Andrew Ssekayombia was on target forcing Gor to wait late in the 77th to restore parity when Kagere nodded home from Ali Abondo’s set-piece.

Kagere sealed the win in extra-time when he slotted from the spot in the 114th after Eugine Ochieng handled the ball in the box.

K’Ogalo showed early intentions and within six minutes Sony keeper, Allan Owiniy was made to work extra hard to save two quick efforts that gave him confidence to maintain a clean sheet in the first-half.

Owiny first denied Kagere from close range before he did well to parry away Collins Okoth’s  volley after the unmarked Gor midfielder found space inside the box.

A minute later, Ssekayombia silenced the Green Army with a beautiful bicycle-kick after K’Ogalo centre half Haron Shakava miscued Justine Monda cross from the left to open the scoring.

The goal inspired Gor to push forward and they nearly found a reprieve when Michael Olunga picked a Godfrey Walusimbi pass to turn with his favourite left foot but Owiny was called to action to rescue his team in the 17th.

Seven minutes to the break, Walusimbi who was elevated to the starting line up for George ‘BlackBerry’ Odhiambo, fed Olunga with a defence splitting pass but the Harambee Stars lethal striker failed to rise to the occasion when he blasted over with only Owiny to beat.

Gor head coach Frank Nuttall pulled out Okoth for Enock Agwanda on resumption with the latter’s first touch forcing Owiny to stretch and rescue the former Sofapaka forward long throw before the keeper stopped Olunga’s header.

Sony tactician Salim Babu brought on Victor Oyugi for Amos Kasembeka in the 60th but that could not stop the three-peat Kenyan Premier League champions from levelling when Kagere finally got past Owiny.

It all started when Agwanda was fouled at the edge of the box by Hamidu Kwizera for Ali Abondo to curl the ball over the wall and find Kagere who nodded home the equaliser to send the encounter to extra time.

Owiny continued with his fantastic saves when first half of the extra time got underway, this time with a diving save to rescue Shakava’s sneaking header from Abondo’s corner to go on and hold K’Ogalo.

Gor had an opportunity to take the lead on resumption when Sony conceded an indirect free-kick at the edge of the box but Olunga lofted the ball over to squander the chance.

Olunga made the amends three minutes later when Ochieng handled his effort in the box to see center referee award them the penalty.

Kagere stepped up for the challenge to calmly convert the spot-kick that sent Owiny on the wrong direction for the lead that they held on to avoid shoot-outs.

The win saw Gor lift their second trophy in a space of one week to end a three year Top 8 Cup drought.