Gor Mahia FC- the most decorated club in the country’s football history were finally crowned the 2017 SportPesa Kenyan Premier League (SPL) title on Saturday in Kisumu as the season came to a close.
The champions played to a two all draw with Sony Sugar before being awarded the title.
It was the 16th Kenyan Premier League title for K’Ogalo and the fourth in five years making them the most successful and dominant club so far this season.
In front of a huge crowd, captain Musa Mohammed was handed the title by Kisumu governor Peter Anyang’ Nyon’go setting the stage for celebrations across the town by the green army.
The champions finished the season with 74 points from 34 games, a massive 19 points ahead of their closest rivals Sofapaka.
Gor had already been declared champions with four games to spare and all they were waiting for is the crowning moment.
And it was a colourful moment for the players indeed, some of them winning the title for the first time while others like Musa Mohammed enjoying their fourth success in the league.
Gor legends, Peter Dawo, the top scorer when the club won the league, domestic cup and CAF Cup Winners Cup in 1987, Peter ‘Bassanga’ Otieno and Tobias Ocholla, were in attendance.
Shortly before kick-off, Gor skipper, Mohammed, read a moving message to the fans as the club’s famous anthem bellowed out from the stands.
“We would like to say a big thank you for your support. To our families, we can’t thank you enough. To Gor Mahia management, thank you. To Kisumu County, you have been our home this season, asanteni (thank you).
“To our sponsor, SportPesa, continue believing in us. To all clubs in the league, you have been great sportsmen. Thank you. To the players, you have made me proud as a captain, and you have made the fans happy.
“Thank you. Now let’s enjoy the game, thank you,” the defender who is the longest-serving player at the club said.
A Meddie Kagere first half brace put the champions 2-1 in front after George Abege opened the scoring for Sony before second half substitute, Yema Marwa restored parity in an evenly fought contest.
Abege put Sony ahead in the 24th with a crisp finish as silence descended on Kisumu Stadium.
This roused the champions who turned around the match with a quick-fire Kagere double the first coming in the 29th when he flicked a George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo lay off after the winger tore through the left past Omondi.
In the 36th, Kagere headed in the second with a first-half stoppage.
Against the run of play in the 70th, Sony were level through Mwana Yama who had hardly been on the pitch for three minutes.
The rest of the game was closely fought until the final whistle. That marked the start of the party that went long into the night as emotional scenes gripped Kisumu Stadium.
GOR MAHIA: 1. Fredrick Odhiambo; 4. Wellington Ochieng; 2. Godfrey Walusimbi; 5. Musa Mohammed; 18. Harun Shakava; 20. Ernest Wendo; 8. Francis Kahata; 25. George Odhiambo; 9. Jacques Tuyisenge; 22. Meddie Kagere; 11 Boniface Omondi
SUBS: 29. Boniface Oluoch; 14. Innocent Wafula; 7. Jean Baptiste; 30. Philemon Omondi; 27. Anthony Ndungu; 21. John Ndirangu; 17. Timothy Otieno
SONY SUGAR: 35. Kevin Omondi; 6. Bernard Omondi; 27. Dennis Oduor; 26. Alfred Onyango; 23. Kevin Oluoch; 4. Abdallah Hamisi; 9. Amos Asembeka; 10. Benjamin Mosha; 24. George Ndege; 12. David Simiyu; 15. Justin Monda
SUBS: 1. Kevin Otieno; 5. Tobias Otieno; 16. Nicholas Aloko; 3. Samuel Olare; 17. Joseph Omweri; 2. Marwa Chamberi; 14. Mwana Yema