NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – Kenyan champions Gor Mahia failed to score in the CAF Confederations Cup group stages for the first time after losing 1-0 to home side Nasr Athletic Hussein Dey in a group D clash played in Algiers, Algeria on Sunday night.
Gor will feel aggrieved leaving Algiers with no point especially after scoring a legitimate goal denied by the referee on the hour mark, but they travel to Egypt with eyes focused on avoiding defeat when they take on Zamalek in Alexandria next Sunday.
The result meant Hussein climbed back to the top of the group on seven points while Gor drop to second with six.
Zamalek who earlier on beat Angola’s Petro Atletico by a solitary goal move to third on five points while the Angolans remain bottom with four, the group remaining wide open with two rounds of matches left.
In Algiers, Gor travelled sitting top of the group and only needed to avoid defeat to keep their position intact but they fell to a ninth minute Abderrahmane Yousfi strike.
Yousfi scred from point blank after a Peter Odhiambo save and the post had denied the home side, Charles Momanyi’s effort at blocking the ball before it crossed the line ending up in futility.
A deep ball at the back post was headed back to the edge of the six yard box met by Landry Ntankeu whose shot was blocked by Odhiambo and then Fauzi Yaya’s follow up came against the crossbar. Yousfi picked the spills and side footed the ball home.
Hussein scored on the backdrop of quote a fiery start as just before that, Yousfi had seen his header on the ground after slipping saved by Odhiambo.
In the second minute of the game, Odhiambo who was stepping in for the injured Boniface Oluoch made a great save to deny Yousfi’s shot at his near post and from the eventual corner, Ntankeu headed over unmarked.
Gor had a chance to draw back into the game when Jacques Tuyisenge was put through on goal, but he took too much time on the ball and his eventual shot at goal was blocked.
Hussein dictated possession, while Gor sought to hit on the counter but nothing could give for the record Kenyan champions.
-Better second half
In the second half, Gor came back a better side and four minutes in, they had a chance when Samuel Onyango lifted in a well weighted cross for Tuyisenge at the backpost but the Rwandese headed straight to the keeper’s waiting palms.
On the other end, Hussein almost snatched a second when skipper Abdelghani Khiat beat Odhiambo to the ball off a Yaya freekick, but his touch as heavy and it flew over the bar. Yaya had another chance off a freekick and he chose to go direct, his effort well collected by Odhiambo.
Gor thought they had gone back into contention on the hour mark when Shafik Batambuze rose highest to nod home a corner from Kahata, but the ref waved out the goal citing a foul on the keeper.
However, the shot stopper had been fouled by his own player, Mohamed Noufel Khacef.
-Mustafa in for Kipkurui
Head coach Hassan Oktay swung in his first change, Kipkurui coming off for Francis Mustafa as the tactician sought a fresh pair of legs in attack.
Gor kept their pressure forcing Hussein to play inside their half, but couldn’t get the quality balls needed in the final third.
It was the home side who almost snatched a goal when Yaya’s cross was met Ntankeu at the edge of the six yard box but his glancing header was over.
In the final 10 minutes Oktay brought in Dennis Oliech for Tuyisenge, another attacking change seeking to get in at least a goal to get a point off the away trip.
The visitors came close in added time when Mustafa’s snap shot caught everyone by surprise, but keeper Gaya Merbah made a brilliant full stretched save to turn the ball behind for a corner.