Gor Mahia depart to Cairo, Batambuze to miss Zamalek tie
Gor Mahia surrendered their spot at the summit of their CAF Confederation Cup League, Group D to NA Hussein following their controversial loss to the Algerians 1-0 at the Stade 5 Juillet 1962 in Algiers on Sunday night.
The result combined with Zamelek's identical 1-0 away win over Petrol Atletico of Angola the same night, threw the group's quarterfinals qualification wide open, with two matches to go.
Abderrahmane Yousfi’s ninth-minute strike was enough to help Hussein Dey take their points tally to seven and leapfrog the record Kenyan champions at the top.
The defeat saw K'Ogalo drop to the second spot with six point, a point off third placed Egyptian giants. The top two teams in the group will progress to the next round of the competition.
Ugandan defender Shafik Batambuze thought he had brought K'Ogalo back into the game on the hour mark, only for his clear equaliser from Francis Kahata's delivery to be ruled out by Malian referee Boubou Traore, who allegedly cited a foul on the hosts' goalkeeper.
Interestingly, the television replay showed there was no contact by Gor players to the opponent's goalkeeper.
To make matters worse, the referee dished out five yellow cards to the 17-time Kenyan champions' players including Batambuze, who will now miss their next crunch match against Zamalek on Sunday.
Speedy winger Samuel Onyango also suffered a suspected knee injury midway through the second half, with the game stopped for over five minutes. However, with all stoppages in the game, the fourth official raised the electronic board indicating only three minutes of added time.
K'Ogalo, who were due to leave for Cairo last evening, will travel to Alexandria today where they will pitch a training camp ahead of this weekend's encounter.
Hassan Oktay's men are in for another difficult match against the Egyptian giants, whom they thrashed 4-2 on match day one in Nairobi.
Hussein started off the game brightly piling pressure on Gor's defence and they were rewarded after nine minutes of play when Yousfi scored the game’s lone goal from point blank. This was just after impressive goalkeeper Fredrick Odhiambo had pulled off a series of fine saves including Landry Ntankeu's attempt.
Gor came into the second half more rejuvenated side, applying all pressure. The East African side thought they had earned an equaliser in the 60th minute when Batambuze leapt highest to head home Kahata's corner kick but the referee waved away the goal citing infringement on the goalkeeper.
The visitors continued pushing, but Hussein held their nerve to cancel out Gor's 2-0 victory at Kasarani Stadium on match day three.
Group D match day four results
Hussein Dey 1-0 Gor Mahia
Petro Atletico 0-1 Zamalek
Match Day five fixtures (March 10)
Zamalek v Gor Mahia
Petro Atletico v Hussein Dey
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