Mighty Gor Mahia strike down Zamalek in thrilling showdown
Dennis Oliech struck at the death as Gor Mahia registered a resounding 4-2 win over highly fancied Egyptian giants Zamalek in a hard fought Caf Confederations Cup group match on Sunday in Nairobi.
The former Harambee Stars captain’s 90th minute goal was the icing on the cake for the Kenyan champions for an impressive start to their campaign in the tournament’s group stages.
However, K’Ogalo were stretched to the limit in the thrilling encounter at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani before bagging all three points in their opening Group D fixture.
Gor Mahia got off to a nightmarish start to the match, conceding a soft goal after just seven minutes, before turning the match on its head in the second half.
A jittery Boniface Oluoch between the posts for Gor Mahia failed to control a harmless back pass to needlessly concede a corner from slack defending allowed Ibrahim Hassan to drill home a hard low shot for the match opener.
Clearly rattled by the early setback, Gor Mahia were made to wait until the 25th minute to get back into the game following a neat move that ended with Jacques Tuyisenge rifling home the equalizer after being sweetly teed up by Francis Kahata.
The goal gave Gor the impetus to push forward in search of a second goal, but poor finishing saw them throw away two clear cut chances.
But they weren’t to be denied for long with Tuyisenge grabbing his brace in the 38th minute with a thumping header at the back post from an inviting cross from Boniface Omondi.
But then the Egyptians dug deep and drew level on the stroke of half time with Ibrahim Hassan yet again beating Oluoch with a low drive.
Gor Mahia regained the lead six minutes after the break in stunning fashion when Nicholas Kipkirui rose highest to meet Tuyisenge’s cross from the right with a powerful header which beat the Zamalek keeper all the way.
Then in a frantic end-to-end moment, Zamalek almost drew level from the restart after Gor’s backline were yet again caught napping with a sneaky cross from the right.
Gor Mahia, their shaky backline notwithstanding, were however by far the better side in the second half but they spurned numerous goal scoring chances before Oliech struck late in the match having come on in the 66th minute in place of Kipkirui.
Gor Mahia lineup: Boniface Oluoch (gk), Philemon Otieno, Shafik Batambuze, Joachim Oluoch, Charles Momanyi, Kenneth Muguna, Boniface Omondi, Lawrence Juma, Jacques Tuyisenge, Nicholas Kipkirui (Dennis Oliech), Francis Kahata (George Odhiambo)