APR hit Gor Mahia in Caf Champions League preliminaries

Gor Mahia defender Andrew Juma (left) vies for the ball with Posta Rangers forward Gerson Likono during their friendly match at Jamhuri Park, Nairobi on November 21, 2020. Posta won 1-0.


Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Stand in coach Omollo plots revenge in Saturday’s return leg  
  • Juma’s defensive blunder gifts hosts victory after Niyonzima’s goal and Momanyi scores for ‘K’Ogalo’

Gor Mahia on Saturday suffered a 2-1 defeat to Rwandan giants APR in the first leg of their Caf Champions League preliminary round at Nyamirambo Stadium in Kigali.

K’Ogalo defender Andrew “Roma” Juma scored an own goal in the 61st minute to give APR the much needed home win.

Charles Momanyi's 27th minute header had levelled matters for Gor after Seifu Niyonzima’s 10th minute strike had given the home team the lead.

Gor will need a 1-0 win or a two-goal victory in the return leg next Saturday after getting an important away goal in Rwanda.

Gor Mahia stand in coach Sammy “Pamzo” Omollo was confident that despite the defeat, his charges still have a chance of qualifying for the first round. He said that they will use home advantage to avenge the loss.

“We played well and I am happy that we got an away goal despite losing here. Our preparation for the return leg will begin immediately as soon as we get back home. We are not out of the competition yet because we need to score a goal at home and avoid conceding,” said Omollo.

“It was a tough match, we possessed the ball and outplayed them in midfield but a few mistakes cost us which is normal in football. We have learnt a few things concerning the way they play which will enhance our preparation for the second leg,” added Omollo in a post-match interview.

Gor Mahia coach Roberto Oliveira, who travelled with the team, watched the match from the stands as he was not cleared by Caf to oversee continental competitions due to lack of a Caf “A” coaching licence or its equivalent of Uefa Pro.

The same fate also befell APR’s Moroccan coach Erradi Mohammed Adil who lacked the relevant qualifications from Caf.

APR score

APR took the lead in the 10th minute after Niyonzima tapped in Bukuru Christophe’s cross from the left wing past helpless Gor Mahia custodian Boniface Oluoch.

K’Ogalo threatened in the 16th minute when South Sudan striker Tito Okello shot just at the edge of the box and the ball went a few inches over the bar.

Momanyi would then restore parity when he headed at the back of the net from Kenneth Muguna’s free kick played from the midfield after Samuel Onyango had been fouled by APR captain Thiery Manzi.

Just 10 minutes after the restart, APR were unlucky not to go ahead after Yannick Bizimana squandered a huge chance by shooting a low shot at Oluoch despite going past Gor Mahia defenders.

Juma dimmed chances of Gor Mahia earning at least a draw after directing Yannick’s pass into his own net.

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