By forcing Gore Mahia to a one all draw, AFC Leopards have all reasons to be happy with the result.
That cannot be said about Gor Mahia who despite maintaining a six point lead at the top of the Kenyan Premier League, beating their traditional arch rivals in the Mashemeji Derby on Sunday would have offered a psychological boost as they chase their fourth title in five years.
Sofapaka, their closest rivals had fought to hold Posta Rangers on Saturday, and the 15 time champions knew a win would extend their lead to eight points.
Gor Mahia had scored eight goals without conceding against AFC Leopards in the last three meetings- including the 3-0 win in Tanzania in June during the Sportpesa Supercup.
But this was a different AFC Leopards they were meeting at Nyayo on Sunday. Ingwe played with hunger and pushed their rivals for most of the first half and deservedly were ahead, though it was from an own goal by Gor Mahia captain Musa Mohammed.
Meddie Kagere was to equalise for Gor Mahia and though they were to dominate the second half, the game ended on a one all draw. This was Kagere’s third consecutive goal in as many league matches against AFC Leopards.
Leopards coach Robert Matano will draw several positives in the game against Gor Mahia. Samuel Ndung’u was a gem in the midfield while Dennis Shikayi was also impressive in the defence.
This was Gor Mahia’s first draw under coach Dylan Kerr who has now guided them for six games since taking over from Brazillian Jose Marcello Ferreira “Ze Maria”.
“I am not happy with the way we played. We gave them (AFC Leopards) so much space in the first half,” Kerr said.
“We will review the game, our weaknesses and focus on our next month,” Kerr added.
Sofapaka and Posta Rangers played to a one all draw, the first time Sofapaka were dropping points in five league games. They remain second with 38 points, six behind Gor Mahia.
The biggest winners of the weekend were Zoo Kericho who hammered Western Stima 4-1 to send the electric boys back to the bottom of the table.
Defending champions Tusker’s slump continued as they were held to a one all draw by Kakamega Homeboyz just three days after they had been felled 1-0 by AFC Leopards.
Mathare United and Bandari played to a 2-2 draw in Mombasa while Sony Sugar and Kariobangi Sharks fired blanks in Awendo to share the spoils in the barren draw.
The league takes a break next weekend.
Sofapaka 1 Posta Rangers 1
Gor Mahia FC 1 AFC Leopards 1
Zoo Kericho FC 4 Western Stima 1
Kakamega Homeboyz 1 Tusker FC 1
SoNy Sugar 0 Kariobangi Sharks 0
Bandari FC 2 Mathare United 2