James Magayi and Viden Ochieng @PeopleSports11
Ivorian forward Ephrem Guikan made the difference for Gor Mahia as they beat Sony Sugar by a solitary goal in Kisumu to open a six-point gap at the top of the SportPesa Premier League log yesterday.
Guikan, loved and loathed in equal measure by Gor fans pressed his index finger to his lips to silence his critics as his tally in the league for the defending champions increased to six.
After four missed chances by the reassembled Gor first team, Guikan instinctively latched on to a cross from the right after Meddie Kagere failed to connect to it then slid the ball ferociously between Kelvin Omondi’s legs in Sony goal to put K’Ogalo ahead in the 37th minute.
Innocent Wafula received the ball on the right flank from Francis Kahata then delivered the cross which Kagere tried but failed to make connection with under tight marking by the Sony centre backs who’s attention on Kagere left Guikan lurking unmarked. Despite being unmarked, it took exquisite anticipation by the Ivorian to score what ended up being the only goal of the game.
Sony, rock bottom in league standings, moved their home match from Awendo to Kisumu and interestingly ditched their green home kit for white leaving Gor, the away team, to flaunt their famous home kit in an away fixture.
The struggling sugar millers braced for an avalanche of attack by the unbeaten Gor and moved to mitigate K’Ogalo’s superiority by defending deep. Predictably, K’Ogalo possessed the ball and attacked but failed to convert their chances, Kagere missing twice closely before Guikan scored.
Meanwhile, league debutants Vihiga United have released six players ahead of the midseason transfer window which opens tomorrow.
They include former AFC Leopards midfielder Martin Imbalambala, who joined them from neighbours Kakamega Homeboyz at the start of this season, Jacob Atinda who also came in January from Palos FC while Victor Ayugi leaves after four months at the club.
Dennis Lugalia, who joined the side in 2016 from Bomet based-side Silbwet FC, has also been released alongside William Oricho and Wycliffe Kabaji.
Vihiga coach Edward Manoah had hinted early this month that he is targeting five new youthful players and with the departures, it is still not known their identity and the areas he wants to fill.