Coach Ze Maria’s charges secured this win, their 6th in a row, in the first half – both Khalid Aucho and Musa Mohammed opening their season accounts in the 5th and 35th minutes respectively to propel the defending champions to the summit with the league heading to the mid-season break. They were here at this time last season and this is more of a familiar territory.
Aucho was presented with an early opportunity but could not beat the Sofapaka defense with his distance volley. However the clearance was not neat and the enterprising Eric Ouma was relaunched the attack, overlapping down the left channel to deliver superbly into the opposition goal area and right into the path of an advancing Aucho who crashed a 5th minute header past Evariste Mutiyimana in goal for the visitors. 1-0 and game on.
The goal sapped Sofapaka’s belief and they could have been further behind 20 minutes in. The overlapping run was this time coming from the right flank, Nizigiyimana bursting away in his trademark style to whip in across goal but a well timed interception denied Jacques Tuyisenge registry on the score sheet. The push for another goal went on with the home side pressing hard and giving Sofapaka a lot of defensive work to deal with.
Once more another opportunity came at the half hour-mark but Aucho could not pack enough power behind his shit to trouble Mutiyimana, Walusimbi having provided from the left.
Gor Mahia were then forced into an early substitution, Luke Ochieng being introduced in place of Karim Nizigiyimana who seemed to be having a stomachache.
Just when Sofapaka thought they would push for an equalizer, Gor Mahia doubled the lead through defender Musa Mohamed on the 35th minute. The ball came from a short corner play between Walusimbi and Wafula, the later crossing in to find Musa who clinically side stepped Mutiyimana to double the lead going into the break.
Second half was no different as Gor Mahia continued with the push for more goals. Sofapaka countered that push with good strength as they looked for a way back into the game and midway through the period, Collins Omondi rattled the woodwork after they broke at pace before goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch collected the rebound.
As time elapsed, the two teams tried to get the better side of the other but Gor Mahia emerged the stronger side as they created several changes which were never utilized well.
Changes were done from both sides and on Gor Mahia side, Francis Kahata and Amos Nondi were thrown in place of Collins Okoth and George Odhiambo respectively.
At the end, Gor Mahia hang Sofapaka out to dry and propelled themselves to a more familiar position. This is where the champions sat at the break last season and never fell second to the end.
Now it’s all about consistency.