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Big Kenya smiles as Gor win; shock in Tanzania as Simba hammered 10-0 in two matches

GOR Mahia of Kenya whipped mighty Egyptian club Zamalek 4-2 in Nairobi on Sunday, a great result for the home team in the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup because this is not knock-out football.

Gor Mahia will, therefore, take their three points and leadership of Group ‘D’ to their next match, away to Petro de Luanda of Angola on February 13. The Kenyans will have something tightly in their bag even when they travel to Egypt for the return leg with Zamalek on March 10.

Dennis Oliech (second from right) is congratulated by fellow scorer Jacques Tuyisenge at Moi International Sports Centre on Sunday

Dennis Oliech (second from right) is congratulated by fellow scorer Jacques Tuyisenge at Moi International Sports Centre on Sunday

In knock-out football, as in so many ties previous meetings between Kenya and Egyptian club, Gor’s victory in Nairobi would not have been enough for a claim to the spoils. All Zamalek would have needed is a 2-0 win in a Cairo return fixture to make Gor’s Sunday feat at Moi International Sports Centre count for nothing.

The Kenyans are thus reaping the big benefits for their efforts to enter CAF football’s Group Stage where you live to fight many more battles, no matter the result of opening day fixtures. And Gor Mahia, are in a CAF Cup group stage where many other illustrious names have fallen on the wayside, particularly in the last round where famous clubs such as Al-Ahly Benghazi (Libya), Coton Sport

(Cameroon), Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa), ZESCO United (Zambia), Stade Malien (Mali), Vipers (Uganda), KCCA (Uganda) fell off.

Stephen Okumu celebrates at Moi International Sports Centre after winning goal for Gor Mahia for a 1-0 triumph over Zamalek in 1998. Below, almost on the same spot, Okumu’s brother Dennis Oliech relives the moment on Sunday after scoring against Zamalek in Gor Mahia’s 4-2 win

In East Africa, Gor Mahia’s storming start in the CAF Cup Group stage also threw up excitement in the comparative of performance. It was at a time when there is consternation in Tanzania where the champions, Simba, have gob smacked their supporters by losing 0-5 for the second time in the CAF Champions League.

Simba where again thrashed 5-0 by Egypt’s Al Ahly and are now 0-10 in two matches after a previous 5-0 beating by Congo (Kinshasa) giants AS Vita Club. Simba’s 3-0 win in their opening match against unheralded AH Saoura of Algeria is no consolation to Simba fans shocked at how out of depth their club is pitted against top class African competition.

“Horrifying,” said Jemedari Saidi in an Azam TV sports analysis programme. “To concede 10 goals in two matches means a hopeless coach or players who have no idea about their defence responsibility or just do not care about carrying them out. Simba have a foreign coach, Patrick Aussems, a Belgian.

Meanwhile it is all celebration in Kenya over Gor Mahia’s historic win over Zamalek and anticipation for more winning performances by the Kenya club who with the then version of this competition, Africa Cup Winner Cup in 1987, beating Tunisia’s Esperance du Tunis in a two-legged final.

The attendance at Moi International Sports Centre got its treat -- a six-goal thriller and victory for their team, Gor Mahia -- and could be larger in their next home match on February 24 against NA Hussein Dey of Algeria

The attendance at Moi International Sports Centre got its treat — a six-goal thriller and victory for their team, Gor Mahia — and could be larger in their next home match on February 24 against NA Hussein Dey of Algeria

Gor Mahia (Kenya) 4-2 Zamalek (Egypt)

A first half brace from Rwanda’ international Jacques Tuyisenge and a goal apiece from Nicholas Kipkirui and Dennis Oliech helped Gor Mahia down visiting Zamalek of Egypt 4-2 in a six-goal thriller of the CAF Confederation Cup Group ‘D’ opener at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Sunday.

Ibrahim Hassan shot Zamalek ahead in the seventh minute but Tuyisenge equalized after 25 minutes before claiming a brace on 38 minutes. Hassan also recorded his name on the score sheet for the second time in 43rd minute, the first half ending 2-2.

Gor Mahia's Jacques Tuyisenge (centre) celebrates his goal with Boniface Omondi (left) and Nicholas Kipkurui (right) join Rwanda international Jacques Tuyisenge to celebrate one of his goals against Zamalek at Kasarani

Boniface Omondi (left) and Nicholas Kipkirui (right) join Rwanda international Jacques Tuyisenge to celebrate one of his goals against Zamalek at Kasarani

Gor’s Kipkirui scored the third on his continental debut in the 51st minute by heading home Tuyisenge’s cross from the right flank. A recent signing from Kenyan Premier League club Zoo Kericho, Kipkurui man would later limp off with an injury as another debutant, former star Kenya international Oliech replaced him on 67th minute mark. Oliech got himself on the scoresheet in the dying minutes of the entertaining encounter.

