AT last, Gor Mahia won a ticket to host English Premier League (EPL) giants Everton FC next month, thanks to a 3-0 triumph over AFC Leopards in SportPesa Super Cup finals at Uhuru Stadium I Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Gor Mahia netted their triple goals through Timothy Otieno, Maloba Oliver and John Ndirangu with all goals emerging in the last period.
The game saw Gor Mahia playing with huge energy as they wanted to kill the game early thereby compelling their opponents AFC Leopards to do much defending so as to avoid early damages. As expected, huge battle was seen at the center of the pitch as both teams deployed more men there.
However, Gor Mahia proved to be the side to kill the match tenderly as Timothy Otieno caused a lot of trouble as far as goal mouth action was concerned but failed to make good use of their chances.
As both Kenyan clubs went for their tacticians lecture, the scoreboard remained the same. The last period begun in the reverse order as AFC Leopards started to deploy more men upfront but confidence and good organization by Gor Mahia worked better for them.
Kenneth Muguna got the best chance of the game in 58th minute of the last segment as his set-piece at the edge of Leopards goal was simply denied by the woodwork.
The moment of the game came half-way into the last period when Timothy Otieno’s solo effort in 60th minute went straight into the Leopards net leaving keeper Fredrick Odhiambo with no other option other than letting the ball pass.
The goal transformed the whole rhythm of the match as AFC Leopards wanted to level the solitary lead while at the same time, Gor Mahia played to add the second goal.
Super substitute Maloba Oliver scored the second goal to his name in 76th minute as Gor Mahia fully controlled the contest hence causing Leopard’s come back miserable.
The defense of Leopards was caught sleeping in the dying minutes of the game when another substitute John Ndirangu’s 91st minute pulled one to make it three nil. Speaking after the classic clash, Gor Mahia head coach Zedekiah Otieno said he was happy with the triumph and praised his players for good job well done.
“As you know, our approach in this tournament was to lift the silverware of which we have done. We are heading back home with pride and will start preparations instantly for Everton FC,” Otieno said.
His counterpart for AFC Leopards Marin Dorian said his team got out of the game after conceding the first goal.
“I want to apologize to our fans who travelled all the way from Kenya for this bad result. We will make sure to win the next encounter in the league at home,” he said.
As ultimate winners, Gor Mahia were awarded 30,000 USD whereas the second placed AFC Leopards went home with 10,000 USD.