Champions Gor Mahia scored a goal in each half to gun down the battling Ulinzi Stars 2-1 in an explosive SportPesa Premier League match at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru on Monday.
And the soldiers should blame themselves for atleast not sharing the spoils as they made a remarkable comeback in the last quarter of the match to snatch an equaliser.
K’Ogalo are now on 58 points, nine points ahead of second-placed Sofapaka, who are on 49 points, with Bandari third, three points back.
A crestfallen coach Benjamin Nyangweso was lost for words after referee Isaac Memusi blew his final whistle.
“We made a disastrous mistake in the second half when our defenders made a poor line out that saw Gor snatch the winner in a match that should have gone either way,” said coach Nyangweso.
Gor head coach Hassan Oktay admitted it was not an easy match beating the soldiers at home after their 1-1 draw in the first leg in Kisumu.
“Every match Gor is playing is rough, tough and hard, but as a team we are prepared for the challenge as our ultimate goal is to retain the title,” said coach Oktay.
Hardly a minute after the kick off, the swift Green army mustered the slippery pitch following a heavy down pour that pounded the pitch to grab their match opener.
Nicholas Kipkurui set up the overlapping defender Wellington Ochieng with a brilliant through pass, which he in turn floated in the danger zone, before Erisa Ssekisambu blasted with a fierce drive past goalkeeper James Saruni.
Ssekisambu, who was a constant threat to the Ulinzi defence should have doubled his tally in the 26th minute, but his well taken shot sailed over the bar.
Four minutes before the breather, the enterprising Kipkirui raided the soldiers’ rear-guard, but as he was preparing to unleash his volley, he was dispossessed.
On resumption, Gor maintained their attacking pattern taking the game into the soldiers goalmouth and in the 59th minute, Francis Mustapha missed an easy scoring opportunity.
A minute later, Gor continued with their tale of missed chances when Boniface Omondi shot directly into the waiting hands of goalkeeper Saruni, as Kipkirui squandered yet another open chance in the 64th minute.
Ulinzi exploded in the 70th minute, but the towering striker Oscar Wamalwa’s dangerous cross was cleared by the hawkeyed Gor defence marshalled by Joachim Oluoch.
The soldiers finally put their act together in the 76th minute when they translated their first corner kick of the match into a thrilling goal.
Second half substitute John Njuguna floated a well weight corner kick and Enosh Ochieng’ soared high to head home past goalkeeper Shaaban Odhonji.
Ochieng has now scored 15 goals and remains in the hunt to claim the golden boot title with Kakamega Homeboyz forward Allan Wanga leading the charts with 16 goals.
With less than five minutes before the final whistle, former Ulinzi Stars player Samuel Onyango fired the killer bullet, when he looped the ball over a charging goalkeeper Saruni.
Saruni, who hitherto had a good afternoon in the office, made a blunder by coming out of his area, presenting substitute Onyango with an opportunity to score an easy winning goal.