Gor Mahia started their 2018-2019 CAF Champions league campaign with a scoreless draw away to Aigle Noir of Burundi.
Additional Reporting from the Nation
Despite availing fifteen players instead of the maximum required number of eighteen, Gor Mahia Sunday battled to a scoreless draw with Burundi’s Aigle Noir FC in a preliminary round clash of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League at the Intwari Stadium in Bujumbura.
Overall, the Kenyan team’s defence was barely threatened in the entire game.
In fact, forward Nicholas Kipkirui was inches away from winning it for the visitors on the hour mark. However, his effort off the right boot after a well-worked corner routine came off the bar.
Considering home ground advantage, this outcome places the Kenyan champions in pole position to progress to the next round of this money-spinning competition ahead of the return leg clash in Nairobi on August 24.
K’Ogalo needs just a win in that game set for the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani to advance to the first round.
But the Burundian champions will eliminate the Kenyan side if they can pull off a scoring draw of any kind in that game.
This game meanwhile, was not only Gor Mahia’s competitive game this season but also marked a debut for new coach Steve Polack.
The coach, in turn, handed competitive debuts to Tanzania goalkeeper David Mapigano, the custodian’s compatriot Dickson Ambundo and former Sony Sugar midfielder Tobias Otieno.
“I think it went well because we were never in danger of losing,” explained Polack in his post-match comments.
“We were short of bodies but we found a way to go around that. It’s just half-time in this tie and now that we have a feel of what the opposition is capable of, we will prepare for them at home.”
The Kenyan team travelled with 15 players following a hitch in the registration process with the Caf.
This occurrence left Polack with a reserve bench consisting only three outfield players.
Gor are expected back home on Monday evening.
David Mapigano, Wellington Ochieng, Geoffrey Ochieng, Charlse Momanyi, Joash Onyango, Tobias Otieno, Lawrence Juma, Kenneth Muguna, Boniface Omondi, Dickson Ambundo, Nicholas Kipkirui