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Spirited Gor out of CAF Champions League

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

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Hard fighting Gor Mahia bowed out of the CAF Champions League after going down 1-0 on aggregate to Esperance of Tunisia in the first round.

Esperance won 1-0 in the return leg played in Tunis on Sunday after the first leg ended in a 0-0 draw hosted at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos 10 days ago.

A spirited Gor Mahia, playing under a hostile environment, pressed hosts Esperence to their edge despite conceding a goal in the 20th minute, but thanks to the solid defence of the home team coupled by time wasting, they denied the Kenyan champions an away goal that could have seen them write history by proceeding to the Group Stages for the first time in over two decades.

Unlike the last time when Gor played in the same Stade Olympique de Radès pitch where they lost 5-0, it was a much improved K’Ogalo that played this time, showing composure and defending well.

Esperance took the lead after the Gor midfield failed to thwart a build-up from the hosts that gave Anis Badri an opportunity to smash the ball past K’Ogalo shot-stopper Boniface Oluoch.

The result saw K’Ogalo relegated to the CAF Confederation Cup where they will know their opponents for the play-off round when the draw will be conducted March 21.

Gor Mahia will now turn attention to the Kenyan Premier League where they seek to defend the title.

They are currently leading the log on 16 points and with a match at hand.

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