Gor Mahia are through to the next round of the 2018-19 CAF Champions League after a nerve-wrecking penalty shoot-out in Blantyre against hosts Nyasa Big Bullets. Gor, carrying a 1-0 advantage to Malawi, had the goal cancelled out by Chiukepo Msowoya and only post-match penalties could settle the tie.
Converting all their first four takes however, the Kenyan champions edged Bullets 4-3 with Boniface Oluoch saving one and ensuring Bullets last kick hit the crossbar.
The return match would only come to life in the second half- after an uninspiring first period of play from both teams. While visitors Gor Mahia looked comfortable with a draw, the hosts who needed a win couldn't even find their way into the final third.
It would however only take Nyasa dangerman Chiukepo Msowoya ten minutes after the restart to pull the tie back level for 1-1. A thunderous strike from over 35 yards found Boniface Oluoch flat-footed and in it went.
Francis Mustapha's header could have been the reply Gor needed but only with a little more precision. Having done well to get on the end of Samuel Onyango's cross, the Burundian could not execute his header well.
Ondiek Bernard was then thrown into the fray for Erisa Sekisambu in the 70th minute.
Ondiek, scorer of the lone goal in Nairobi, could have hoped for a better return ball from Mustapha ten minutes after his introduction but it never came, a nice interchange of play in the Nyasa danger area ending in loss of possession.
Gor had to hold their breath in the 87th minute when Nyasa earned a penalty after what appeared to have been a shove from Batambuze Shafik on Msowoya Chiukepo. Oluoch however, having been beaten once, made the most important save of the tie calmly collecting Msowoya's effort from the spot.
It would end 1-0 on the day and 1-1 on aggregate. Penalties beckoned.
Msowoya made amends for his initial miss in the game to score the opener in the shoot-outs. Bernard Ondiek responded well. Next up was Miracle Gabeya who had his shot saved by Oluoch. Humphrey Mieno then made it 2-1 and John Lanjesi 2-2.
Substitute Boniface Omondi's kick made it 3-2 after three attempts from each. Center-back Yamikani Fodya beat Oluoch with Nyasa's fourth kick to bring it 3-3. His opposite number Harun Shakava was not going to miss from the spot and he made it 4 out of 4 for Gor.
Right full-back Pilirani Zonda was supposed to rescue the hosts as he took Nyasa's last kick but could only find the crossbar. Gor Mahia did not even need to take their last, reaping the fruits of their efficiency from the spot and comfortably winning 4-3.