A 94th minute goal by Bernard Ondiek gave Gor Mahia a 1-0 win over a determined Nyasa Big Bullets on Wednesday. The win enables Gor Mahia to take a slim lead to Malawi for the return leg next week. And crucially, Gor Mahia did not concede an away goal.
Additional reporting from the Nation
ubstitute Bernard Ondiek struck an injury time winner as Gor Mahia secured a 1-0 win over Malawi’s Nyasa Big Bullets in their Caf Champions League preliminary round first leg encounter at the Kasarani Stadium on Wednesday.
The scorer was fed through on goal by Humphrey Mieno and rifled the shot into the back of the net past a hapless Rabson Chiyenda, who was guarding the visitors goalmouth.
“The opponents tried to play a defensive game to frustrate us and wait for the counter attack. I am happy we managed to break them down eventually because we deserved this win,” said Gor Mahia interim coach Zedekiah ‘Zico Otieno after the match.
“This is a very unfortunate result. We suffered a lapse of concentration in the last minute and gave away the hard work put in over 90 minutes. Let’s see what happens in Blantyre,” Nyasa’s coach Kalisto Pasuwa responded.
This result hands the Kenyan champions a slender advantage against their Malawi counterparts ahead of the return leg clash slated for six days time.
As things stand, the Malawians need to win the return leg by two clear goals to progress to the first round of this lucrative continental championship at Gor’s expense.
The hosts suffered an early setback when lead striker Jacques Tuyisenge was forced off the pitch after only eight minutes with what looked like a knee injury.
The Rwandan forward was replaced by Sammy Onyango, who moved over to the right hand side of midfield, with new signing Erisa Ssekisambu taking Tuyisenge’s position upfront.
In their first competitive match of the 2018/2019 league season, K’Ogalo took time to settle.
Infact, their first clear cut chances arrived in the final 15 minutes of the game.
The initial opportunity came on 38 minutes, via an Ernest Wendo’s fierce free kick, which was goal bound, until Chiyenda intervened and parried the ball away for a fruitless corner.
The next chance fell to the lanky Humphrey Mieno, but again he fluffed it, gifting Chiyenda with an easy catch, when he should have passed the ball to Ssekisambu, who was in a better opportunity to score.
In between, Bright Munthali almost scored an away goal, only for his shot to be scrambled away by Gor goallie Frederick Odhiambo.
The Kenyan champions upped the ante in the second stanza with Francis Mustafa and Kenneth Muguna taking turns to test Chiyenda.
Gor Mahia XI: Peter Odhiambo, Philemon Otieno, Shafiq Batambuze, Joash Onyango, Haron Shakava, Earnest Wendo, Humphrey Mieno, Kenneth Muguna, George Odhiambo, Erisa Ssekisambu and Jacques Tuyisenge.
Subs: Boniface Oluoch, Charles Momanyi, Pascal Ogweno, Cercidy Okeyo, Benard Ondiek, Francis Mustafa and Samuel Onyango.