Oliech follows in the footsteps of his late brother Steve Okumu whose lone goal handed Gor Mahia their only previous win [1-0] over Zamalek when the sides faced off at the same venue in 1998.

Zamalek went ahead on the seventh minute through Hassan whose feeble left foot shot sailed into the far post. Gor had failed to clear Mahmoud Abdelmonem’s corner kick that came after Boniface Oluoch had carelessly gifted the Egyptians a corner after he failed to deal with a harmless Philemon Otieno’s back pass.

In 19th minute, Boniface Omondi skewed wide Francis Kahata’s weighted cross from the left flank as Gor pushed for the leveler that came six minutes later through arguably man of the match Tuyisenge. Kipkirui’s header from a Francis Kahata curled cross fell into the path of the Rwandese import who capitalized on a shaky Zamalek defence to drill home.

Tuyisenge sent thousands of K’Ogalo fans in the stands – among them Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga into wild jubilation with the second goal. A silky link up play between Kahata and Omondi teed up Tuyisenge who headed home Gor’s second before the White Knights equalized two minutes before the break.

The assassin Ibrahim tore through Gor defence to slam home the equalizer much to the chagrin of Gor fans who felt Oluoch should have done better to deal with the feeble shot.

Abdallah Saleh of Zamalek (right) is tackled by Boniface Omondi

Abdallah Saleh of Zamalek (right) is tackled by Boniface Omondi

TEAMS:

GOR MAHIA – Boniface Oluoch: Philemon Otieno, Shafik Batambuze, Joachim Oluoch, Charles Momanyi, Lawrence Juma (Haron Shakava 80’), Kenneth Muguna, Francis Kahata (George “Blackberry” Odhiambo 87’), Boniface Omondi, Nicholas Kipkirui (Dennis Oliech 67’), Jacques Tuyisenge

Coach: Hassan Oktay (British)

ZAMALEK: 16. Mahmoud Ahmed: 18 Ibrahim Hassan (Omar Elsaid 60’), 22 Abdallah Saleh, 28 Mahmoud Hamdy (Hazem Mohamed Emam  82’) 29 Khalid Boutaib, 13 Ferjani Sassi, 12 Hamdi Naguez, 11 Mahmoud Abdelmonem (Hamid Ahadad 57’), 10 Youssef Morsy 4 Mahmoud Ibrahim, 3 Tarek Elsaid

Coach: Christian Gross (Swiss)

Al Ahly of Cairo who thrashed East African club Simba -- of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania -- 5-0 in a CAF Champions League tie

Al Ahly of Cairo who thrashed East African club Simba — of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — 5-0 in a CAF Champions League tie

Al Ahly (Egypt) 5-0 Simba (Tanzania)

Simba suffered a 5-0 beating at the hands of Al Ahly in a CAF Champions League Group ‘D’ clash at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Saturday evening.

The result saw the Egyptian heavyweights open a three-point lead at the top of the pool over nearest chasers AS Vita Club (Congo Kinshasa), while the Tanzanians remain in third spot, one point ahead of JS Saoura of Algeria.

Al Ahly got off to a flyer and were 1-0 up within the opening three minutes. Amr Al Sulaya caught the Simba defence napping and netted past goalkeeper Aishi Manula to give the hosts early control of the game.

Midway through the first half  Ahly doubled their advantage, with Ali Maaloul finding the back of the net after a slick passing move from the Egyptian giants. And proceedings got even better for Ahly fans just after the half hour mark, with two goals in quick succession. First Oluwafemi Ajayi netted after a superb combination down the left flank, before youngster Karim Nedved added his name to the score sheet in some style.

Nedved was on hand again in the 40th minute, adding another goal to make it 5-0 and see Ahly head into the half-time interval with the three points effectively in the bag. The Egyptians showed superb efficiency in the first 45 minutes, scoring five times from six shots on target.

Ahly took their foot off the pedal in the second stanza, conserving their energy after establishing an unassailable lead and seeing out the rest of the game with comfort to claim a five-goal triumph.

The teams will meet again for the reverse fixture at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on February 12.

Scorers: Al Ahly – (Al Sulaya 3’, Maaloul 23’, Ajayi 31’, Nedved 33’ 40’)

TEAMS:

AL AHLY – El Shenawy: Hany (Ashour 71’), Samir, Ashraf (Rabia 79’), Maaloul (Wahid 59’), Mohamed, Al Sulaya, Aajayi, Nedved, Maher, El Shahat

Coach: Martin Lasarte (Uruguay)

SIMBA –  Manula: Gyan, Asante, Murshid, Wawa, Kotei, Juma, Mkude (Yassin 56’), Kagere (Bocco 74’), Okwi, Chama (Dilunga 82’)

Coach: Patrick Aussems (Belgium)

-Additional reporting by Correspondents

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