Late goal lifts Gor Mahia over Big Bullets

Bernard Ondiek celebrates after scoring

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.

Gor Mahia vs Nyasa Big Bullets preview

Gor Mahia start their continental campaign for the 2018-2019 season today against Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi. They will be looking to overcome the disappointment of the UK tour which saw them play poorly lose to Everton. They will also be looking to overcome the loss of popular coach Dylan Kerr. But his replacement Zedekiah Otieno is adamant that the team is well prepared.

“We have worked on all possible scenarios and we think they might sit back and try to hit us on the counter. We are ready for that,” Zico told journalists on Monday.

Gor Mahia have never reached the champions league group stages. Zico is determined that this will be the first time. He will be hoping that Tuyisenge’s form from the national team translates to his club on Wednesday and that he and Kahata can put aside the distractions emanating from their transfer rumours.

Nyasa Big Bullets are confident after having won their last match 5-0 . Chiukepo Msowoya who scored a brace in this match is the man Kogalo must watch. He is vastly experienced having played in Rwanda, Mozambique and South Africa. he is also a key performer in the Malawi national team and played in the 2010 Africa nations cup.

The attack also has the young Patrick Phiri who at age 20 is also in the national team and scored against Comoros earlier this month. Together with Msowoya, they form a lethal attack that Gor Mahia will be hard pressed to contain.

Assistant Coach Lovemore Fazili recently led his team on a build-up tour of Tanzania where they played against Simba and JKU. Based on those results, he said he is confident against Gor Mahia.

“I think they (Gor Mahia) are our match. We do not need to panic. I am sure we can pull a surprise if we prepare well for the game,” said Fazili

They arrrived on Monday and have been training at Ruaraka grounds.

“We wanted to train at night but there was no pitch with floodlights. We hope to have our last session tomorrow at night and see how we adjust,” said Kalisto Pasua the head coach.

The Bullets have won the Malawi league 13 times and are on course to win the league again. They currently sit atop the league with four matches to go. Pasua is confident that his team will be sharper since they have been busy.

“The fact that we have been active can be good thing to us but again there are lots of tired legs in the squad. We just want the boys to have the right mentality and see what happens on Wednesday night,” said Pasua.

Against Simba in the recent friendly, Bullets relied on defending in large numbers then launching counter attacks. Indeed Malawian teams are noted for the speed with which they execute counter attacks. But Gor Mahia were recently given harsh lessons in lightning quick counter attacks by Everton so they should be ready for anything.