NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 21 – Former Southampton striker Emmanuel Mayuka scored an added time penalty as Zambian side Napsa Stars forced out a 2-2 draw with Gor Mahia in Lusaka on Sunday to qualify for the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Gor Mahia had their eyes on a place in the group phase after coming from a goal down to lead 2-1, but Mayuka’s late penalty stabbed them right in their hearts as they saw their journey in Continental football brought to a heartbreaking end.
Gor Mahia head coach Carlos Manuel vaz Pinto was left frustrated with the outcome of the game and the late penalty awarded to Napsa, saying they were the better team and deserved to win and progress to the group stages.
“We were better on the field and we played a good game, but one other team, other than Napsa beat us today,” the tactician stated.
He added; “In the last minutes of the game we had one clear chance to score and the last man of Napsa kicks my player and this is only fair that the ref gives a red card. Before this, we have one offside which was not offside and we had a clear chance to score. After that they give four minutes additional time and then gives a penalty.”
“My players cried a lot in the dressing room because they work a lot for the team and their families and its not fair, we are very sad,” the tactician further lamented.
Gor Mahia shook off their jet lag in the warm up straight from the airport, having arrived in Lusaka just less than three hours to the match and they didn’t show any signs of letting up when they went into the pitch for the game.
It took them just 16 minutes to get into the lead when Samwel Onyango struck a long range shot into the net. However, the home side replied just a minute later through Austin Banda after he connected to a Danny Silavwe cross.
But Gor didn’t lose their fight and they retook the lead a minute later, Clifton Migeso firing another shot from outside the box that beat the keeper.
Gor looked to be managing the game well all through and into the second half, but they found themselves heartbroken at the death when Jimmy Mukeya went down easily inside the box.
Mayuka stepped up and slotted home as Gor were eliminated.