Gor Mahia have progressed to the first round of the prestigious Caf Africa Champions League following a dramatic victory over Malawi’s Nyasa Bullets in the preliminaries.
The Kenyan champions held their nerve to defeat their Malawian counterparts 4-3 on post-match penalties courtesy of heroics of veteran keeper Boniface Oluoch at a packed Kamuzu Banda stadium in Blantyre on Wednesday evening.
The two teams had tied 1-1 on aggregate after full time.
Bernard Ondieki’s last-gasp goal in the first leg at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi last week had given Gor Mahia a 1-0 slender edge heading into this tie, but Happy Msowoya cancelled the advantage just after the restart in Blantyre.
But when that moment to separate the wheat from the chaff beckoned, the Kenyan team triumphed.
Ondieki, Humphrey Mieno, Boniface Omondi, and captain Harun Shakava ignored a red sea of hostility from an estimated 60,000 fans who had crammed the venue to expertly convert their penalty kicks past a hapless Ernest Kakhobwe.
Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch flew off his touchline to save Miracle Gabeya’s penalty and also did enough to distract Pilirani Zonda whose shot bounced off the crossbar.
Oluoch also saved another feeble penalty from Msowoya on 78 minutes.
COACH SENT OFF
In the ensuing melee, Gor Mahia assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno was sent to the stands after he was adjudged to have harassed the assistant referee.
For the remaining period, Gor’s intern coach Hassan Oktay took full charge.
Yamikani Fodya, John Lanjesi and Msowoya converted their penalties for Bullets, but it ultimately didn’t matter.
K’Ogalo progress to the first round of this competition, where a certainly more difficult assignment against either Cameroon’s Union des Mouvements Sportifs de Loum or Nigeria’s Lobi Stars lies in wait.
The first round match will be played on December 14 and the return leg on
The aggregate winner of this tie will qualify for the group stage of the tournament, where a Sh58 million bounty in prize money lies in wait.