Gor Mahia equaled the number of victories their arch-rivals AFC Leopards have registered in the Mashemeji Derby since 1968 with their 2-0 performance at Kasarani on Saturday.
After 85 meetings, the derby rivals each have 27 victories with 31 draws coming in between them. The statistic should assuage dejected Leopards fans who have not tasted victory over K’Ogalo in their last seven meetings.
Gor equally feel the lost lustre of a once fiercely-competitive fixture in Kenya’s sporting calendar. “It is not a derby anymore, Ingwe cannot compete,” an ardent Gor Mahia fan ‘Jaro Soldier’ said after the latest K’Ogalo triumph.
The last celebratory ending Ingwe have in their memory is that of Ivorian Lamine Diallo wheeling away in glee after upsetting Gor in March 2016. K’Ogalo have since won six times to break even. Worryingly though, Ingwe are not just losing ground to Gor but getting closer to being relegated.
Leopards have only mustered two victories this season in12 matches and with boardroom upheavals threatening to plunge the club into further turmoil, they face potential relegation for the second time in their history.
Experienced Rwandan tactician Andre Casa Mbungo tasted his second since arriving at the den last week but holds great optimism for the club. “We will stabilise the team and get results. I cannot say much other than the team did their best under the current circumstances,” said Mbungo.
The Rwandan made telling changes that perhaps saved Ingwe a bigger loss. He deployed goalkeeper Eric Ndayishimiye between the sticks and skipper Robinson Kamura in the holding midfield position. Kamura is a natural central defender but exceptionally did his sweeping role well against the marauding Gor forwards.
Mbungo must, however, get his strikers firing to get the team back on winning ways. Ingwe mustered just two tame shots on target the entire match and barely threatened Boniface Oluoch in Gor’s goal.