Gor Mahia are as good as having retained the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) title after they crushed Sofapaka 3-0 in an ill-tempered match at Narok Stadium yesterday.
Following the win, K’Ogalo built a substantial 20-point lead in the top-tier over second-placed Bandari and could be excused if they start uncorking the champagne bottle to celebrate an unprecedented 17th title.
The result means Gor are two points away from the league diadem and will be angling to realise the dream during the eagerly-awaited “Mashemeji” derby against their sworn rivals AFC Leopards at Kasarani Stadium on Saturday.
Sofapaka played the dying minutes two men less after goalkeeper Wycliffe Kasaya received his marching orders coupled with Mohammed Kilume’s injury after “Batoto Ba Mungu” had exhausted all their substitutions.
K’Ogalo opened the floodgates through Joachim Oluoch two minutes to the break before Innocent Wafula doubled the lead from the spot the 63rd minute.
Playing against his former team, Kasaya was found guilty of committing a professional foul on a goal-bound Gor striker Lawrence Juma moments after Sofapaka defender Kilume had given a wayward back-pass.
The offence yielded the penalty which saw Wafula score past Sofapaka reserve keeper Mathias Kigonya who was introduced after in-field player Justin Mico was sacrificed following the anomaly.
Kasaya’s sending off was catastrophic as Sofapaka’s defence crumbled like a pack of cards with Gor seizing on the opportunity to run rings in their danger zone.
Sofapaka, who are trying to muster a title challenge, missed an 18th minute penalty through Kepha Aswani whose shot was brilliantly saved by Gor’s second string goalkeeper Fredrick Odhiambo.
The spot kick awarded to Sofapaka was least surprising as Aswani alongside fellow striker Ezekiel Okare had in the early exchanges been at the centre of sporadic raids at Gor’s goalmouth but were a tad unlucky not to beat Odhiambo who was fielded to replace the injured Shaban Odhoji.
On the other end, Gor’s striking line of Eliud Lokuwam, Juma, Samuel Onyango and Bernard Ondiek took time to settle before rediscovering their poise midway through the match.
Onyango then drilled in the third goal for Gor in the 82nd minute when he found acres of space after a defence-splitting pass to beat Kigonya at the far post.