Gor survive Bullets scare to seal CAF CL progress
Gor Mahia FC defeated Nyasa Big Bullets 4-3 on penalties after the CAF Champions League preliminary round tie had ended 1-1 in regular time as the Kenyan champions sealed a nervy advance into the second round.
It appeared Gor would certainly crash out after conceding an 85th-minute penalty with the tie deadlocked at 1-1 on aggregate but goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch saved it to give his side the chance to determine their own fate from the shootout.
Gor had carried a 1-0 aggregate lead over Big Bullets to Blantyre but the Malawian champions cut back on the advantage after captain Chiukepo Msowoya put them ahead in the 57th minute to leave it a 1-1.
The hosts should have finished the job in the dying minutes when the referee awarded a penalty against Gor for a transgression in the box but Oluoch saved from a truly dreadful Msowoya effort.
The clash went straight to the spot-kicks following an unyielding four minutes of stoppage time and Msowoya was finally able to beat Oluoch for the second time of asking with the first penalty of the shootout.
Bernard Ondiek, scorer of the last-minute winner in Gor’s 1-0 first leg victory, levelled matters with a coolly dispatched penalty before Oluoch saved Miracle Gabeya’s effort to give his side the advantage.
Humphrey Mieno ensured it stayed that way when he converted from the six-yard area before John Lanjesi sent Oluoch the wrong to keep Big Bullets in it with Boniface Omondi scoring to make it 3-2 in favour of Gor.
Yamikami Fodya scored high into Oluoch’s roof before Harun Shakava put away his penalty and it was all over for the hosts as Pilirani Zonda fired against the crossbar as Gor reached the second round of the premier continental clubs competition for a second successive season.
Gor thus booked a date with Nigeria’s Lobi Stars who scaled the hurdle of Cameroon’s UMS de Loum on 2-1 aggregate to qualify for the next round of the CAF Champions League.
The first leg of the encounter comes up next weekend with Gor playing host to the Nigerian champions in Nairobi, while the second leg is is slated for a week later.