Derby abandoned after AFC Leopards fans riot

The 78th edition of the Mashemeji Derby was called off on the 65th minute after AFC Leopards fans became violent following a penalty decision by center referee Raphael Nduati.

AFC Leopards defender Jackson Saleh rose to head a long cross from the left by Abouba Sibomana but missed the interception only to handle the ball inside his goal area. Meddie Kagere stepped up to take the spot kick but the opposing fans turned violent, hurling projectiles at their custodian Lucas Indeche prompting a stoppage.

The game was however abandoned after the stoppage time exceeded the FIFA stipulated 15 minutes as efforts by police security to disperse the rowdy hooligans bore no fruit. There ensued running battles as one end of the stadium was engulfed in a cloud of teargas.

All this while the Gor Mahia faithful who had filled the home side end of the Nyayo national Stadium calmly remained seated hoping that normalcy would prevail but that was never to be as match commissioner Paul Kaunda called off the match.

However, the opening half of the encounter was action packed with Gor Mahia dominating play as was majorly expected ahead of the kick-off. Coach Frank Nutall applied a different tactical approach opting to pack his midfield with Godfrey Walusimbi drifting inwards to support Khalid Aucho and Collins Okoth at the action center.

Innocent Wafula shifted to the left attacking wing with Meddie Kagere taking the outward right leaving Michael Olunga to run a one man striking show.

Innocent Wafula burst into space in the 2nd minute of play after beating Edwin Wafula but his shot was blocked by Indeche and Kagere pounced on the rebound but his effort was ruled offside.

AFC Leopards responded quick and twice came close but Bernard Mang’oli’s long range effort was turned out for a corner by Bonface Oluoch and Lamine Diallo came close with a header from the resultant cross but Oluoch was in the right place to intercept.

Kagere headed wide in the 12th minute after Karim Nizigiyimana had overlapped to deliver another of his trademark crosses into the Leopards goal area. Olunga then shot high from a half volley and Wafula fired high from the edge of the box. Lucas Indeche was the busiest of the two goalkeepers as K’Ogalo piled pressure on the visitors though could not find the tiebreaker at the breather.

On resumption, Coach Nutall resorted to his usual 4-4-2 formation and straight from the restart whistle the Gor Mahia attacking juggernaut was unleashed. Michael Olunga’s header sailed straight into Indeche’s hands in the 48th minute after Wafula delivered a cross from the right.

Kagere then combined well with Walusimbi down the right before beating Ivan Anguyo to the byline to lay a neat cut back to Aucho but the advancing midfielder’s powerful strike sailed over as the crowd rose in anticipation. he should have picked his spot and placed the ball right into the net. But the signs were starting to show and the home crowd was expectant.

AFC Leopards were sitting deep in their half and not even the double substitution by Coach Zdravko Logurasic helped their situation. Then Abouba Sibomana surged forward down the left to deliver a long cross to the far post, Wafula was waiting and Saleh desperately rose to try to avert the danger but missed his header and handled in the box – penalty!

Olunga stepped aside for Kagere, but that was to mark the last piece of action as the shameful acts of hooliganism took center stage and the match was aborted.

For now focus shifts to the next match: Bandari FC vs Gor Mahia FC, Saturday 29th August 2015 – Mombasa Municipal Stadium.

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