24 September 2012

Kenya: Rangers Are Next

Gor Mahia's title ambitions were given a huge boost at Moi Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani after they beat arch rivals AFC Leopards 2-1 in the City derby, thanks to two goals from diminutive Ugandan forward Dan Serunkuma. Serunkuma, the one half of K'Ogalo's deadly duo, alongside Rama Salim, has endured embarrassments in his last four matches for the club hence being hauled off by coach Zdravko Logarusic for inept finishing in front of goal.

However, in arguably the biggest game in his short career in Kenya's top flight division, Serunkuma proved that he is a man for the big occasions. First, he showed a poachers instinct by reacting swiftly in the 13th minute to bag Kevin Omondi's effort that had been pushed off the post by Patrick Matasi after an uncharacteristic defensive mistake by Jonas Nahimana.

He then turned Bernard Mang'oli inside out from Moses Odhiambo's corner kick to whip the ball unerringly past a bemused Matasi 10 minutes to the break. He could not hide his joy: "I am happy to help the team win. I thank God for the opportunity to take us to the top of the table and hopefully we will be crowned champions at the end of the season."

The two goals from Serunkuma meant that he has now scored four goals against Leopards, having scored another brace while still at City Stars to inflict the second defeat of the season on the hitherto swashbuckling Ingwe. Mike Barasa pulled a goal back for Jan Koops men after a neat through ball by substitute Paul Were that bamboozled Donald Mosoti but they could not muster the equalizer despite dominating most of the second half, with Allan Wanga again failing to use the few half chances that came his way.

In a match that was devoid of the high octane action usually associated with the two clubs, Leopards succumbed to their third defeat in four matches to leave them staring at the possibility of seeing their title ambitions implode right before their eyes. For Gor, its forward ever backward never.

Logarusic's side will now be looking intently at their next five fixtures which will pit them against Rangers next weekend, Karuturi Sports, the potential title decider against Tusker, Muhoroni Youth and Thika United. For Leopards they must quickly introspect if they are to fulfill what has largely been a remarkable season, starting with their next encounter away at relegation-threatened Muhoroni Youth.

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