Gor Mahia suffered a 1-0 defeat by Sudanese premier league champions Al Hilal (Omdurman) in a pre-season international friendly played at the Khartoum Stadium on Wednesday night.
The team, on their second invitational trip to Khartoum in as many years were handed a carbon revenge of their victorious 2016 tour. However despite the defeat, a lot of positives will be picked from the match, their first competitive outing since resuming pre-season training barely one week ago.
Al Hilal dominated the early periods of the encounter and controlled much of the action in the visitors half of the pitch. Their pressing game was tight and were accurate in their passing as mounted attacks in search of the opening goal.
An early 2nd minute attacking run down the right wing resulted to a superb delivery into the area but the connecting free header sailed off target. But they deservedly took the lead in the 22nd minute after a pass neatly played behind the defense was finished with a low drive past the narrowing Bonface Oluoch.
The hosts came close to doubling their lead eight minutes laters but Oluoch pulled a superb save from a one-on-one situation, positioning himself well to cover his near post.
Coach Ze Maria's charges put up a more spirited fight in the second half with good improvements in their passing and possesion. But their advancement into the opposition danger zone were limited and instead Oluoch and Nizigiyimana played themselves into pressure in the six yard box but were lucky the interception on the goalkeeper's attempted clearance sailed wide.
Two set piece deliveries in the 70th and 71st minutes again saw Al Hilal come close to extending their lead but the connecting headers lacked precision on goal.
The team will be back on Thursday abd are expected to go into residential training as the pre-season schedule progresses.