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Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards fire blanks in empty Kasarani Stadium

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The 89th edition of the Mashemeji derby failed to live up to the billing after a barren draw in an almost empty Kasarani Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Hailed by many as the oldest and arguably the best derby in East Africa, the first leg of the Mashemeji derby between AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia, had no goals with each team failing to use the limited chances available.

In an exciting and thrilling first half both teams looked relaxed and settling well with a few stringing passes in a bid to unlock the opponents to no avail.

Centre referee flashed out his yellow card early in the game to Ingwe’s defender Collins Shichenje for a late foul on Gor striker Nicholas Kipkirui.

Gor Mahia defender Geoffrey Ochieng delivered a good cross to find striker Kipkirui, the lad making a good turn with the ball, taking a fine a shot but the ball sailing inches out.

In the 26 minute in-form striker Jules Ulimwengu made a perfect timing with a fine pass from Kipkirui, only for his shot to be blocked for a corner by Ingweโ€™s goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan.

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Gor Mahia, and AFC Leopards players during the first leg of the Mashemeji derby fired blanks in an empty stadium; PHOTO/COURTESY

With an incoming corner towards Ingweโ€™s yard defender Lewis Bandi made a perfect goal line clearance, the game still on a stalemate.

On the other hand Ingwe gradually grew in the game but no clear-cut chances to trouble Boniface Oluoch, with top striker Elvis Rupia well kept at bay by Gor defenders.

Ingwe’s interim coach Anthony Kimani made changes immediately after the restart, Harrison Mwendwa and Eugene Mukangula coming on for Austine Odhiambo and Collins Shichenje respectively, to try salvage a point.

John Macharia came on for Ulimwengu with Cliff Miheso coming on for Sammy Onyango in a fairly balanced game at the Kasarani Stadium.

With 10 minutes to the final whistle, Muguna picked out Miheso with a neat pass, floated into the box but Ingwe’s Mukangula headed the ball out.

Top striker Rupia who was loudly silent tried his luck with a shot towards the goal but a calm and collected Andrew Juma managed to defend Rupia’s effort with both teams sharing the spoils 0-0.

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