Gor Mahia’s CAF Confederations Cup quarters dream is alive and kicking, thanks to a classic team performance against visiting Young Africans (Yanga) at Kasarani on Wednesday night.
Many years back, this is where the team belonged, on the table of the continent’s great football clubs. And if there have been any hopes of breaking their way back into those ranks, 2018 could just be the year.
This major step saw Coach Dylan Kerr’s charges produce their best performance of the season and in many years on the continental stage with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Yanga FC – crowned by an Ephrem Guikan brace.
The home side, roared by their fans, went for the jugular from the first whistle. Charles Momanyi failed to put Yanga custodian Youth Rostand to his first test as the rising defender failed to guide his header on goal at the end of Samuel Onyango’s cross on the 11th minute.
But it was Jacques Tuyisenge who pulled the first trigger after checking his run well to stay in line with the Yanga center back duo before ducking out to turn home yet another Onyango delivery from the right wing on the 23rd minute.
Humphrey Mieno was superb in the midfield and his classy display of the opening session was crowned with an exquisite assist that sent Ephrem Guikan right through the middle of the opposition defense, and the Ivorian made it count with a well taken low shot past a helpless Youth Rostand. 2-0 Gor Mahia led at the break.
Francis Kahata was also leading the midfield orchestra in his normal style and fashion. His contribution led to the third goal. In the build-up, Bernard Ondiek’s effort from outside the box after a superb run was deflected out for a corner.
While everyone else took position in the Yanga box, Walusimbi at the corner flag saw Kahata unmarked and set him up with a short corner restart, the midfielder floated in a delivery and Shakava rose highest but missed to connect. The ball however did not get Momanyi who was also attacking at the back post as Mwinyi Mngwali attempted clearance turned the ball into his own net for an own goal and Gor Mahia’s third of the encounter.
These goals indeed looked to have settled the tie. But one more goal would always mean so much and that precious fourth came on the 85th minute. This sent the Gor Mahia fans into raptures and sucked life out of the visitors.
Yanga had mounted an attack in search of atleast a consolation goal. But this was stopped by a big clearance by Shakava. Then Francis Mustafa chested the ball down for Mieno in the midfield to release the looking to run Guikan and the rush towards goal was on. The final fire off the striker’s left foot was powerful. Rastand had no chance and the ball came off the far post into the net.
The game was up for the visitors. For coach Kerr, his players and their delighted fans, the quarter final quest goes on.