Gor Mahia will play the quarter finals of the CAF Confederations Cup for the first time in their history after holding on for a nervy 1-0 win over Petro de Luanda at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi despite finishing the game with only nine men.
Jacques Tuyisenge’s penalty 12 minutes into the second half proved enough despite midfielder Ernest Wendo being sent off in the 35th minute, left back Shafik Batambuze in the 74th and head coach Hassan Oktay at the stroke of half time.
“I feel some happiness I have never felt in my life. I had wished for us to achieve this historic feat so much and today we fought to earn it. We were two-man down for most of the match but the resilience shown by the players was immense. We deserved to progress,” Tuyisenge said after the match.
Head coach Hassan Oktay was over the moon with the victory, saying his players fought like warriors.
“I am proud of my players. What they showed today was extra ordinary. We were nine men and we played with our hearts out. It was a tough game but we came through,” Oktay pointed out.
His opposite number Beto Bianchi was gracious in defeat, saying his side was punished for failing to use their chances.
‘We had good chances to score especially in the second half, but Gor defended very well. We are happy to have at least gotten to this stage because this is the first time it is happening in 12 years and we have picked lessons heading back to concentrate on the Angolan league,” the Brazilian said.
The first half was highly tactical with few chances, each of the two sides sizing each other. Petro had most of the clear chances at goal with Gor having two, which didn’t provide much of threat.
The first for the home side was in the fifth minute when Petro gave away possession cheaply in their area and Boniface Omondi teed up Tuyisenge whose shot was easily collected.
Petro had a chance in the 22nd minute when Job Estevao raced to a Tiago Leal delivery from the right, but the pint sized winger could not direct his header on target.
Gor were reduced to 10 men in the 35th minute after Wendo was shown a straight red for a high dangerous tackle on Vladmir Etson who had to be substituted.
Despite going a man down, Gor had a chance to break the deadlock four minutes to halftime when they won a foul at the edge of the area. Batambuze took the chance but curled his freekick straight at the keeper.
Gor stepped up in the second half and just 12 minutes in won a penalty when Omondi was brought down inside the box by Corte real Carneiro. Tuyisenge stepped up and thumped the ball in to give the home side the lead.
They should have had a second 10 minutes later when Tuyisenge was teed up by Francis Kahata but his venomous hit from range rattled the woodwork. Gor’s march was slowed down when left back Batambuze was shown a red for a second yellow.
But, they did not loose hope playing with heart and had another chance with Lawrene Juma’s shot from range hitting the frame of goal again.
Petro piled pressure looking for the equalizing goal, but Gor defended with their all, throwing bodies all over at shots from Atletico players.
Gor now join Zamalek in the last eight with the Egyptians having held NA Hussein Dey to a 0-0 draw in the other group match.