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Gor Mahia crush arch rivals AFC Leopards
in biggest Kenya football derby

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The biggest football derby in Kenya on Saturday saw champions Gor Mahia FC crush local archrivals AFC Leopards SC 2-0 in a charged affair played at the MISC Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.

It was the 85th meeting between the two most successful clubs in the country with midfielders Kenneth Muguna and Francis Kahata stealing the headlines when they scored for the record 17-time domestic league winners either side of the break to clinch the all-important three points.

Victory saw Gor who travel to Angola to play Petro Atletico in Luanda in their second Group D CAF Confederations Cup tie move up to second in the Kenyan Premier League on 22 points, three points adrift but with a game in hand over log leaders Mathare United FC having played 11 fixtures.

Leopards and their new head coach, Rwandese Andre Casa Mbungo have a real job at hand after the losers were left languishing in 15th on 10, two above the basement with the proud 12-time league champions facing the risk of being dragged into a relegation dog fight having following their sixth loss of an underwhelming campaign.

His opposite number, Turkish-Cypriot Hassan Oktay on the other hand saw his side build on the momentum that has seen Gor win their last four fixtures on the bounce with victory over the old enemy sustaining an unbeaten run against Leopards that stretches back to March 2016.

Kenya’s record goal scorer Dennis Oliech was the most notable absentee from the line-up, with Oktay stating that the 34-year old picked up an injury in training forcing him out of the game that was a cocktail of colour punctuated by high volume from the stands.

Thousands of Gor fans exploded in joy in the 16th minute when Muguna forced the ball past Leopards keeper Eric Ndayishimiye after his defence failed to clear a Kahata deep cross to the box.

Muguna found the cross bar and club record signing, Rwanda forward Jacques Tuyisenge came close to extending Gor’s lead as the champions went into half time a goal to the good.

Kenya international Kahata sealed victory in the 64th when his free-kick found a way past Ndayishimiye as Leopards were once again punished for sloppy defending with the second goal sending Gor fans ballistic.

Tuyisenge then saw his headed finish ruled out for offside in the 79th as the champions held on to record a prized win over their fiercest rivals and 12-time domestic league winners.


AFC Leopards appoint Mbungo as head coach

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Struggling 12-time Kenyan league champions AFC Leopards on Tuesday appointed their third foreign coach this season, confirming Rwandan national Andre Casa Mbungo as their new boss.

Mbungo becomes the 26th head coach hired by Leopards since gaining promotion back to the Kenyan top division in 2009.

"We have a new coach. AFC Leopards has appointed Rwanda’s Andre Casa Mbungo as our new coach on a one and a half year deal. Andre replaces [Serbia’s] Marko Vasiljevic who parted company with the club on Monday. Welcome to the Den, Andre," Leopards said in a statement.

Another Serb, Nikola Kavazovic, lasted only a week at the beginning of the season before departing for South African side Free State Stars FC.

Kavazovic refunded Leopards the 500,000 shilling (5,000 U.S. dollars) signing on fee he received from the club after signing a two-year deal last December.

The club then promoted his former assistant Vasiljevic, but his position at the club became unsustainable following a wretched run of two wins in 10 domestic league games that left the club languishing in 15th place, three points above the drop zone.

A 4-1 defeat at Bandari FC on Sunday was the final nail in the coffin for Vasiljevic, who also failed to lead Leopards past the quarterfinals of the 2019 SportPesa Cup in Tanzania last month, missing a chance to face English top flight side Everton and receive 30,000 U.S. dollars in prize money.

Mbungo will have a baptism of fire this weekend when he leads his new charges against record 17-time domestic league winners and eternal enemies Gor Mahia, in Kenya’s biggest domestic fixture.

Leopards will be looking for a first victory over their archrivals in all competitions since a 1-0 league success in the 2016 season.

Mbungo most recently led Kiyovu SC to a fifth-place finish in the Rwandan Premier League, having previously coached AS Kigali and Police FC.

Gor forwards Jacques Tuyisenge (Police) and Francis Mustafa (AS Kigali) played under the incoming Leopards at Police and Kigali respectively.

Melis Medo, who parted ways with SPL rivals Sofapaka FC, as well as Dennis Kitambi, who was a hit at Leopards when he took over on interim basis, were some of the other names linked with the Leopards job before Mbungo got the nod.

The Rwandan coach will get a chance to watch his new side in action on Wednesday in a local clash against bottom side Mt. Kenya United FC.

In addition to 12 league and 10 domestic cup titles, Leopards have lifted five regional CECAFA Club Championship titles.


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