BY STEVE AYOO
Rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards both suffered defeats on the road just four days before they face off in a much-waited Mashemeji Derby.
The duo suffered away day blues as Leopards were beaten 1-0 by KCB FC while Gor suffered a similar result loss at Nzoia Sugar.
Almost coincidentally, both goals were scored within three minutes of each other with Kennedy Owino getting KCB’s goal after 34 minutes while Nzoia’s Hansel Ochieng’ took three minutes later to score the decisive goal against Gor Mahia as he beat Fredrick Odhiambo with a freekick taken from outside the area.
Defeat was especially costly for Kogalo who could have wrapped up a record extending Premier League title with a win here. It was Kogalo’s first lost since late January when they got beat by KCB.
Leopards, although beaten, will also be elated with Gor’s result as it spares them, Ingwe, from an embarrassing situation where they would have been obliged to give their nemesis a guard of honor had beaten Nzoia.
Ingwe are not totally off the hook though as Gor can still be declared champions before the derby should second-placed Sofapaka fail to win at Nzoia on Saturday.
Should John Baraza’s side get a point away to Nzoia, Gor will only need victory in the derby to win their third successive title.
The record Champions have won the last three derbies and have lost to the enemy since 2016.
Zoo boost survival hopes
Meanwhile at the Kericho Green Stadium, hosts Zoo Kericho moved three points clear of automatic relegation positions with a rallying 2-1 win over Western Stima.
Derrick Anami scored the opener before a Danson Chetambe penalty wrapped up three vital points.
Zoo’s current haul of 28 points is three better than 15th-placed Vihiga United, and just one below Chemelil Sugar in 14th.