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Kahata left out as Gor storm CECAFA quarters

Gor Mahia duo Ephraim Guikan and Innocent Wafula

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 5- Gor Mahia squeezed into the Quarter Finals of the CECAFA Kagame Cup on Thursday with a 2-0 win over Djibouti’s Ports courtesy of first half goals from Philemon Otieno and defender Charles Momanyi.

But, even as Gor made it to the last eight of the regional competition, the screaming absence of midfield creative Francis Kahata raised eyebrows coming at a time when he is heavily linked with a move to Tanzanian champions Simba SC.

After back to back draws against Rwanda’s Rayon Sport and Burundi’s Lydia Ludic, head coach Dylan Kerr was vocal of Kahata’s concentration in the tournament.

“I think Francis is being derailed and unsettled by all the talk of moving to Simba and he is not playing at his best,” Kerr told local media after the draw against Ludic.

And, Kerr might have just thrown down the hammer on the former Thika United midfielder who has enjoyed two glorious seasons at Gor by completely living him out of the 18 that walked out of the tunnel to play Ports.

Heading into the match against Ports, Gor needed a win at all costs to guarantee themselves a place in the quarters after back to back draws.

Head coach Dylan Kerr made changes, Boniface Oluoch returning in goal in place of Shabaan Odhoji while midfield workhorse Ernest Wendo earned his place back in the middle of the Gor pack.

And they started just as they had wished with Otieno scoring his second goal in the tournament from the edge of the box after quarter of an hour with a low shot that found the keeper off his feet.

Momanyi then cemented the win before half time with a simple header inside the box. Gor lived dangerously in the second half with Oluoch time and again called to duty, but they just managed to hold on to the win.

Gor finished top of the group on five points on account of goal difference with Rayon coming in second also with five points after beating Lydia Ludic 3-1.