Gor Mahia will kick off their 2018 CECAFA club cup on July 1 against Rwandese side Rayon Sport, the same team they are playing in th3 2018 CAF Confederations cup. The other teams in group B are Lydia Ludic of Burundi and Ports of Djibouti.
On paper it looks like an easy group. But with the backlog of fixtures, one wonders how much petrol Gor Mahia players have left in the tank. This will especially affect the defence where Gor Mahia lack depth. That is unless Kogalo can re-inforce their side sufficiently during the June transfer season.
The CECAFA club cup is a tournament that many Kogalo fans would really like to win given that it has been 33 years since Kogalo lifted the trophy. This especially applies to those fans who are familiar with the good old days when Kogalo was a force in this tournament.
Gor Mahia came from behind and forced a 1-1 draw with Al Khartoum of Sudan. Gor Mahia’s goal came via Eric Ochieng who headed home a Khalid Aucho cross.
Despite the draw, Gor Mahia still have a chance at topping the group. To ensure they win the group, they must beat Djibouti Telecom then hope that the match between Young Africans and Al Khartoum ends in a draw or Young Africans win.
courtesy of goal.com
Ousmailia Baba put Al Khartoum ahead in the seventh minute and here K’Ogalo goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch will blame himself for the goal. Oluoch, who has been in good form, failed to clear an earlier danger allowing Baba to tap home.
Then Eric Ochieng’ netted the equaliser in the 43rd minute allowing Gor Mahia to pick a vital point as both sides have now collected seven points after three matches. It was just the second time in the competition that Gor Mahia were trailing in the competition and it is a situation that once again tested their character as a team.
They did well to attempt a comeback with Khalid Aucho getting a free-kick in the ninth minute from a very prime position. Aucho easily picked out Mike Olunga but the effort went out. Two minutes later, Ali Abondo from a free-kick in an almost similar position sent the ball past the Al Khartoum backline and the goalkeeper Adil Eltahir in goal spilled out the ball. Olunga, who was close by had a poor follow up.
Then in the 18th minute, Innocent Wafula picked out Olunga with a well curved free-kick but the towering forward hesitated just a bit and put the ball out when he finally recovered. On the other side of the pitch, Atif Khalid hit the Gor Mahia post with goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch well beaten. Karim Nizigiyimana did well to clear the danger. By this time, the Sudanese side were clearly in charge of the match and gave the Kenyan champions plenty of trouble.
The match changed to Gor Mahia’s favour in the 42nd minute when Eric Ochieng’ headed home a Khalid Aucho well taken free-kick. The Al Khartoum backline watched in disbelief as Ochieng’ headed home the equaliser.
The second half was a see-saw affair but Gor Mahia looked to have an edge. Haroun Shakava was cautioned for a bad tackle on Ahmed Adam. The same fate also befell Khalid Aucho, who picked his third yellow card of the tournament and is now in danger of missing the quarter-final match. In the 52nd minute, Innocent Wafula lobbed the ball towards Al Khartoum goal and it was punched out by Eltahir in goal.
Al Khartoum then rested Mohammed Hassan for Antony Okumu while Gor Mahia benched Ali Abondo for Collins ‘Gattuso’ Okoth. At this point in the match, Gor Mahia appeared to enjoy advantage in the match as they managed to keep their opponents in their own half for most of the second half.
Gor Mahia line-up : Oluoch, Aucho, Kagere, Walusimbi, Ali Abondo, Musa, Olunga, Wafula, Sibomana, Nizigiyimana and Shakava. Subs: Jerim Onyango, Collins Okoth, Wendo Ernest, Dirkir Glay, Odhiambo George, Ronald Omino and Enock Agwanda.
Al Khartoum : 1. Adil Eltahir, 12. Mohammed Hassan [14. Anthony Akumu 55’], 15. Samawal Merchani, 5. Omer Ali, 26. Hamza Zakaria, 25. Murwan Salih, 16. Wagdi Wad Abdalla [10. Domenic Abul 53’], 8. Amin Ibrahim Elmani, 19. Ousmaila Baba [18. Hassan Eldon 73’], 17. Ahmed Adan Mahamoud, 11. Atif Khalid Eltayeb
Unused Subs: 30. Mohammed Ibrahim, 4. Moawia Elamin, 6. Salah Eldin, 20. Badru Eldin