Football Football

Mighty Gor slay Simba to retain Super Cup

Gor Mahia players celebrate after winning the SportPesa Super Cup with a 2-0 result over Tanzania’s Simba in the final at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on June 10, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAKURU, Kenya, Jun 10- Hacked and battered by the entire Simba defense in the first half Rwandese forward Jacques Tuyisenge put the icing on the cake as Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia beat their Tanzanian counterparts Simba SC 2-0 at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on Sunday to retain their Sportpesa Super Cup title.

Tuyisenge added on to compatriot Meddie Kagere’s first half goal as the record Kenyan champions made a statement as one of the best in the region with an assured display clinching the trophy with a flawless run after keeping a clean sheet in all their three matches.

With the win, Gor not only earn their second consecutive title and a trophy but a chance to travel to Goodison Park in England to face English Premier League side Everton FC in a friendly match next month.

Spurred on by a full to capacity Afraha Stadium roaring in deafening decibels, Gor Mahia couldn’t have asked for better push to win their second consecutive Super Cup.

And they repaid the loyal fan-base with a goal just six minutes into the match when Kagere’s venomous strike from inside the box after controlling a Francis Kahata cross slipped through keeper Aishi Manula’s fingers and into the net.

Gor, just as has been their norm controlled the game from the first whistle, the midfield base of Ernest Wendo and Humphrey Mieno giving the team the much stability it required.

Simba’s first chance of the game fell on Rashid Juma in the 11th minute, the pint-sized winger trying his luck from distance but the effort went high.

Gor Mahia’s Godfrey Walusimbi tracks down Simba SC’s Rashid Juma during the SportPesa Super Cup final at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on June 10, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Juma once again asked questions for Simba in the 28th minute when he took on a run on the right before sighting some shooting space, sending in a low strike that was well handled by keeper Shabaan Odhoji.

Gor continued to dominate the game with Simba doing all they can to tame the rhythm. The game became charged moment after moment, indicating the high octane nature of the tie.

There was push and shove in the 35th minute when skipper Harun Shakava went in to charge at the Simba backline after Erasto Nyoni had strongly charged on Jacques Tuyisenge from the back, the Rwandese forward needing a stretcher to carry him off the pitch.

From the resultant freekick, George Odhiambo’s effort went straight to Manula and the keeper almost made an error spilling the ball on the face of a rushing Kagere, but he managed to bounce back and pick the ball.

Gor should have gone to the break two up when Godfrey Walusimbi picked out Kahata’s intelligent run into the box but the midfielder’s shot under pressure from Nyoni went inches wide wit keeper Manula well beaten.

Gor Mahia’s Godfrey Walusimbi is challenged by Simba SC’s Erasto Nyoni during the SportPesa Super Cup final at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on June 10, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

In the second half, Gor kept the pressure and were rewarded 10 minutes in when an unmarked Tuyisenge slid in to connect a cross from Mieno which found the Simba backline napping, Manula in goal left in no man’s land.

Simba then made changes as they sought to go all out attack, Juma coming off for Marcel Kaheza while defender Mlipili Yusuf came on for Hussein Mohammed.

Despite the attacking changes, Gor didn’t fluff their pre-match game plan and Tuyisenge almost caught Manula off with a cross from the right which was headed goalward but the ball rolled off the crossbar.

Coach Dylan Kerr then made a tactical change, midfielder Humphrey Mieno coming off for Innocent Wafula. The change meant Philemon Otieno went into midfield while Wafula slotted straight at right back.