Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia put up a spirited show to eliminate Equatorial Guinea side Leones Vegetarianos from the CAF Champions League after playing to a 1 – 1 draw in the preliminary round return leg clash in Malabo on Wednesday 21 February.
Gor Mahia went to the clash leading the tie 2 – 0 from the home leg and head coach Dylan Kerr, keen to protect his team’s advantage sent out a starting team with five defensive minded players as he stuck with most of the players who featured in the first leg in Kenya.
Still, it was the home team that drew first blood, with Pedro Mitega’s first half goal setting the game on a delicate balance as the hosts went to the break leading.
Ahead of the game, Kerr had ruled out parking the bus and in the second half, knowing too well a goal from the hosts would change the course of the game, threw in a striker – George Odhiambo – for defender, Wesley Onguso in the 66th minute.
Eight minutes later the pressure from Gor Mahia would bear fruit as the 44th minute lead was canceled out by Vegetarianos defender Marcelo Nguema who turned the ball into his own net for the equalizer.
With the goal, there was no way back for the home team, who at that point needed three more goals to be able to advance, and Gor Mahia will now start preparations for the next round – a tougher clash – against Tunisian giants Esperance de Tunis.
In 2014, Gor Mahia played Esperance at the same stage and lost 8 – 2 on aggregate.