Gor put title in sight as Kipkirui sinks Leopards


Nicholas Kipkurui (L) celebrates scoring against AFC Leopards SC during their Kenyan Premier League match ...
Nicholas Kipkurui (L) celebrates scoring against AFC Leopards SC during their Kenyan Premier League match dubbed Mashemeji Derby held at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on May 19, 2019. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Gor Mahia FC inched closer to clinching a record-stretching 18th Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title after defeating derby rivals AFC Leopards 3-1 at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday
  • Nicholas Kipkirui netted a brace and set up Jacques Tuyisenge for the third before Vincent Oburu scored a late consolation for Leopards who were duly punished for an error-strewn defensive performance

Gor Mahia FC inched closer to clinching a record-stretching 18th Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title after defeating derby rivals AFC Leopards 3-1 at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.

Nicholas Kipkirui netted a brace and set up Jacques Tuyisenge for the third before Vincent Oburu scored a late consolation for Leopards who were duly punished for an error-strewn defensive performance.

Gor need just one point from the remaining three matches to be crowned champions for a third successive season yet the title race might be sealed should Bandari FC fail to win against Mathare United on Wednesday.

After Bandari put on a mighty performance earlier to thrash Zoo Kericho FC 3-0 and narrow Gor’s lead to five points, Gor knew they needed to diminish their challengers’ lingering hopes and needed just 23 minutes to find the breakthrough at Leopards.

The hosts had made a promising start and looked the likelier to open the scoring but they were simply not incisive enough before Kipkirui punished them after goalkeeper Ezekiel Owade had pushed a shot back into play.

Owade will feel his defenders should have done more by providing extra cover after he had prevented Samuel Onyango’s shot but Kipkirui reacted quicker than his markers in blue.

Tuyisenge missed two chances in succession before Brian Marita forced a smart stop from Fredrick Odhiambo after some impressive piece of individual play.

Gor threw a spanner on any plans Leopards had made during the break after Kipkirui smashed a first-time finish into the back of Owade’s net after Kenneth Muguna had put him through with a brilliant pass to cut open the home defence.

Coach Hassan Oktay’s men profited from some comical confusion to put the game beyond Leopards’ reach with Tuyisenge scoring perhaps his simplest goal this season.

Leopards’ players virtually stopped playing after assuming Muguna’s pass had rolled out of play but the referee adjudged Kipkirui had prevented it from going out of play and allowed him to continue his attack.

Kipkirui casually lobbed Owade who tipped the effort onto the bar but it fell back for Tuyisenge to head home from inches out.

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