Gor Mahia were on Sunday stunned 2-1 by Rayon Sports in the CAF Confederations cup match. USM Alger were also stunned 2-1 by Yanga in Dar es Salaam. The group is now tight with three teams all with a chance to qualify.
The match was bound to be a difficult one. Rayon sports proved their worth when they almost beat USM Alger in Algiers a month ago. Francis Mutafa equalized to make the score 1-1 at halftime. However Eric Rutanga’s free-kick gave the Rwandese side a win that kept them in contention.
Additional reporting from the Nation
Bonfilscaleb Bimenyimana and Eric Rutanga’s goals on either side of Francis Mustafa’s equaliser gave the visitors a deserved win at a half-packed Kasarani Stadium.
Gor, who face Algerian side USM Alger in the final group stage match in 10 days’ time, remain top of Group D on eight points, two ahead of the Rwandan champions who need a win in their last game against Tanzania’s Young Africans to stand a chance of going through. Rayon will be hoping the Algerians, who remain second on eight points after suffering a shock 2-1 loss to Yanga in Dar es Salaam on Sunday night, beat Gor Mahia in Algiers.
“We came determined to win this match and we got everything right. We shall approach our last game like a final, play our hearts out and hope Gor doesn’t win away,” said left back Eric Rutanga after the game.
Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is also the Gor Mahia patron, had not even settled on his seat at the VVIP stand before Bimenyimana swept the ball past Gor Mahia custodian Shaban Odhoji for the the opening goal barely two minutes after Zimbabwean referee Norman Matemera got the proceedings underway.
Rutanga beat his marker down the left before delivering an inch-perfect cross that resulted into a wild celebration from the few Rayon fans on the opposite stand.
Burundian forward Mustafa restored the buzzing atmosphere at the half-packed Kasarani stands with a 21st minute equaliser after dispossessing Rwatubyaye Abdul to slam a right-footed effort into the back of the net.
Rutanga restored Rayon’s lead in the 54th minute with a well-curled free-kick from the left flank leaving Odhoji with no chance, just like he had scored in the two sides’ first leg tie in Kigali which ended 1-1 two months ago.
George “Blackberry” Odhiambo had brought down speedy winger Kevin Muhire.
Bimenyimana had the ball in the back of the net with 15 minutes to go, but Matemera called for a foul on Odhoji before Gor missed a scoring chance on the other end after George Odhiambo failed to tuck away the ball from the six-yard box.
Last minute efforts by the hosts to get an equaliser bore no fruit as the cash-strapped Rwandans, who travelled with a team of 15 players, broke into jubilation after the final whistle.
In the absence of Godfrey Walusimbi, who is on his way to South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs, Gor coach Dylan Kerr lined up Philemon Otieno on the left as Wellington Ochieng’ took charge of the right back position with Jacques Tuyisenge and Mustafa leading the onslaught.