The 87th Mashemeji derby lived up to its hot billing as Gor Mahia shrugged off first half malaise to emerge on top of a five-goal thriller at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.
A brace from Ivorian Gnamien Yikpe and solo efforts from Clifton Miheso and Lawrence Juma sent K’Ogalo soaring 4-1 and atop the Kenyan Premier League table, heading into the international break.
Leopards ran K’Ogalo rugged in the first half and threatened to break their four-year submission with a series of close chances and a display to match.
Their spirited fight was, however, smothered shortly upon restart as the unheralded Yikpe hit a double within nine minutes to leave Ingwe out of sorts.
Yikpe’s goals and Miheso’s third snapped all the wind out of Ingwe’s sails so much that when Tresor Ndikumana pulled one back with eight minutes left, Gor easily regrouped and scored a fourth, Juma finishing off an impressive team goal.
Gor’s mean resolve and cold execution in the second half was so different from a limp display in the first when Ingwe ran the show.
Leopards’ skipper of the day Kayumba Soter came close to breaking the deadlock when in the 31st minute, he rattled the crossbar with a thumping header from a Whyvonne Isuza corner.
John Makwata, Ingwe’s leading scorer was a constant threat and tried to steal his way through a couple of times before Joash Onyango managed to inhibit his danger.
K’Ogalo responded to Leopards’ miss shortly afterwards from a free-kick delivered by Kenneth Muguna low into the goalmouth.
The lightly weighted cross presented Gor’s best chance but Miheso failed to get a good connection with the ball leaving, goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan to make the block.
A follow up by Bernard Ondiek was hastily sent wide.
Lanky Ivorian Yikpe rose highest to meet Muguna’s corner with a ferocious header that ricocheted off the cross bar and into the net.
The goal was a culmination of K’Ogalo’s rejuvenated play in the second half.
Ochan had made a wonderful block to deny Francis Afriyie but conceded the corner from which Yikpe scored.
Yikpe got on the score sheet nine minutes later to kill off Ingwe’s comeback attempts.
The Ivorian received a pass far on the flank then held off Soter and Dennis Sikhayi with his power and mass.
He then picked out Miheso who made a surging run into the box, holding off Clyde Senaji before delivering a pullback cross for Yikpe to score.
With 11 minutes to full time, Yikpe returned the favour by assisting Miheso to score Gor’s third.
The goal had a lovely build up as Muguna’s dummy on Ondiek’s upfield pass allowed the Ivorian to collect and pick out Miheso outside Ingwe box and the Kenyan international made no mistakes finding the far corner with a low shot that Ochan tried but failed to reach.
Ingwe then pulled one back through midfielder Tresor Ndikumana whose speculative effort from a distance evaded a forest of legs in Gor Mahia’s box and into the far corner in the 82nd minute.
Ingwe then pulled one back through midfielder Tresor Ndikumana whose speculative effort from a distance evaded a forest of legs in Gor’s box and into the far corner in the 82nd minute.
There was still time for K’Ogalo to score a fourth one as substitute Bonface Omondi left Isaac Kipyegon for dead before picking out Lawrence Juma in the box, the midfielder poking the ball into the net with his second touch.