Gor Mahia 1-1 AS Otoho d’Oyo (1-2 agg.): End of the road for K’Ogalo in Caf Confederation Cup
Gor Mahia vs AS Otoho.
Gor Mahia.
The former Kenyan champions bade farewell to the African competition after failing to win at home against the Congolese outfit

Kenya’s Gor Mahia failed to reach the group stage of the Caf Confederation Cup after a 1-1 draw against AS Otoho d’Oyo of Congo in the return leg play-off fixture at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday.

Striker Roland Okouri put the visiting side ahead in the 10th minute and despite Gor Mahia pulling a goal back in the 12th minute courtesy of John Macharia, it was not enough as the Congolese outfit advanced on a 2-1 aggregate scoreline.

K’Ogalo went into the game seeking to overturn the 1-0 defeat suffered in the first leg meeting and they received a boost as two of their players – striker Jules Ulimwengu and defender John Ochieng’ - who missed the away game for allegedly testing positive for Covid-19, were cleared to feature.

Coach Mark Harrison gave Ulimwengu a start to lead the attacks while Ochieng’ was among the five players warming the bench.

Despite playing away, it was Otoho, who started the game on a high note as Okouri almost put them ahead with only six minutes played when he met a cross from Moise Nkounkou but his final effort was punched out for the first corner of the game by K’Ogalo goalkeeper Gad Mathew.

But four minutes later, Otoho took a deserved lead when Okouri, who scored in the first leg meeting at Stade Alphonse Massamba-Debat in Brazzaville last Sunday, jumped the highest to head past Mathews after Souleymane Sakande had delivered the ball from a sumptuous free-kick.

K’Ogalo responded almost immediately as two minutes from the restart, a through ball from overlapping defender Frank Odhiambo met Ernest Wendo who in turn laid a pass to John Macharia.

The dreadlocked midfielder did not make a mistake as he rounded up two defenders before beating goalkeeper Wolfrigon Ngobo Mongondza with a low-footed effort to level the scores.

The goal somehow rejuvenated Gor Mahia, who threatened yet again with another counter-attacking move in the 18th minute, Wendo setting up Samuel Onyango, who delivered a cross from the left wing but a header from captain Harun Shakava went inches wide.

In the 32nd minute, referee Hassan Mohamud Hagi from Somalia flashed his first yellow card to Otoho custodian Mongondza and five minutes later, another Gor Mahia chance went begging as Onyango failed to tap in a cross from Benson Omalla.

In the 43rd minute, Macharia exchanged passes with Onyango and Omalla, and the final ball fell to Ulimwengu, but the Burundian striker fumbled the ball with the goal at his mercy allowing Otoho defender Dimitri Bissiki to smash it out for a fruitless corner.

That was the final chance for Gor Mahia in the first half and the teams headed into the half-time break tied at 1-1 but the former FKF Premier League champions knew they needed to score more goals if they are to reach the group stage of the competition.

On resumption, K’Ogalo looked the more dangerous side as they sought to take the lead for the first time in the game but Otoho's defence revolving around Bissiki, Sakande, and Julfin Ondongo, stayed tight at the back protecting keeper Mongondza well.

In the 52nd minute, Otoho came close to retaking the lead when Chandrel Massanga met a cross from Nkounkou rounded up two Gor Mahia defenders before unleashing a left-footed effort that kissed the bar.

It was Otoho who continued to threaten and Massanga once again missed an open chance in the 63rd minute when he failed to beat Mathews in a one-on-one situation after his attempt to chip the ball over the advancing goalkeeper failed with his effort rolling out for a goal-kick.

Otoho coach Alou Badra then made two changes in the 72nd minute, Biassadila Arci coming out for Wilfrid Nkaya while Massanga was benched for Alou Bagayoko.

The draw denied K’Ogalo a chance to advance to the group stage and they will now shift their focus to reclaiming the top-flight title from Tusker.

Gor Mahia starting XI: Gad Mathews, Philemon Otieno, Harun Shakava, Fred Nkata, Frank Odhiambo, Ernest Wendo, Alpha Onyango, Samuel Onyango, John Macharia, Benson Omalla, and Jules Ulimwengu.

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Subs: Caleb Omondi, Sydney Ochieng’, John Nyawir, Victor Ayugi, and John Ochieng’.

AS Otoho d’Oyo starting XI: Wolfrigon Ngobo Mongondza, Dimitri Bissiki, Souleymane Sakande, Julfin Ondongo, Faria Jobel Ondongo, Hilda Brel Mohendiki, Michel Mvondo Ndougsa, Moise Nkounkou, Chandrel Massanga, Biassadila Arci, and Roland Okouri.