Gor Mahia moved within a point of being crowned the 2017 SportPesa Premier League champions after a 3-1 win over Kariobangi Sharks in Kisumu on Tuesday.
A Jacques Tuyisenge hat-trick pushed K’Ogalo on the brink of an unprecedented 16th title in the thrilling encounter at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu. Masoud Juma scored Sharks’s consolation late in the second half to take his season tally to 11 goals.
Tuyisenge’s treble took him level with top scorer Kepha Aswani on 12 goals with five matches to the end of the season.
Smarting from their 1-0 loss to Mathare United in their last league outing which ended coach Dylan Kerr’s 11-match unbeaten run, the runaway leaders got a perfect start after Tuyisenge opened the scoring 13 minutes into the match.
The Rwandan national team skipper pounced on a back pass from Sharks’ Paul Kamau to his goal keeper John Oyemba, before slotting home.
In a unique celebration style, the Rwandan forward threw his boots to Gor Mahia fans and put on new ones.
Five minutes later, Tuyisenge doubled the lead with an easy finish after receiving a perfectly weighted pass from compatriot Meddie Kagere, who had already beaten Sharks custodian Oyemba.
Tuyisenge then completed his hat-trick nine minutes to the break after receiving a pass from Wellington Ochieng from the left flank.
Two minutes later, Gambian forward Ebrima Sanneh thought he had pulled one for Sharks but it was ruled out for offside.
Tuyisenge was the denied by the woodwork three minutes to the break with Gor now threatening to run riot.
Despite trailing 3-0, coach William Muluhya’s charges returned rejuvenated after the breather with Gor Mahia’s back line denying Francis Manoa a chance to reduce the deficit.
Muluhya then introduced Masoud Juma for Manoa and Ovella Ochieng for Sanneh in the 49th and 57th minutes respectively as he opted to go all out in attack.
Sharks got their consolation goal in the 73rd minute from the spot after Innocent Wafula handled the ball inside the box with Masoud beating Gor Mahia shot-stopper Fredrick Odhiambo with a low ball on the left side of the goal post.
Oyemba was forced into a brilliant save to deny substitute Jean-Baptiste Mugiraneza a chance to net in the fourth goal for Gor in the 83rd minute.
Coach Kerr congratulated his side for bouncing back from the weekend defeat.
“I am pleased with the result. We suffered a shocking 1-0 loss to Mathare over the weekend but that didn’t affect us in our today’s match,” said Coach Kerr.