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Champs Gor bundled out of Sportpesa Cup

FOOTBALL By Ernest Ndunda in Dar es Salaam | January 24th 2019 | 3 min read
Gor Mahia's Samuel Onyango (right) tussles for ball possession with Mbao's Hamimu Abdukarim during the Sportpesa Cup quarter-finals yesterday. [Courtesy]

Champions Gor Mahia’s hopes of facing Everton for the second time in the Sportpesa Super Cup were ended yesterday after losing 4-3 on penalties to Tanzania’s Mbao in a quarter-final match at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam.

Dennis Oliech’s penalty in the 51st minute was not enough to propel the champions to the semi-finals of the Sportpesa Cup, as Mbao were soon level to push the tie to penalty shootouts.

In the second quarter-final tie, Simba SC made it a good day for Tanzania by sinking AFC Leopards 2-1.

The Dar giants and league champions joined upstarts and local rivals Mbao in the semi-final line-up of the tournament.

They will play Kenyan sides Bandari and Kariobangi Sharks who booked semis tickets by prevailing over Yanga and Singida United on Tuesday.

In the early kick-off Gor Mahia were awarded a penalty after Amos Charles handled the ball in the box.

Mbao gave Gor Mahia an early scare with accurate and individual dribbling skills, with Garvas Rambo’s dangerous runs keeping the defence on their toes.

However, K’Ogalo settled down with Erisa Ssekisambu’s fourth minute curled shot going wide.

Two minutes later, Lawrence Juma had a good run but, once again, squandered a shooting chance after he was fed by Oliech.

Gor Mahia thought they had taken the lead in the 18th minute through Ssekisambu but his effort was ruled out for offside by Burundi referee Erick Manirakiza.

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay was sent to the stands in the 20th minute for frequent protests.

Oliech hit the post in the 42nd minute as Ssekisambu headed straight at Mbao custodian Metacha Mnata as the Kenyan champions upped the tempo.

Gor Mahia looked more energised in the second half, as George Odhiambo and Geoffrey Ochieng were rested in favour of Boniface Omondi and Shafik Batambuze.

The tactical move by Gor Mahia soon bore fruit, with defender Charles handling in the box and Oliech duly obliged by beating Mnata from the spot in the 51st minute.

Mbao brought in Abubakari Ngalema for Gervas Rambo and the substitute soon gave his fans something to cheer with a well taken leveler in the 76th minute after capitalising on a goalmouth melee.

Gor Mahia coach Oktay said his team did not underrate their opponents.

“All my players are good and those who played deserved to be fielded,” said the coach as he blamed the match referee for making questionable decisions.

Mbao coach Ally Bushiri was happy to beat the champions. “I prepared my boys well and after the equaliser, they believed in themselves,” he said.

During the shootouts, Gor scored through Kahata, Jacques Tuyisenge and Boniface Omondi, with captain Harun Shakava’s shot saved as Batambuze hit the cross bar.

Mbao scored through Hamimu Abdukarim, Abubakari Ngalema, Said Khamis and David Mwasa to set a date with Sharks tomorrow.

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