Gor Mahia stumble in CECAFA Kagame Cup opener against Zambia's Red Arrows

©Red Arrows

Gor Mahia stumble in CECAFA Kagame Cup opener against Zambia's Red Arrows

Festus Chuma 22:49 - 10.07.2024

FKF Premier League champions Gor Mahia were edged by Red Arrows in a closely contested CECAFA Kagame Cup clash.

Despite showing signs of promise in a highly challenging contest, Gor Mahia were unable to match Red Arrows losing 1-0 to the outfit in the CECAFA Kagame Cup Group B opener played at Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday night.

New Gor Mahia head coach Leo Neiva gave captain Philemon Otieno a rare start alongside new signing Samuel Kapen.

Arrows offered plenty of promise in attack in the early stages with a cross from Cedrick Onyembe being dealt with by Gor Mahia's defense led by experienced Philemon Otieno.

K'Ogalo gradually began to assert control in midfield, but Arrows again threatened down the left flank just before the half-hour mark: this time Ackim Mumba played in a cross that was headed just wide of his own posts by Malian attacker Allasane Diarra.

Benson Omala arguably got the best chance of the half when he made a smart run wide of the box to get a shot away following a through pass but failed to profit.

The score was 0-0 during half-time following a relatively quiet first half.

Arrows were almost punished by Gor Mahia when a sloppy pass gifted the ball straight to Sylvester Owino just on the edge of the right-hand side of the box and the former Kakamega Homeboyz man drilled a low effort which Kalumba did well to keep out with his legs as the Zambians breathed a sigh of relief.

Soon after, Peter Kalota fouled Joshua Onyango on the edge of the area. Otieno stepped up and curled a promising effort over the wall towards the top right corner but Kalumba was across comfortably to catch.

K'Ogalo shook things up on the hour mark with Boniface Omondi and Ernest Wendo coming on for Shariff Musa and Alpha Onyango.

Arrows kept showing determination to level matters even though they were severely under pressure and were awarded a set piece as Geoffery Ngwenya put the ball into the box.

A chance came once again as the ball went back into the danger zone but the ball hit the crossbar from Ackim Mumba's shot at the back post in what was a nervy minutes for K'Ogalo.

In the 66th minute, Jooste did well on the right-hand side when he skipped inside past two challenges and fired one off on his left foot which went wide of the right-hand post.

Eight minutes later, Red Arrows took the lead when Chamanga fired a wonderful close-range shot putting the Airmen in the lead after Chilimina delivered a stunning pass.

Gor Mahia should have drawn level in the closing stages when the ball landed into Benson Omala's feet just a few meters out but he failed to hit the target, while Peter Kalota almost doubled Arrows' advantage in the final minute of regulation time, but dragged his low effort wide.

The record FKF Premier League champions will return to action on Saturday, July 13, when they face Al Hilal Omdurman of Sudan in their must-win second Group B match to increase their chances of qualifying for the semifinal.

How they lined up:

Gor Mahia: Kevin Omondi, Philemon Otieno, Geoffrey Ochieng, Joshua Onyango, Alpha Onyango, Sylvester Owino, Lawrence Juma, Musa Masika, Benson Omalla, Shariff Musa, Samuel Kapen.

Red Arrows: Charles Kalumba, Brian Chilimina, Peter Kalota, Michee Malonga, Nickson Mubili, Cedrick Onyembe, Paul Katema, Alassane Diarra, Anthony K.K. Mbuyi, Ciel Ebengo Ikoko, Ackim Mumba.