Gor Mahia held Zambia’s most popular club Nkana FC, formerly known as Nkana Red Devils in a friendly match at Camp Toyoyo on Saturday.
Additional reporting from the Nation
In an encounter K’Ogalo coach Dylan Kerr explained was aimed at fine tuning his charges ahead of their next continental assignment, the hosts grabbed the lead against the visiting top Zambian club at the half hour mark through the returning Jacques Tuyisenge.
The 12-time Zambian champions were initially penalised after Diego Apanane handled the ball in his box and Tuyisenge stepped up to drill the resultant penalty kick past a clueless Kelvin Malunga for the opening goal of the match.
This setback seemed to rattle a potent Nkana attack consisting Congolese sensation Idriss Ilunga Mbombo, who is a former strike partner to Kenya international Jesse Were at Zesco United, 2016 FAZ league topscorer Walter Bwalya, Zambia International Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba and Festus Mbewe.
And their reaction was impressive.
First, Mbombo easily went past his marker on the left hand side of the pitch and sent in a low cross that Bwalya connected with a goal bound shot on 55 minutes.
Gor keeper Shaban Odhoji was however equal to the task.
Odhoji could do little to stop Mbewe’s shot that found the inside roof of the next five minutes later, after the Zambian striker benefitted from Bwalya’s 20-yard pass.
“They have some confident players with good touches. They got tired in the second half and we capitalised,” said Nkana coach Beston Chameshi.
“It was a good workout for the players who didn’t play in the Champions League and I am impressed with their reaction,” added Kerr.
The Kenyan champions are in line to play Tunisia’s Esperance in a Caf Africa Champions League first round match on March 7, while Nkana will square it out with Algeria’s CR Belouizdad in the first round of the Confederation Cup.
According to football agent George Bwana who is coordinating Nkana’s five day Kenyan pre-season camp, Nkana are primed to play either Nakumatt or Tusker in their final friendly on Monday.