Gor Mahia’s second CAF Confederations cup group match against USM Alger ended scoreless. This after Gor Mahia were reduced to 10 men with the ejection of Joash Onyango.
Additional Reporting from the Nation
Gor Mahia battled to a barren draw with visiting USM Alger of Algeria in their Caf Confederation Cup Group D match at a rain-soaked Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Wednesday despite playing for the last 35 minutes with 10 men.
Centre back Joash Onyango was sent off on 55 minutes for a second bookable offence but the gritty hosts held on to secure their second successive draw in the competition although they could have won the tie as striker Jacques Tuyisenge and winger George Odhiambo had two late chances to kill off the tie.
Dylan Kerr’s men also had two penalty appeals turned down by the centre referee much to the chagrin of the handful fans who had braved the heavy downpour at Kasarani.
Besides the unwelcoming weather conditions, both sides had to endure a torrid trip to the stadium before the tie. A traffic snarl up along the busy Thika Super Highway forced the sides to get to the match venue just under 50 minutes to kick off, drastically reducing the allocated time for warm up.
This result, coupled with a similar scoreline in the group’s other game pitting Tanzania’s Young Africans against Rwanda’s Rayon Sport, implies the Kenyan champions remain second with two points, behind the seven time Algerian champions who have amassed four points in this pool after two rounds of matches. Rayon have a similar point tally to Gor while the Tanzanian outfit are placed last, having picked up a single point.
Gor’s task of picking something from this game was made harder after Onyango was sent off for a second bookable offence after shoving off Farouk Chefai just after the restart in this drama filled contest.
At on the other end, Odhiambo had two penalty appeals waved off by match Malian match referee Mamadou Keita, decisions that clearly infuriated Kerr and the Green Army.
“The lads have again done brilliant tonight and we could be sitting here and celebrating a two or three goal victory. But that didn’t happen, and they obviously started falling around and suddenly we are left with only have 10 players on the pitch. At that point, the game became more difficult,” said Kerr.
The first of Odhiambo’s appeals at the half hour mark seemed legitimate, coming after Mohammed Benyana stopped the Kenyan international with a high boot in the danger area.
The hosts were, by far, the better team in the opening half, fashioning out six clear chances.
Disappointingly though, none of these efforts found the back of the net.
Ivorian forward Ephrem Guikan, who was standing in for the suspended Meddie Kagere, had three of these chances.
His first on 13 minutes came via a rifled goal bound shot which was superbly blocked by Oussana Chita’s sliding tackle for a corner, even though it seemed the ball had bounced off the defender’s arm just outside the box.
Guikan’s second chance nine minutes later was via a header off Odhiambo’s measured cross, an effort the visiting keeper Mohamed Lamine did well to parry off with a stretched right hand save.
Odhiambo too, had two goal bound shots in succession thwarted by a combination of Lamine’s impressive left handed and the goal post, as the opening stanza wore on.
In between, the Algerians barely threatened but once and even then, Boniface Oluoch did well to gather a feeble header from Ben Yahyia.