Gor Mahia humiliate dull Leopards at Kasarani
- What began as a dull encounter exploded into a second half filled with moments of blissful exhibition football as Gor Mahia FC ripped the form book to crush their eternal rivals AFC Leopards 4-1 at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.
- Gmien Yikpe scored a spectacular double to kickstart a remarkable goal-fest and spark the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions who thus ended a testing run that included exit from continental football.
What began as a dull encounter exploded into a second half filled with moments of blissful exhibition football as Gor Mahia FC ripped the form book to crush their eternal rivals AFC Leopards 4-1 at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.
Gmien Yikpe scored a spectacular double to kickstart a remarkable goal-fest and spark the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions who thus ended a testing run that included exit from continental football.
Gor had been knocked out by DC Motema Pembe in the CAF Confederation Cup and their unbeaten KPL streak ended by Mathare United all in the space of a week. There were reports the players were beginning a go-slow over delayed pay.
But none of that transcended on the pitch against Leopards on a day Yikpe truly announced himself to the K’Ogalo faithful with easily his best performance in the famous green jersey.
Tresor Ndilkumana scored a belter for Leopards’ consolation sandwiched between brilliant strikes from Clifton Miheso and Lawrence Juma who capped off a solid performance with a goal from a team move that completely bamboozled Leopards.
After a goalless opening 45 minutes, Gor produced a storming start to the second half, creating three chances in quick succession with Yikpe squandering a pair and Francis Afriyie also unable to put away the other.
Gor finally broke the deadlock ten minutes after the restart when Yikpe powered home a thunderous header from Kenneth Muguna’s delivery from a corner.
Isaac Kipyegon delivered a dangerous free-kick into a crowded box but Mapigano showed excellent judgement to get off his lines and get a strong hand on it to push it out for a fruitless throw in.
Yikpe produced another excellent finish moments later after getting on the end of a move he had orchestrated himself with some impressive hold up play.
The Ghanaian dragged three men into attacking him and he held them off before laying the ball off into the path of Miheso and then peeled away into the middle. Miheso read that run and cut it back for his teammate who took one touch to control and the other to smash beyond Ochan and into the back of the of net.
It completed a spectacular 10-minute brace for the player who risked a second yellow for a prolonged celebration in the stands and had to led off back into the pitch by captain Muguna.
Play was halted momentarily after the Leopards faithful began plucking their seats and hurling them into the technical area in apparent protest of a penalty decision that went against them.
Whyvonne Isuza had been tackled by Bernard Ondiek but the referee adjudged he had gone down too easily and instead awarded a corner.
Leopards’ frustrations only heightened straight off a counter with Miheso burying a banger into the bottom of the net from outside the box after receiving a beautiful pass from Muguna.
Yikpe was at the heart of it again, threading a pass into space for Muguna to run into and the midfielder checked his run to beat Cylde Senaji and then found Miheso at the edge of the left channel. The winger set himself up and drove a rocket of a finish into the back of the net.
Yikpe was forced out injured after landing awkwardly and replaced by Nicholas Kipkirui just moments after Boniface Omondi had replaced Afriyie.
Leopards pulled one back with six minutes left on the clock when Tresor Ndikumana sent a left-footed drive from 25 yards out into the back of the net.
There was still time for Gor to add a fourth after a fast passing move that lasted over two minutes unlocked the visiting defence and left Juma one one on with the goalkeeper. The attacker made no mistae, cushioning a simple finish to add the icing on Gor’s cake.
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