Kenya's representatives at the CAF Confederations Cup Gor Mahia had defender Joash Onyango sent off as they played to a 0 - 0 draw with USM Alger in the two sides' Group D clash at Moi International Sports Center Kasarani on Wednesday 16 May, to leave the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) giants second and still searching for their first win in the group.
Having played the opening game in rainy conditions in Kigali, Gor Mahia had hoped for better weather back home but that didn’t come to be and the heavy rains prior to the game were sure to affect the flow of this highly anticipated clash.
The home side’s shaky start didn’t help as they focused more on long balls in the first five minutes, within which they conceded possession easily and had a penalty shout from the Algerian side ignored after Mezianne Rehmanne beat Joash Onyango with pace but stumbled in the box.
Gor woke from their slumber after the scare and managed to coin their first attack with fine interplay between Francis Kahata and George Odhiambo but the latter blasted his shot wide in the seventh minute, and Gor had a penalty call of their own ignored in the 14th minute after Abdelahoui Ayub handled when defending an attempt by Ephrem Guikan.
Gor Mahia managed to turn the tide against their opponents, pressing harder and camping in the USM Alger half but couldn’t get their attacks right, save for one in the 22nd minute when Odhiambo crossed in and Guikan nearly caught out goalkeeper Mohammed Zemamouche but the USM custodian did well to tip the ball round for a corner.
Towards the end of the first half Kahata picked Odhiambo with a pinpoint cross and Odhiambo’s head was parried back his way by the keeper and his follow up bounced off the bar as Gor Mahia finished the first half with two attempts on target and USM Alger none.
Joash sent off
Gor would suffer a massive blow early in the second half when Joash was given his marching orders for the second bookable offence. Ironically, Gor grew in strength after going a man down and twice threatened with forward Jacques Tuyisenge seeing his shot parried and follow up picked by the keeper after the Rwandan took his time with the ball.
George Odhiambo had a penalty appeal ignored as he went down under the challenge of Mohamed Benyahia in the 73rd minute and on the other end Ernest Wendo intervened to stop a dangerous counter attack from USM Alger asAbdelraouf Benguit bore down on goal.
The draw leaves Gor Mahia second on the log with as many points while USM Alger stays top with four points.