Rwandese import Jacques Tuyisenge smashed home an 87th minute header to hand Kenyan champions Gor Mahia a 2-1 win over visiting New Stars of Cameroon in a Caf Confederations Cup playoff first leg match at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Sunday.
Lawrence Juma made the breakthrough on 41 minutes with a simple but fine finish from inside the box before Benjamin Bechem, who rested Roland Lane on 59 minutes, equalized for the visitors with a bullet header off a Bernard Ngangue corner kick in the 72nd minute.
Gor coach Hassan Oktay went into panic mode after the leveler and quickly threw into the fray Samuel Onyango and Erisa Ssekisambu for Boniface Omondi and Francis Mustafa on 76th and 77th minutes respectively to salvage the ship.
It was Batambuze who provided his second assist on the day finding Tuyisenge with a sumptuous cross from the left wing that the Rwandese nodded home from the area under no pressure from New Stars defence.
K’Ogalo, however, have their work cut out and they must avoid defeat in the reverse tie in Limbe next Sunday to progress to the group stage of this competition.
Gor Mahia lineup: Boniface Oluoch (goalkeeper), Philemon Otieno, Shafik Batambuze, Joachim Oluoch, Charles Momanyi, Ernest Wendo, Francis Kahata (George Odhiambo 83’), Lawrence Juma, Boniface Omondi (Samuel Onyango 76’), Francis Mustafa (Erisa Ssekisambu 77’), Jacques Tuyisenge