Gor put Burundian side Aigle to the sword to qualify for CAF Champions

Monday, August 26th, 2019 00:00 |
Gor Mahia players celebrate one of their five goals during yesterday’s CAF Champions League tie against Aigle Noir of Burundi. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Nicholas Kipkirui scored twice as Kenyan champions Gor Mahia went ballistic against Burundian outfit Aigle Noir with a 5-1 perforation in the CAF Champions League preliminary round yesterday.

A manic opening half at Kasarani Stadium saw K’Ogalo score three times with Kipkirui claiming two after defender Hamza Hitimana had scored in his own net. 

Having played a scoreless draw in Bujumbura a fortnight ago, Aigle Noir succumbed to intense pressure exerted by their hosts.

Pressure by K’Ogalo on their opponents forced hapless Hitimana to bundle the ball comically past his goalkeeper in the eighth minute to send jubilant Gor fans into early celebrations. 

Wellington Ochieng’s efforts to retrieve the ball for a quick restart underscored the resolve by Gor to put the tie to bed.

They doubled the lead eight minutes later courtesy of Kipkirui’s crisp header from six yards after Aigle Noir left him unmanned. A weak clearance by the Burundians found the corner taker Lawrence Juma waiting on the wings and while his initial take was not precise, he made up with a pinpoint rejoinder that Kipkirui dispatched easily.

K’Ogalo kept their feet on the gas pedal and found a third seven minutes before half-time with Kipkirui scoring his second of the day after Wellington Ochieng’s tenacious fight for possession yielded. 

Aigle Noir made a defensive change after the third goal and somewhat shored up their backline. They mustered a first shot on target as the opening half ended.

Ran the show

The game mellowed in the second half but K’Ogalo, secured by a three-goal buffer, still ran the show. Tobias Otieno ran the midfield with Dickson Ambundo and Boniface Omondi hurtling up and down the wings. Gor’s backline, marshalled by reigning Most Valuable Player Joash Onyango was more than steadfast in the few occasions Aigle Noir came calling.

The visitors misery was compounded in the 63rd minute when Ambundo tapped into an empty net for K’Ogalo’s fourth when Aigle Noir goalkeeper Aime Ndizeye spilt Omondi’s venomous cross. There was still plenty of time left and Omondi got on the score sheet after a scintillating move and tee by Kipkirui.

Shafik Batambuze came on for Ambundo on the offensive left but limped off shortly afterwards owing to a nasty twist of the leg during a fall. 

Samuel Onyango joined the fray in his stead. 

The visitors, bolstered by their lone goal, exerted more pressure and found penetration against the relaxing defence.

Coach Steven Polack introduced Ernest Wendo for Juma to stabilise the midfield and K’Ogalo saw out the game without late tensions.

Gor will now face USM Alger of Algeria or SONIDEP of Niger in the all important group stage clincher next month.

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