Rodgers Ndegwa in Nakuru @PeopleSports11
Marco Silva and Everton better get prepared: Gor Mahia are coming and they mean business.
K’Ogalo successfully defended their SportPesa Super Cup title courtesy of a 2-0 win over Tanzanian champions Simba in a highly-physical final held at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium yesterday to secure an enviable trip to the United Kingdom to face English Premier League side Everton at Goodison Park.
Besides the trip, Gor also won themselves Sh3 million which will help them in their preparations for the CAF Confederations Cup where they take on Tanzanian side Yanga in July.
Having seen their SportPesa Premier League counterparts Kariobangi Sharks, AFC Leopards and Kakamega Homeboyz vanquished on post-march penalties, Gor did not waste time and made a statement when Meddie Kagere scored from close range from Jacques Tuyisenge’s cross.
Tuyisenge collected the ball on the left wing and teed up Kagere who shrugged off his marker in the box before firing a low shot past Aishi Manula in Simba’s goal for his fourth of the tournament.
However, as Gor’s players were celebrating, a loud bang was heard in the stands with a huge cloud of smoke seen, leading to panic in the stadium. Two fans were then seen being rushed to the hospital by the ambulance.
The 31-year-old Kagere failed to beat the off-side trap in the 25th and 28th minutes but in the 30th minute, he evaded Simba’s defenders and fired in a cross from the left wing but Tuyisenge’s header was stopped by a fully-outstretched Manula.
After that, Simba started feeling the pressure and reacted with nasty tackles which saw defender Erasto Nyoni booked for fouling Tuyisenge. A fist-fight nearly broke out but the referee and Gor captain Harun Shakava calmed the situation.
In the 42nd minute, Tuyisenge was the second to be booked after fouling Nyoni in retaliation as tensions built.
Francis Kahata will only have himself to blame after firing off target from Geoffrey Walusimbi’s 44th minute defence-splitting pass as Gor’s custodian Shaaban Odhoji remained untested in the first half.
After the break, both teams come out gun blazing with Simba looking for the equaliser while Gor sought to extend their lead and it was K’Ogalo who were rewarded when Humprey Mieno’s lob found Tuyisenge who fired in a sumptuous volley past a hapless Manula.
Gor’ defence stood firm to clinch their second straight title with Simba having to settle for the Sh1 million loser’s prize.
Kagere scooped his second consecutive Golden Boot Award courtesy of his four goals.
Earlier, Tanzania’s Singida United had beaten Kakamega Homeboyz 4-2 on post-match penalties after a 1-1 in regulation time in the third place playoff.