Away goal sends Gor through to Confed group stage
- Kenyan Premier League (KPL) record champions Gor Mahia cruised to the CAF Confederations Cup group stage on Wednesday, edging South Africa’s SuperSport United on away goal advantage following a 2-2 aggregate.
- Gor lost 2-1 in Pretoria, but a 1-0 win in Machakos a fortnight ago ensured their place in the lucrative stage.
- United went ahead at the stroke of the hour mark, after Gor's captain Harun Shakava scored in his own net in a desperate effort to save.
Kenyan Premier League (KPL) record champions Gor Mahia cruised to the CAF Confederations Cup group stage on Wednesday, edging South Africa’s SuperSport United on away goal advantage following a 2-2 aggregate.
Gor lost 2-1 in Pretoria, but a 1-0 win in Machakos a fortnight ago ensured their place in the lucrative stage.
United went ahead at the stroke of the hour mark, after Gor’s captain Harun Shakava scored in his own net in a desperate effort to save.
It was a dramatic moment, as 58 seconds later, skillful Francis Kahata restored parity, the wonder away goal that would make the difference at the final whistle.
Thus the hosts 68th minute strike through Thabo Mnyamane was not enough to salvage their fortunes.
Despite missing key players in the squad, including first leg scorer Jacques Tuyisenge, influential holding midfielder Earnest Wendo, Ivorian Ephraim Guikan and Ugandan international Godfrey Walusimbi, the Dylan Kerr coached side was calm enough to absorb the away pressure from the three-time South African Premier League winners.
The hosts desire to level the aggregate score was evident from the start, fine crosses from the flanks flowing on Gor’s goal but the calm defense line comfortably keeping safe.
The first real threat came in the quarter-hour mark when Sipho Mbule flew his effort over the bar, from a sumptuous cross by Onismor Bhasera on the wing.
Seven minutes later Mbule found Dylan Stoffels in the goalmouth, whose cross across the goal was saved by Boniface Oluoch, denying a lurking Jamie Webber.
In the 25th, Le Roux connected Bhasera’s thread with a low drive, but could not pass the alert Gor defense. The Pretoria based side continued their onslaught; Mnyamane’s earning a free-kick that Mnyamane curved cunningly over Gor defense, only for Oluoch to thwart his effort.
Just before the break, Mnyamane rattled K’Ogalo’s man-wall with another free-kick in the goalmouth, in what was the last effort of the first stanza well dominated by Matsatsantsa.
A determined United resumed with clear intent for goals, Stoffels coming close in the 51 st with a powerful shot inside the box that forced Oluoch to a reflex save to keep Gor in the game.
Gor grew more ruthless in the attack too, with Kahata supplying Kagere two times succession whose shots flew wide.
Then came the game-changer moment, Shakava and Kahata finding the net at the hour top at the different ends, to usher a tense moment for both sides.
Tense indeed it was, as Gor sought to defend keep the scores flat while the hosts frantically sought two goals to advance.
Mnyamane’s goal restored hope, but the clock was ticking fast towards full time with Kerr rallying his besieged men to keep his instructions: “fighting hard to a point of sweating blood, to fly high national colors and clubs name,” as he had put it before jetting out for the clash.
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