Sunday, April 29 – 4:15p.m Local time Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos County, Kenya.
The Mashemeji derby may, beyond all, be the most sought after fixture in every KPL season — as it sees two of the most decorated clubs in Kenyan football lock horns — but the match between Gor Mahia and Mathare United will be the most significant bout of the 2018 Premier League campaign.
It will be a case of second against first on the log when Mathare United line up to test their mettle against Gor Mahia at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Sunday afternoon.
K’Ogalo will take to the turf as the away side despite predominantly playing at the Machakos ground as the home team in both the Kenyan Premier League and continental cup competitions.
Mathare- who have had an impressive start to the campaign- were forced to relinquish their place at the summit of the table after a shock 1-0 defeat away to newcomers Wazito FC last weekend.
Gor took full advantage of the slump with a thrilling 5-2 victory over Thika United to propel themselves to top of the Premier League standings for the first time this season.
The 16-time KPL champions may be playing catch up in the League, having initially missed a number of matches due to their participation in the CAF Champions League and most recently the CAF Confederation Cup, but Mayienga still managed to stretch their lead at the top to three points despite registering a 2-2 draw with Chemelil Sugar in a midweek fixture.
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Chemelil forced Gor into a draw, only their second of the season, after the reigning champions were reduced to ten men following the sending off of goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch.
Dylan Kerr’s charges were characteristically upbeat and didn’t have to wait for long before taking the lead at the Kericho Green Stadium.
January signing Humphrey Mieno got on the finishing end of Francis Kahata’s delivery from a corner to score the opener in the tenth minute, before Ivory Coast international Ephraim Guikan doubled the advantage with the simplest of finishes seventeen minutes later.
Oluoch’s sending off in the second half, as a result of bizarrely handling the ball outside the box, proved to be the most decisive point of the match, as it threw the Sugar Millers a lifeline; one which they used to maximum effect.
Goals from substitute Charles Okiya and Mwamlanga Benedicto leveled matters for Chemelil, who were unlucky not to reap all three points as Gor Mahia held their nerves to survive the late scare.
Mathare’s second successive defeat in as many games means K’Ogalo still leads the charts on 26 points, three points above the Slum Boys who have played two more matches than the Green Army.
Mathare United vs. Gor Mahia Match prediction
Mathare’s biggest concern this season has and continues to be their porous defense; one that head coach Francis Kimanzi has yet to satisfactorily address.
Seeing as K’Ogalo have a looming match against Rayon Sports in the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup, Dylan Kerr will push his charges to ensure Gor retain top spot with a healthy lead that they should maintain even while on continental duty.
Prediction: Gor Mahia to win @ WilliamHill.com
Mathare United vs. Gor Mahia recent results
Mathare United 1-0 Gor Mahia (October 14, 2017)
Chrispin Oduor 6′
Gor Mahia 0-1 Mathare United (April 30, 2017)
Cliff Nyakeya 34′
Gor Mahia 2-1 Mathare United (October 30, 2016)
Francis Kahata 19′
Jacques Tuyisenge 59′
Chrispin Oduor 81′
Mathare United 0-2 Gor Mahia (May 22, 2016)
Godfrey Walusimbi 68′
Jacques Tuyisenge 81′
Mathare United 1-1 Gor Mahia (July 12, 2015)
Eric Jonana 28′
Meddie Kagere 76′
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