NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – Champions Gor Mahia signed off their final match of the first leg in style after beating struggling Sofapaka 2-0 in a mid-week SportPesa Premier League match played at Kisumu’s Moi Stadium on Wednesday.
The win saw K’Ogalo, who collected their sixth successive win go top of the log for the first time this season after their eternal rivals AFC Leopards did them a favour after holding leaders Tusker FC to a 2-2 draw in Machakos.
Uganda Cranes midfielder Khalid Aucho and defender Musa Mohammed were on target in the first half to see the three-peat champions finish the opening leg on 29 points ahead of the month long break.
On the other hand, the result compounded relegation woes on 2009 champions Sofapaka, who have gone five matches without a win to languish at the bottom of the standings on seven points.
Entering the clash, Gor head coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira maintained the winning squad that blew apart Mathare United 2-0 while Batoto Ba Mungu missed the services of Fred Kentille and Josephat Oyugi who are out injured.
The champions made their intentions known early when Aucho nodded home the opener six minutes after kick-off from his rebound that had dazzled the Sofapaka defence.
The goal motivated Gor to surge forward and they could have doubled the lead in the 20th minute, but Jaswel Njuguna cleared the danger off the line from Karim Nizigiyimana’s delivery.
Sofapaka responded with their first shot on target through Ken Maritim’s thunderbolt, only to see the effort thwarted by Gor custodian Boniface Oluoch, who was alert to parry over.
At the half hour mark, Aucho had a chance to notch his brace but wasted the glorious opportunity when he feebly shot wide after Godfrey Walusimbi had danced past three defenders to set him up.
Ferreira made his first substitution, withdrawing Nizigiyimana for Luke Ochieng and it didn’t take long before his charges found the second when captain Musa Mohammed led by example to side foot home from a short corner taken by Walusimbi and Innocent Wafula.
Batoto Ba Mungu strived hard to pull a second half comeback but that only remained to be a dream despite Collins Omondi rattling the cross bar before Wycliffe Opondo threatened with a long range screamer that Oluoch saved.
The league will take a month long break, paving way for the June transfer window before the start of the second leg.