Last updated 1 year ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi
Wellington Ochieng scored and conceded a penalty as Gor Mahia beat Congolese side AS Maniema Union 2-1 in yesterday’s Cecafa Kagame Cup Group D opening match at the Umuganda Stadium, in Rubavu.
K'Ogalo's tomorrow opponents AS Ports from Djibouti also made a winning start after seeing off Zanzibar's KMKM 2-0 in an early kick-off match at the same venue.
The match saw the trio of Tobias Otieno, Dickson Ambundo and Denis Oalo make their Gor Mahia debuts.
"This is a good tournament to help us prepare for the upcoming busy season. I'm impressed with how the new signings played," said Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay.
Ochieng' unleashed a screamer that flew past a hapless Maniema goalkeeper Mangala Bukasa to give K'Ogalo the lead in the 22nd minute.
The Congolese side responded immediately, but Gor captain Haron Shakava did well to block Merceil Ngimbi's goalbound shot.
Moments later, Nicholas Kipkirui missed a glorious scoring chance to double Gor's lead after pouncing on a loose ball in the box before Agee Basiala's flick went agonizingly wide on the opposite end.
Platini Mpiyana then saw his shot deflected for a fruitless corner on the stroke of halftime.
Boniface Omondi doubled the lead four minutes into the second half after he beat the offside trap before calmly looping the ball over the advancing keeper.
Substitute Denis Likwela pulled a goal back for Maniema from the spot with nine minutes left after Wellington Ochieng was adjudged to have hacked down Basiala in the box.
In an earlier match, Ghanian striker Gabriel Dadzie's brace inspired Djibouti's side AS Ports to a 2-0 victory over KMKM from Zanzibar 2-0.
It was a great start for the Mouhamed Meraneh's men ahead of tomorrow's match against Gor Mahia. This will be a repeat of last year's group match in Tanzania where K'Ogalo won 2-0.
Dadzie broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when he received an incisive pass from Mouhamed Fouad following a counterattack to beat goalkeeper Vuai Makame.
The Ghanaian then grabbed his second goal of the day midway through the second half after a brilliant build up.
"It's good to start to the tournament and we are now motivated ahead of our next match against Gor Mahia," Dadzie told the Standard Sports.
Bandari will be seeking for their first win in the tournament when they take on hosts Mukura Victory Sports in a Group B match in Huye.
The early kick-off encounter (2 pm) will be followed by an eagerly awaited 4 pm fixture between champions Azam and Ugandan Premier League champions KCCA.
The dockers forced the Ugandans to a 1-1 draw in their opening match on Sunday as Azam overcame Mukura 1-0.
"The draw against KCCA wasn't a true reflection of the game. I was pleased with the team's general performance and I expect them to carry that character into the Mukura game," Bandari coach Bernard Mwalala told Standardised Sports.
"In a group of death, every match counts. So, this is a very important match for us. We must be at our best and get positive results."
Kigali Stadium will be also hosting the second round of Group A matches with Congolese giants TP Mazembe aiming to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat against Rayon Sports when they take on Rayon Sports at 6 pm.
The match will be followed by an 8 pm encounter pitting Rayon Sports against South Sudanese side Atlabara.
Atlabara drew 1-1 with KCM in their opening group match.