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Pictorial: Gor, Esperance share spoils in Champions League

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Gor Mahia fans rally behind their team at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos during their o-o draw against Esperence of Tunisia in the first leg of the CAF Champions League. Photo/ RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – Gor Mahia displayed an eye-catching football but the Esperance shot-stopper Noel Ben Sherifia stood tall to deny them in a 0-0 draw first leg of the CAF Champions League First Round. Here is how it went down in pictorial at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Wednesday.

Gor Mahia players jostle for space with Esperance during their CAF Champions League first leg First Round. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Gor Mahia captain, Harun Shakava has rallied his team-mates to put in hard yards of training even as they eye place in the history books by being the first Kenyan team to progress to the group stages since Tusker in 1994.

Gor Mahia skipper Harun Shakava defending well against Esperance defender. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

The record 16-time Kenyan Premier League champions, beaten 3-2 at home by the same opponents four years ago had an opportunity to finish the first leg with a handsome score-line, but their scoring let them down on an afternoon they should have had more than three goals.

Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr in deep thought. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr drinking water. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr reacts after a missed chance. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr analyzing the match as his side fluffed chances against Esperance of Tunisia in the first leg of the CAF Champions League First Round. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Esperance goalkeeper Sherifia had twice produced brilliant saves to ensure his side remained in the game, while also playing his fair share of time wasting antics, slowing down the pace of the game.

Esperance Keeper Noel Ben Cherifa stop an attempt on goal from Kenyan champions Gor Mahia. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Without a natural right-back as both Wellington Ochieng and Karim Nizigiyimana are out injured, Gor head coach Dylan Kerr took the gamble of pulling wide a central defender, putting Joachim Oluoch in the position.

Gor Mahia’s Joash Onyango reacts after missing a header against Esperance during their CAF Champions League match. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

It was Esperance who were the first to produce a goal scoring chance, Youssef Blaili finding some shooting space from 30 yards out but the ball rolled wide.

Gor Mahia’s Godfrey Walusimbi trying to get the ball from an Esperance player. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
Esperance Head Coach Ben Yahia. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Gaining confidence that they could actually open up the Tunisians, Gor played more attacking football and in the 27th minute had another chance when Kagere was sent through on the left by Odhiambo, powered into the box but his eventual shot went wide.

Gor Mahia’s talisman Meddie Kagere in action against Tunisian giants Esperance during their first leg First round encounter at Machakos Stadium on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
Gor Mahia talisman Meddie Kagere launch an attack with team-mate Jacque Tuyisenge. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
Gor Mahia’s George ‘Blackberry’ in action against Esperance. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
Gor Mahia talented winger George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo against Esperance’s Fosseny Coulibaly. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Esperance resulted to time wasting and the center referee Egyptian Gehad Zaghloul did not spare them.

Esperance players slowing down the pressure as center referee Gehad Zaghloul gives directions. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
Esperance players in time wasting tricks. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
Gor Mahia forward Meddie Kagere and his team-mate Jacques Tuyisenge reacts after an attempt. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
Gor Mahia striker Jacques Tuyisenge keeping under-pressure Esperance keeper Noel Ben Cherifa on toes. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
Gor Mahia’s Philemon Otieno vies for the ball against Esperance du Tunis’s Fouseny Coulibaly during a CAF Champions League tie at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on March 7, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu
Gor Mahia’s Ernest Wendo vies for the ball against Esperance du Tunis’s players during a CAF Champions League tie at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on March 7, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Victory away in Tunis or any kind of a draw with scoreline will see Gor sail through to the prestigious group stages for the first time many years.

Gor Mahia die hard fan Jaro Soja rallying behind his team. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA
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