NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – Gor Mahia kicked off their CAF Confederations Cup campaign in emphatic fashion hitting five-time African Champions Zamalek 4-2 in their opening Group D match at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.
On-form Jacques Tuyisenge scored a brace with Nicholas Kipkurui notching the the third while Kenyan legend Dennis Oliech put the icing on the cake with the fourth in the comfortable win.
It was a brilliant display from Hassan Oktay’s men as the Kenyan champions began their quest for a quarter final slot in superb style.
Gor had to fight from a goal down after the white knights went ahead with a seventh minute Ibrahim Hassan goal, but Tuyisenge sent the Gor fans into frenzy with the equalizer after 25 minutes and his second of the evening eight minutes later.
Two minyets to the break Hassan struck again to send the two sides level at half time. Kipkurui scored what looked like a definite winner in the second half before Oliech iced the beautiful cake for Gor with the fourth in added time.
Oliech marked history, scoring a goal against the same opponents his late brother Steve Okumu scored against during their 1998 meeting here in Nairobi when Gor ran out 1-0 winners.
The visitors broke the deadlock and stunned the well attended match into silence when Hassan’s rather harmful looking shot somehow managed to escape keeper Boniface Oluoch’s grasp.
The home side though kept their feet on the ground and continued pushing for an equalizer and they had a chance after 19 minutes but Boniface Omondi’s effort off a Francis Kahata cross.
But six minutes later, they got the much needed equalizer.
Tuyisenge who scored a brace in a midweek league clash against Sony Sugar in Nakuru picked up from where he left, pouncing on a flicked ball from Kipkurui inside the box before slamming past the keeper to draw the two sides level.
Tuyisenge then sent Gor ahead after 38 minutes when he flew to head in a cross from Boniface Omondo who had been sent through with a delightful ball by Kahata.
Gor’s joy of a second goal was shortlived though as Hassan slalomed his way through the defense before his shot easily beat keeper Oluoch, who once again should have done better to keep his side in the lead.
But, in the second half, Gor came back with their focus primed on getting in a win at all costs and their attack minded nature spoke volumes of their ambition.
They needed just six minutes to get back into the lead, this time Tuyisenge turning provider to whisk in a brilliant cross that was met by an evenly matched strong header from Kipkurui to sail it past the Zamalek keeper.
Four minutes later the former Zoo Kericho man came close to his second of the evening when he was set up by Kahata off a Tuyisenge cross, but his venomous shot went just over the bar.
The home side continued to wind in attacks and in the 57th minute it was Omondi’s turn when he was set up by the impressive Kahata, but once again his shot sailed over the bar.
Gor were forced into a sub in the 62nd minute when Kipkurui hobbled off injured and was replaced by Oliech for his continental debut for the Kenyan giants.
Oliech made his presence felt upfront and five minutes after coming on, he showed his superb pace racing away to try meet a Kahata through pass, but the ball was too close to the keeper who came off to collect.
In the 73rd minute, Oliech was at the heart of an attacking move once again when he set Kahata through after meeting Philemon Otieno’s cross, but the midfielder’s shot flew wide.
Gor persisted and were ultimately rewarded in added time, Oliech marking his debut with a beautiful goal after rounding off the keeper to seal the three points for Gor.
The Kenyan champions’ next assignment will be away to Angola’s Petro Atletico in Luanda in 10 days’ time.