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Mashemeji Derby: Gor Mahia have not won the title despite beating AFC Leopards - Polack

06:37 GMT 09/03/2020
Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack.
The British coach reveals to Goal they must continue to work hard to win the title despite sealing another derby win over Ingwe

Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack has revealed his side have a long way to go to defend the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title despite beating rivals AFC Leopards 1-0 on Sunday.

Ingwe were keen to end a bad run of results against Gor Mahia but it was Boniface Omondi’s 27th-minute goal which separated the two Kenyan giants to hand K’Ogalo a 30th Mashemeji Derby win in history.

The win also helped Gor Mahia cement their top spot in the 17-team league table with 54 points, seven more than second-placed Kakamega Homeboyz while Tusker are third on 46 points.

Despite the hard-fought win, the British coach has told Goal they have not won the title yet and must keep working hard to achieve the fete at the end of the season.

“I am happy we have won against AFC Leopards but this was not a defining game for the title,” Polack told Goal. So, we will keep on pushing and taking one game at a time and see where we will be at the end of the season.”

Polack also conceded Ingwe gave them a tough time in the match, saying they had shown a huge improvement from the first round meeting when Gor Mahia hammered them 4-1.

“I must congratulate AFC Leopards because they really gave us a tough game,” Polack continued. “If you look at their game today [Sunday] it was very different from how they approached the game in the reverse fixture, it means they have improved a lot.

“I have asked my players not to get carried away with the win, of course, it is great to win a derby and also it is sweet to seal a double over your derby rivals but we will have a long way to go to achieve our objectives for the season.

“We want to retain the title and we must stay focused and keep winning our matches, if we lose focus then we will be beaten to the title and I don’t want that to happen, not now and not in the future.”

On why he started veteran keeper Boniface Oluoch ahead of regular David Mapigano, Polack told Goal: “I went for Oluoch because he has the experience of playing in the derby, he has played in many derbies so it was easy for me to pick my first choice for the game.”

Gor Mahia will next take on Posta Rangers while AFC Leopards will come up against KCB.