MACHAKOS, Kenya, May 15 – Leaders Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards on Wednesday evening warmed up for Sunday’s Mashemeji Derby with losses, both picking up identical 1-0 losses at the hands of Nzoia Sugar and KCB.
Gor Mahia would have gone one point closer to lifting the league title with victory against Nzoia, but ended up losing by a solitary goal scored by Hansel Ochieng in the 34th minute at the Mumias Complex.
In Machakos, Kennedy Owino’s 37th minute goal was enough to hand KCB victory over AFC. A fun fact is that there were only three minutes between AFC and Gor conceding.
Both sides had rested most of their key players in anticipation for a hotly contested derby with AFC’s Soter Kayumba and David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng who were on four yellow cards starting on the bench while Whyvonne Isuza and Paul Were, both recently called up to Kenya’s African Cup of Nations squad missed the game.
For Gor, the likes of Jacques Tuyisenge, Harun Shakava, Samuel Onyango, Ernest Wendo and Joash Onyango were all rested for the tie.
In Machakos, AFC were completely outdone by a hard working KCB who were gifted for their industry, Owino hitting the target at the near post.
The winger had been sent through with a beauty of a long pass from former AFC defender Mike Kibwage. Owino raced into the box and tried to cut back for Chrispinus Onyango rushing into the box, but the ball was cut out by Christopher Oruchum.
As if by luck, the ball fell straight back to Owino’s feet and he calmly slotted the ball home from a tight angle.
Before that, AFC had struggled to create chances and the closest they came was via a Robinson Kamura ninth minute freekick which was smothered behind for a corner by KCB keeper Joseph Okoth.
On the half hour mark, AFC had another chance when Mukangula swung in a decent volley from the edge of the box after being set up by Boniface Mukhekhe but it was deflected for a corner.
In the second half, Mbungo made changes for AFC, Aziz Okaka and Mukangula who had struggled to make their presence felt in the game subbed out for Wayeka Tatuwe and Vincent Oburu.
But, that didn’t do much to change the color of the game as KCB defended well to ensure they guarded their single goal lead with a lot of jealousy.
AFC had two late chances, Oruchum’s thumping header from a Mukhekhe corner rattling the cross bar while off another setpiece, Wayeka bounced his header just wide.