NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 27- Arch rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards played out to a 1-1 draw in a highly anticipated Mashemeji Derby match at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
At the end of 90 minutes, nothing could separate the two eternal rivals with Meddie Kagere cancelling out AFC Leopards’ early goal. Samuel Ndung’u’s shot from the left was deflected by Musa Mohammed into his own goal.
Ingwe’s hope of revenging for the twin 3-0 losses suffered at the hands of their rivals this season was not to be, but Robert Matano’s men left the Nyayo Stadium proud of their performance especially against a side that has failed to lose in the last five matches.
This was the first time Dylan Kerr was dropping points in the league since joining the side in July.
An entertaining first 45 minutes of football saw the two teams go to the breather tied at 1-1 and for the neutrals, it was a well deserved result for both of teams..
AFC Leopards, hugely the underdogs heading into the fixture had gotten themselves into the lead after 20 minutes when Gor skipper Musa Mohammed turned the ball into his own net in an attempt to clear away a low hard shot from Samuel Ndung’u.
The winger had found space on the left after being released by Duncan Otieno in midfield and he set himself up with the first touch before shooting low and hard with his second.
Before that, it was the hosts who had the better scoring chances. In the seventh minute, Karim Nizigiyimana’s cross found Kagere inside the box but the Rwandese forward took way too many touches on the ball, moving away from goal in the process.
Kagere had a second bite of the cherry when AFC’s clearance went back to Nizigiyimana, the Burundian floating a cross which Kagere headed wide.
In the 12th minute, Kenneth Muguna who had been deployed just behind the two strikers found space at the edge of the box, curling a shot goalward but it was deflected for a corner.
Immediately after conceding, Gor picked up pace to get back into the game with Philemon Otieno’s shot from distance being easily collected by Gabriel Andika in the 25th minute. Kagere had another goa at goal after being put through by Muguna but his shot went wide.
Ingwe had grown in confidence and were playing with better precision, were more comfortable on the ball and spread out passes better. However, their biggest undoing was timing of their runs with Alexis Kitenge being caught in three offside positions, killing promising moves.
They were undone 10 minutes to half time when Kagere drew the sides level, capitalizing on a slip by Robinson Kamura. The AFC defender slipped as he tried to clear a pass from Muguna and Kagere took the ball, picked his spot and picked his spot to convert calmly.
Immediately after going ahead, Gor had a chance to double their lead, George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo seeing his half volley on the weaker left foot kiss the outside of the upright. Kagere had another chance three minutes to half time, shooting wide from a Muguna pass.
Muguna had a go at goal himself a minute later, his cheeky curling effort from inside the box being tipped over for a corner by Andika.
In the second half, both teams started from where they had left in the first half. In the 57th minute, Kamura curled a freekick over the Gor Mahia wall but Boniface Oluoch made a decent save to turn the ball behind for a corner.
From the resultant set piece, Mudde found the ball unmarked at the far post but he could not beat Oluoch who spread himself well infront of him to block the effort.
Six minutes later, Walusimbi had an effort from a freekick as well, striking a stinging shot from 30 yards out but it could not hit the bull’s eye. Gor had an even better chance in the 71st minute when Kagere’s tap from a Nizigiyimana cross went straight to Andika.
Later on, Tuyisenge broke into the box after picking up a pass from Muguna, but a backtracking Sikhayi made a superb tackle to deny him as he prepared to pull the trigger. On the other end, Musa almost scored into his own net in an effort to clear away a Ndung’u cross, but lucky for him the ball went over.