Rodgers Ndegwa in Nakuru @PeopleSports11
Meddie ‘Pacman’ Kagere stole the show yesterday when his brace powered Gor Mahia past Singida United 2-0 to qualify for their second successive SportPesa Super Cup final at the Afraha Stadium.
Gor braved the elements in the drenched Nakuru pitch to dominate the match, with the Kenyans enjoying the lion’s share of possession and registering more attempts on goal as Rwandese international Kagere shot to the top of the Super Cup scoring charts with three for the tournament.
His goals, coming in the 35th and 90th minutes of the match, set up a glamour final with Simba SC who earlier edged Kakamega Homeboyz FC 5-4 in a dream Kenya versus Tanzania league champions battle.
Former Nigeria captain Yakubu Ayiegbeni was in attendance as an Everton ambassador to witness the array of footballing talent on display and handed the man of the match award to Ernest Wendo, together with a winners cheque of Sh 50,000.
Star players Kagere, Jacques Tuyisenge, Ernest Wendo, Humphrey Mieno and Joash Onyango, who were all rested for the opening fixture against JKU, all started for Dylan Kerr’s side.
The defending champions Gor Mahia FC began the game more eager than their opponents, finding spaces in the midfield to enjoy the most of possession in the opening five minutes.
Godfrey Walusimbi, a scorer in the 3-0 quarter-final win, found Kagere, who then spread it out to George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo who was unlucky to see his shot go inches wide of the goal.
Moments later, Kagere set himself up for a shot that he sent blazing over the bar as Gor continued to pile up the pressure on their opponents.
Singida slowly found their way back into the game and in the 23rd minute Danny Lyanga found good space but couldn’t get a shot away.
Tuyisenge and Kagere connected well in the 27th but the last touch let the latter down as Singida recovered in their own penalty area.
Walusimbi received the first yellow card of the game in the 29th minute for a reckless challenge.
Crowd favourite Kagere opened the scoring in the 35th minute connecting well with a Kahata corner to give Gor a 1-0 lead.
Both players linked up well again in the 38th as they tried to double their advantage but a last inch tackle from ex Tusker player Shafiq Batambuze saved Singida.
The skies opened up and the K’Ogalo pressure increased until the referee blew for halftime with the Kenyans a goal to the good.
Singida coach Suleiman Hemed made the first change bringing on Lubida Mundia to replace John Tibar in the 51st minute.
The Tanzanians then came close to an equaliser in the 57th after substitute Mundia found Lyanga with a fine cross but his header was too close to Shaban Odhoji in the Gor goal.
Batambuze then found Lyanga again in the 60th but his header went wide of the goal.
Kennedy Juma of Singida was then shown a yellow card moments later for a foul on Kahata and captain Harun Shakava sent the resulting free kick wide.
Juma was lucky not to be sent off in the 64th when after a reckless challenge on Philemon Otieno just outside the area.
Singida made their second change of the game soon afterwards bringing in Salum Chuku for Kenny Ally, hoping the fresh legs would bring them back in the game.
In the 68th minute, Kahata sent a great ball to the far post that was met by Odhiambo whose first time effort was saved by Manyika.
A minute later, Kerr and the crowd went wild as the referee blatantly ignored shouts for a penalty after Tuyisenge was tackled by two Singida defenders.