So near yet so far for Gor in Confed Cup
Gor Mahiia bundled out of CAF Confederations Cup
Gor Mahia’s CAF Confederations Cup campaign came crushing down on Wednesday after losing 2-1 to USM Alger in Algeria, a result that saw them finish third in the group and miss out on a place in the quarter finals.
It was a case of so near yet so far away for Gor as they came into the game top of the group and needing just a point to go through. However, the loss saw them exit with Rayon Sport sneaking in to second after beating Yanga 1-0 in the other group match played in Kigali.
Things went according to the Rwandese’s script, lanky forward Caleb Bimenyimana scoring the lone goal to send his side through.
In Algeria, Kenyan champions Gor did not have enough fight within themselves despite jack Tuyisenge scoring a late goal that halved the deficit for them.
USM raided Gor from the first minute and nine minutes in, the holders should have gone 1-0 up when they were handed a penalty after Gor skipper Harun Shakava handled inside the box. However, Gor’s third choice keeper Fredrtick Odhiambo made a save with his feet from Mohammed Meftah.
Odhiambo who had been superb in the last two league matches was handed a start ahead of Boniface Oluoch and he proved his coach was right saving the penalty, his second in three games.
Despite losing the penalty, USM continued with their early press and Yaya Faouzi came close when the ball was spread to his path on the right unmarked, but his shot was disappointing rolling wide.
Nonetheless, three minutes later their labor bore fruit. Gor were punished for their zonal marking that left Prince Ibara isolated on the right, the lanky forward looping a header over keeper Odhiambo from a corner.
The home side almost made it 2-0 two minutes later but keeper Odhiambo made a good point blank save to deny Faouzi Yaya’s header.
Gor had two chances late in the half with Jack Tuyisenge’s shot from inside the area going straight to the keeper before he set up Kahata at the stroke of halftime for his shot to be blocked for a corner.
USM kept the pressure in the second half and were especially dangerous on set pieces. They twice came close, first Abderaouf Benguit’s shot blocked for a corner while Meftah came close with a curling effort that went inches close over the bar.
Gor made attacking changes, Samuel Onyango coming on for Karim Nizigiyimana as Gor went three at the back with an urgency of getting an equalizer and probable winner.
They kept the push and came very close after 78minutes when Harun Shakava’s freekick from range was well saved by the keeper who also bounced back to keep away the rebound from Tuyisenge.
Immediately, the home side feeling insecure with Gor attacking, made it 2-0 with two substitutes combining when Moktar Benmoussa squarred back a pass for Sayoud to slam home unmarked at the edge of the six yard box.
On the turn after the restart, Gor, halved the deficit when Tuyisenge nodded the ball home from a Francis Kahata corner and despite the keeper managing to put a palm on it, it had already crossed the line.
Gor surged winning freekicks from dangerous positions, but USM defended with discipline to seal their place in the last eight.