By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27
Kenyan premier league champions Gor Mahia sailed into CAF Confederation quarter final after 1-0 win over Petro Atletico of Angola in a high emotional match played at Kenya’s sports cathedral, Moi International Sports Centre , Kasarani.
Gor christened as “Kogalo” became the first Kenyan club to qualify to group stage of the prestigious competition. Fans and leaders from all walks of life took it to social media to celebrate the historic victory.
“Congratulations Gor! That’s how to do it. Making history all the way. Step by step for the country. Well in,” reads the twitter feeds of Nick Mwendwa, Football Kenya Federation Chairman.
The former Prime Minister Raila Odinga also commended the Kenyan most successful club. “Cheers Gor Mahia on qualifying for quarter-finals after beating Petro Atletico of Angola in your final group D match at Kasarani. All the best as you proceed with the tournament”.
“Gor has made proud. As fans we feel hilarious. Shine on your way to the top,” posted one of the fans on facebook.
Gor went into the match lying at the bottom of the table of Group D with 6 points after five matches behind Zamalek of Egypt, Hussein Dey of Algeria and Petro Atletico. The visitors needed only a draw to advance to the next stage.
The game started on a high note. The first chance for the home side came in the fifth minute but Jacques Tuyisenge’s thunderous strike went wide. Two minutes later Boniface Omondi, Tuyisenge’s co-striker, blazing effort went out of the field of play.
Visitors responded with two well calculated attacks but they could not put the ball past the goalkeeper.
The champion’s hope of progressing to the next level was dimmed in the 34th minute when its bulldozing midfielder Ernest Wendo received a straight red card for dangerous foul on the opponent. Things moved from bad to worse a minute to break when their coach Hassan Oktay was sent off for bad mouthing the match officials.
Oktay’s side undented fighting spirit paid off in the 57th minute when they earned a spot kick after Bonface Omondi was fouled in the box. Rwandese Tuyisenge stepped up and put the ball past Petro’s goalkeeper.
Despite the home side leading, the situation worsened in the 77th minute when they were reduced to nine men. Shaffiq Batambuze was shown red card after picking the second yellow card. Petro Coach was also ejected from the match in the dying moment of the game for dissent against the referee.
The result saw Gor finish second with nine points same with leaders Zamalek. Hussein dey and Petro Atletico got eliminated from the competition.