NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 27 – Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia will head to Kinshasa needing a win to advance into the CAF Confederation Cup group stage after they were held to a 1-1 draw by visitors DRC side DC Motema Pembe in the first leg of the playoff played at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.
Gor were the first off the blocks in the 63rd minute when super substitute, Ivorian forward Gnamien Yikpe looped the ball over the Motema Pembe keeper Barren Maumbo, but defensive lapse from the Gor backline saw William Luezi level the scores after tapping in a rebound from a freekick.
Gor finished with ten men after defender Charles Momanyi was sent off for a straight red card when he stopped the ball that was heading in with his hand for the visitors to be awarded the penalty.
However, Momanyi’s deliberate blunder proved worthwhile after Bogonga missed the penalty that was easily saved by Gor keeper David Mapigano.
In a balanced first half, both sides created chances and it was the hosts Gor who could have broken the deadlock in the 23rd minute after Motema Pembe player lost possession to Nicholas Kipkirui who did well to beat one defender but his intentions to cut the ball back to skipper Kenneth Muguna was well read by the defender’s opponent who cleared the danger.
On the other end, just a minute later, last season’s KPL defender of the year Joash Onyango nearly gifted Motema Pembe an easy goal when he poorly back-passed to his keeper Mapigano who did well to rush out of his line to calmly collect the ball and thwart Bogonga’s aim of shooting.
The visitors upped the tempo in the last five minutes to half time, keeping Mapigano busy in the Gor goal post.
The Tanzanian shot-stopper came to K’Ogalo’s rescue in the 39th minute when he dived to parry away Bogonga’s long range cracker before completing the twin save with a super tip over from a ferocious shot that came from the right wing.
Two minutes to half time, Gor’s Brian Omondi did the donkey work by sprinting to the left wing and win a long cross that came from Muguna and he did well to control the ball before providing a neat pass to Kipkirui who only needed to tap home the ball with only the keeper to beat, but he missed the ball.
Muguna could have scored on the stroke of half time when he connected a cross from the right, but the Motema keeper stopped it.
DC Motema Pembe who have the advantage of the away goal with host the second leg in a fortnight at their Kinshasa backyard.