Tuyisenge on the mark as Gor, Nkana share the spoils

Tuyisenge on the mark as Gor, Nkana share the spoils

By Jessie Barisa

Rwandese striker Jacques Tuyisenge marked a return to action by notching a goal as Gor Mahia were held to a one-all- draw by visiting Zambian side Nkana FC in a friendly match played on Saturday at the Camp Toyoyo grounds in Nairobi.

Tuyisenge has been out nursing a knee injury sustained in the Kenyan Premier League match against Zoo Kericho on February 15, but on Saturday he turned on the style firing the hosts in the lead after 20 minutes; a penalty awarded following a handball in the box.

Trailing 1-0 at half- time, Nkana found their rhythm in the second half and responded with a goal courtesy of Zambian Festus Mbewe 64th minute goal.

Gor honoured the friendly request despite a busy week that saw them travel miles to and from Equatorial Guinea in Caf- Champions League assignment against Vegetarianos.

“I’m happy with the way the boys have played and at the same time, I am happy with Gor Mahia. They have come on board and helped us with our preparations. It’s nice and the game was okay. At least the boys came out and they had to put out everything and it was a good run,” said Nkana’s head coach Beston Chambeshi.

Jacques Tuyisenge of Gor Mahia FC celebrates scoring against Tusker FC during their KPL Top 8 knockout semi-final first leg clash at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium on June 12, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Despite the 1-1 draw, Dylan Kerr was happy with the result stating that it was beneficial for the players who missed out on the clash against Vegetarianos February 21.

“We want these (Gor Mahia) players to get a chance to play against a good opposition and it gives us a chance to see who wants to play, who wants to fight for this green jersey not just for KPL but also for Esperance in a few weeks,” Gor’s head coach Dylan Kerr said after the match.

K’Ogalo is the only Kenyan team in CAF competitions after advancing into the first round of the champions league, where they will meet Tunisia’s Esperance on March 6.

Leopards who were flying the country’s flag in the Caf- Confederations Cup crashed at the first hurdle on away goal rule to FOSA juniors of Madagascar. The first leg at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega ended in a 1-1 stalemate, before the two sides fought to a barren draw away in Madagascar on Wednesday, ending Leopards continental dreams.

“It’s gonna be tricky, it’s gonna be difficult because we have to keep everybody fresh; I don’t need to risk any injuries. We’ve got people coming back from injury; Jacques Tuyisenge is coming back… so that’s good. And we just want to keep that competition; we want to keep that healthy competition,” said Kerr

Boniface Omondi (L) of Gor Mahia FC tackled by Diego Apanane of Nkana FC from Zambia during their Friendly match played at Camp Toyoyo stadium in Nairobi on February 24, 2018. The match ended 1-1. Photo/Kelly Ayodi/Sportpicha.

At the end of the season, the team will be hoping to put Kenya back on the football map alongside being successful in all competitions.

The 2018 season will prove to be a challenge for Gor Mahia in their attempt to make Kenya proud at the continental level but at the same time ensure a successful defence of their Kenyan Premier League title, as the K’Ogalo fans keep their fingers crossed.