Game recognises game: Gor legend Sonyi gives Rupia flowers for breaking his 47-year goal record

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Game recognises game: Gor legend Sonyi gives Rupia flowers for breaking his 47-year goal record

Joel Omotto 05:30 - 26.06.2023

The former striker was happy to see his proud record tumble and hopes the Kenya Police forward can maintain the standards

Gor Mahia legend Maurice ‘Sonyi’ Ochieng has congratulated Kenya Police striker Elvis Rupia for breaking his goal record that has stood for 47 years.

Rupia scored as Kenya Police ended the season with a 2-2 draw away to KCB on Sunday to take his tally to 27 in the 2022-23 campaign. That effectively ended Sonyi’s stranglehold on the top scorer’s record in the Kenyan top flight after he scored 26 for Gor Mahia in 1976.

Sonyi’s record came under threat in the last two months of the season and it looked like to would be broken by Gor striker Benson Omala but the 21-year-old was stuck on 25 goals since late April, going six matches without scoring, allowing Rupia to close in and subsequently beat him to the Golden Boot Award.

Rupia tied with Sonyi on Wednesday when he scored twice for Police in their 4-1 victory over Vihiga Bullets and while Omala ended his goal drought by getting on the scoresheet in Sunday’s season-finale, it was only enough to tie with the K’Ogalo legend, as Rupia was already out of reach.

“I would like to encourage him and urge to continue like that. I want someone else to also break his record. The record has stood for too long and it needed to be broken,” Sonyi told Pulse Sports.

“Now, it will depend on the strikers we have how long the record will stand. Maybe someone else will break it or he will retain it for a long time.

“Had Omala maintained his form, he would have broken the record because he started well. I congratulate him (Rupia), I would not have predicted who would do it. Whoever has put in the effort, whatever team they play for deserves to break it.”

Omala has had a breakthrough season having largely benefited from his side’s inability to sign new players due to a transfer ban, with his goals contributing to his side’s title triumph, while Rupia is an experienced striker who has featured for Nzoia Sugar and AFC Leopards previously.