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Goalkeeper Gad Mathews saves penalties to edge AFC Leopards as Gor Mahia qualify for CAF Confederation Cup

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | July 5th 2021
Gor Mahia goalkeeper Gad Mathews saving a ball during the FKF Betway Cup match against AFC Leopards at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday, July 4, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, The Standard]

Goalkeeper Gad Mathews saved two penalties as Gor Mahia edged out AFC Leopards 4-1 on penalties to win the 2021 Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Cup in a tight final played behind closed doors at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Sunday.

After a 0-0 draw in regular time, the match proceeded to penalties without extra time where former Kisumu All Stars keeper Mathews saved Said Tsuma and captain Isaac Kipyegon penalties to hand Gor the advantage with Washington Munene scoring Ingwe’s sole penalty.

Sidney Wahongo, Kenneth Muguna, Clifton Miheso and Sammy Onyango each converted their penalties to hand Gor the title which sees them qualify for the 2021-2022 CAF Confederation Cup.

“We are happy and we deserve to win this game. It’s not easy to come from playing many competitions including champions league, premier league and cup. My players, staff and fans deserve this win and it's important to play in CAF next year too after missing the champions league,” Gor coach Vaz Pinto said.

AFC Leopards’ Hansel Ochieng and Kenneth Muguna of Gor Mahia fighting for ball possession during the FKF Betway Cup at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday, July 4, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, The Standard]

This was the 10th meeting between the two sides in the domestic cup, having last met in the 2013 final when Gor lost 1-0 courtesy of a goal by Peter ‘Pinchez’ Opiyo.

The first meeting in this competition was in March 1970 when Benson Oballa’s goal was enough for a 1-0 victory over Abaluhya in the semi-final before falling to Nakuru All-Stars in the final match.

In the nine meetings since then, Gor have won six encounters and lost only two. The only draw occurred in 1997 – a barren draw before Leopards knocked Gor out 3-2 on post-match penalties.

Ironically, Gor’s two losses have all come in the finals – in 1991 and 2013, all of them identically 1-0 losses.

On the backside side, Gor have only won one final, a 2-0 win to lift the 1987 edition (the match played in February 1988).

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