NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – Skipper Mandela Ocansey hit the decisive goal as West African giants Horoya AC from Guinea beat Kenya’s FA Cup Champions Bandari FC 1-0 on the afternoon and 5-2 on aggregate to halt the dockers’ quest for a first ever spot in the CAF Confederations Cup group stages.
A porous Horoya backline constantly gave Bandari room to penetrate, but the dockers couldn’t just make use of the opportunities as a chance of a historic place in the group stages of continental football slipped right through their fingers like dry sand on a sunny Mombasa evening.
The dockers had two different halves; quick and attacking in the opening 45, then slow and sluggish in the final stanza of the game as the visitors took their best chance of the game in the 66th minute.
Knowing a two goal climb awaited them to ascend, Bandari had a strong start to the match and as early as the first minute should have been celebrating the first goal.
Abdallah Hassan took on a good run on the right before delivering a dicey cutback, but William Wadri who was aptly positioned on the penalty spot swung the ball inches over on the first take.
Horoya had a chance in the sixth minute when the Bandari defense was found on the back foot. But, the visitors could not take advantage as Bolaji Sakin took too much time on the ball allowing Fred Nkata to track back and bully him off the ball.
The home side employed a strategy to be quick off the ball and they launched attacks forward, but couldn’t take advantage of any spaces accorded to them.
Twice, the Horoya defense fluffed in clearing their lines inside the box, but both Abdallah and Mwamba could not make the most of the gifts laid up infront of them like a bouquet of flowers.
They once again dodged a bullet in the 25th minute when off a corner, the ball fell on Dramane Nikiema but the pint sized attacker’s shot was deflected by a forest of legs thrown his way for another corner that wasn’t of much threat.
The dockers launched a quick counter in the 31st minute with Abdallah’s deft touch leaving his marker gasping for a piece of his shirt which he couldn’t get. The forward surged up at goal, but was hacked down 20 yards off, winning his side a set piece.
But, Wadri’s effort at goal flew straight to Horoya keeper Camara Moussa’s waiting arms.
Three minutes later, the dockers had another glorious opportunity when Wadri picked out Yema Mwamba with a sleek pass, but the Congolese forward could not get the ball on target with the keeper off his line.
On the other end, six minutes to half time, Aristide Bance who had been closely monitored by the Bandari defense had his first sniff at goal with a freekick from the edge of the box that was saved by keeper Mustafa Oduor, standing in for the injured Mike Wanyika.
But in the second half, Bandari seemed to have come back feet off the gas peddles. Four minutes in, Mandela swung in a low cross from the right but Morlaye Sylla’s connection was straight to the keeper from close range.
Sakin had a similar chance this time from Sylla’s cutback but he blasted the ball over.
Bandari’s ship finally cunk in the 66th minute when Mandela beat the offside trap, drove in and sent a low shot past keeper Oduor to break the deadlock and increase the height of the mountain Bandari had to scale.
He should have had a brace but had a late chance saved one on one by Oduor, but it didn’t matter as they held on to pick victory and advance to the group stage.