Gor Mahia
Gor Mahia players celebrate after going 1-0 up in their game against Vihiga United. Gor drew 1-1 but results elsewhere mean they were crowned KPL champions regardless of the outcome of the game.

Kenyan giants Gor Mahia were crowned champions of the Kenyan Premier League for the 18th time after Bandari failed to win against Mathare United on May 22.

This is also K’Ogalo’s third in a row after having emerged champions over the past two seasons. The club will now get to keep the cup.

K’Ogalo, who bottled their chance to win the league last week when they lost to Bungoma-based Nzoia United, were playing their match against relegation-threatened Vihiga United when results elsewhere secured them their third league title on the bounce.

Against Vihiga United, the 2018/19 Sporpesa Premier League champions managed a 1-1 draw.

Gor took to the pitch energised and in the first few minutes, they put pressure on relegation-threatened Vihiga with multiple successive attacks.

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The attacks finally paid off in the 14th minute when defender Charles Momanyi headed home an in-swinging free kick to put K’Ogalo ahead.

Gor did not sit back after the goal but rather continued with their numerous attacks as strikers Jack Tuyisenge and Nicholas Kipkirui missed chances.

Vihiga United, who are fighting to avoid relegation, relentlessly fought for the equaliser.

In the second half, Vihiga finally got their equaliser through skipper Amos Kigadi. The striker rose high above Gor defenders to net home from a free kick in near similar fashion as Momanyi had done for Gor.

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Vihiga went on to dominate a significant part of the second half and even threatened to score again. The club needed nothing but a win to save themselves from being dropped to the National Super League.

Despite their efforts, Vihiga United had to settle for a point, failing to climb above Zoo Kericho on the KPL table. It is not however over for Vihiga United as they have two matches to redeem themselves.

Speaking after the match, Gor Mahia Turkish-Cypriot tactician Hassan Oktay said that he is happy for winning the league but gave Vihiga United credit for giving his team competition.

“I said this before the match, I would rather play a [team in] 2nd or 3rd position than play against a side that is battling for relegation,” the tactician noted.

He added that his plans are now to prepare for the CAF Champions League and hope that this time they will represent the country well.

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Kevin Namunwa is a senior reporter for Business Today. Email at [email protected]

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