Well-Drilled Sharks Stun Gor To Lift Maiden KPL Super Cup

Dec 02 - by Erick Ochieng for sportpesa news

Substitute Lokale steps up with second half winner as domestic cup winners edge league champions 1-0 at Kasarani

Kariobangi Sharks FC pose with the 2018/19 Kenyan Premier League Super Cup on Sunday, December 2, 2018. PHOTO/SPN

  • Lokale who came off the bench for Fidel Oringa was the hero of the hour when he netted the decisive goal in the 54th minute having slalomed past the SportPesa Premier League winner’s defence before slotting the ball past goal keeper Boniface Oluoch
  • For Sharks, it was another statement of their status as the rising force in local football, having won only their second trophy in their history following their Shield success at the tail end of last term.

  • After absorbing the early pressure, William Muluya’s Sharks came out of their defensive shells and won their first corner in the 26th that was easily picked by Oluoch

NAIROBI, Kenya- SportPesa Shield champions, Kariobangi Sharks FC, edged record 17-time domestic league winners, Gor Mahia FC 1-0 to lift the 2018 Kenyan Premier League Super Cup at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, on Sunday evening.

Sydney Lokale who came off the bench for Fidel Oringa was the hero of the hour when he netted the decisive goal in the 54th minute having slalomed past the SportPesa Premier League winner’s defence before slotting the ball past goal keeper Boniface Oluoch.

Although it is too early to call, the result was a wake up call for K’Ogalo who swept all before them last season to extend their domestic record to 17 will have their work cut out to defend the SPL trophy when action kicks-off next weekend.

For Sharks, it was another statement of their status as the rising force in local football, having won only their second trophy in their history following their Shield success at the tail end of last term.

Lokale, who entered the fray a minute to the break did his reputation no harm when he conjured up a goal worthy of winning any match and in as much as K’Ogalo laid siege on Sharks goal, they could not fashion a way back after going behind.

Hassan Oktay, who is reported to be the man who will be appointed to succeed Englishman Dylan Kerr as head coach, on a three-month probation, was among those in the stands to witness the action. 

The Turk was seen gesticulating animatedly to club CEO, Lordvick Aduda, in the stands as K’Ogalo who were led out by interim boss, Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno struggled to create clear-cut chances in chasing the game.

Gor, who sunk arch rivals AFC Leopards SC 1-0 to win the Super Cup ahead of the 2018 campaign, dominated the first half of the contest played under chilly Nairobi weather, pinning the opponents to their own side for most part of the period.

Good command

Francis Kahata, Humphrey Mieno and Earnest Wendo had good command in Gor’s midfield in the opening exchanges, denying Sharks opportunities to advance.

Burundi forward Francis Mustafa received a clean pass from winger George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo in the sixth but his shot was deflected behind.

Mustafa then raced on a back pass following a Sharks blunder in defence but lack of focus saw him squander the open chance in the 13th.

The busy forward was then brought down outside the box two minutes later but Odhiambo spurned the chance with his free kick and subsequent rebound.

After absorbing the early pressure, William Muluya’s Sharks came out of their defensive shells and won their first corner in the 26th that was easily picked by Oluoch.

The SPL winners then poured upfront with Kahata feeding Bernard Ondieki through a long pass with the latter laying it off for Odhiambo whose screamer went wide in the 37th minute much to the dismay of the handful of Green Army supporters turned up for the traditional season’s curtain raiser.

Sensing danger, Sharks resorted to being physical to disrupt Gor’s tempo and this almost paid off in the 45th when Ugandan forward, George Abege, won the ball, raced with it  and unleashed a shot which was blocked by Oluoch before the sides proceeded for half time break with scores at 0-0.

Upon resumption, it took Sharks nine minutes to fashion the breakthrough that proved decisive, with the Shield winners enjoying a second successive victory over Gor after toppling them from the domestic cup last season on penalties.

Stung, K’Ogalo pressed for an equaliser but well-drilled Sharks held on until the 93rd minute of the contest when the SPL champions inexplicably failed to convert.

A hopeful punt up field found its way to the box and after Sharks keeper, Brian Bwire, spilled the ball; there were no takers for Gor as they survived to lift the trophy minutes later.

K’Ogalo missed their top striker, Jacques Tuyisenge and midfielder Kenneth Muguna, who picked up injuries in the mid-week CAF Champions League clash with Nyasa Big Bullets FC of Malawi.

Burundian defender, Karim Nizigiyimana, mutually parted ways with the club this week with Zico bringing Kahata and Oluoch who missed the Nyasa tie.

Both Sharks and Gor will represent the country in the SportPesa Cup at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania next year alongside AFC Leopards SC and Bandari FC.

Record Tanzanian league champions Simba SC, Yanga SC and debutants Mbao FC make up the teams from Tanzania that will take part in the tournament where Gor will be hoping to retain the crown for the third occasion in a row.