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Gor’s Confed Cup surge halted in Luanda

Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay on the touchline during their SportPesa Cup match against Tanzania’s Mbao FC at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on January 23, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 13 – Gor Mahia’s hopes of a second successive CAF Confederations Cup Group D win was halted on Wednesday evening after going down 2-1 to Angola’s Petro Atletico at the November 11 Stadium in the capital Luanda.

Gor travelled to Central Africa on the back of a hugely motivating match day one 4-2 win over giants Zamalek in Nairobi but had the stubborn monkey on their back of failing to win away from home.

First half goals from Manguxi Quiberto and Brazilian Toni Roso Ribeiro saw the home side pick maximum points and throw Group D wide open.

Nicholas Kipkurui headed home in added time off a Kenneth Muguna delivery, but it was too little too late.

Despite a good start to the tie, Gor found themselves trailing after 12 minutes. Shafik Batambuze was caught in possession on the right by Leal Tiago who skipped into the box and cut back for Manguxi to wrap his boot around the ball and curl it beyond Boniface Oluoch.

Gor had kept possession from the first whistle and had a sniff at goal in the third minute when Francis Mustafa, stepping in for the suspended Jacques Tuyisenge had a go at goal from distance but it didn’t trouble the keeper.

Despite going down early, Gor still dictated the pace of the game and had the bigger chunk of possession.

But they couldn’t create anything meaningful in the final third of play, the attacking duo of Mustafa and Erisa Ssekisambu failing terribly in their audition to permanently mark themselves a starting role in the team.

-Oluoch mistake

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Gor were almost caught out after 31 minutes when Oluoch came off his line to punch away a cross from the left, but it fell kindly on Job Ricardo. However, the skipper couldn’t get a shot on target, the effort on the half volley going wide.

Three minutes on the turn, the Kenyan champions had their first effort on target when Batambuze’s effort with a freekick from range flew straight into the keeper’s arms.

With the little possession they had, the home side always created danger when they went up in attack.

In the 35th minute, Leal came close to doubling the tally but his header off a Joao Diogenes cross went inches off target. Two minutes later though, they were 2-0 up.

Joash Onyango playing as a makeshift right back in place of the suspended Philemon Otieno was turned inside out by Gaspar Mateus who swung in a frsit time cross that was met by Antonio’s diving header at the edge of the six yard box.

With a 2-0 scoreline off their favor and a torridly ineffective forward line, Gor boss Hassan Oktay sought to re-jig matters and pulled out Boniface Omondi for George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo with two minutes to the break.

-Gor Mahia survive

At the start of the second half, the home side looked to get a third and put the game to rest and they began with pace. Four minutes after the restart, some fancy footwork saw Ricardo skip away from Joash to lift in a dangerous cross but Leal’s header was straight at Oluoch.

Oktay made changes, the ineffective Mustafa coming off for Kipkurui

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K’Ogalo still got their tempo on, keeping possession and trying to open up the defense. In the 56th minute, Lawrence Juma tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the box but it went just over.

Odhianbo had Gor’s next chance when his glancing header at the edge of the six yard box went just wide off a beautiful Kenneth Muguna cross.

As they threw bodies forward, Gor were almost caught off their guard when another move on the wings saw Diogenes find space on the right to cross, but Leal’s shot from the cutback, unmarked, went wide.

On the turn, Petro keeper Jorge Elber made a brilliant save to finger tip Charles Momanyi’s header from a corner.

The Kenyan champions kept their surge and with 12 minutes left, Oktay threw in his last dice, Ssekisambu coming off for Samuel Onyango.

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