Robert Matano's charges dump out defending champions Gor Mahia and cruise to the final of the tournament with youthful side Thika United waiting in the wingsKenya Premier League Top 8 champions Gor Mahia were dumped out of the tournament after battling to a 0-0 draw with Tusker in the return leg match played at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday night.
The first leg goal scored by Ugandan Robert Omunuk was enough to propel Tusker to the final of the tourney with Thika United the next opponent in the final.
Despite a huge fight from Zdravko Logarusic’s charges in the second half, Tusker defended well to ensure they go through to the finals.
The brewers had a bright first half with Ismail Dunga having a fine shot being saved by Ivo Mapunda. The two teams were tied into a midfield battle with not so many chances being clear for the first period.
In the second half, Gor started with fire gutting from their feet as they sought to score a goal and put matters even. Logarusic introduced Dan Sserunkuma and Moses 'Dube' Odhiambo to spur his attack.
Tusker would have scored with five minutes gone in the second half, but a bizarre incident of a whistle from the crowd stopped Ismail Dunga, who only had keeper Mapunda to beat.
Dunga thought that the referee had blown for offside but was gutted to turn around after giving away the ball, seeing the linesman’s flag down.
Gor were ever vibrant upfront and Tusker were left to defend for most parts of the match. Moses Odhiambo had a superb shot from distance being well saved off by Samuel Odhiambo.
Rama Salim again had a glancing header deflecting off Martin Kiiza for a corner with his keeper acres away.
Rama again had a clean chance go begging with 15 minutes left to play after his header bounced off the crossbar from David Owino’s cross. Owino had been deployed to the midfield and was shuttling between the central role and the wings.
Gor threw all their weight upfront but were never lucky with Tusker’s defense being on point not to allow any balls within their area. Keeper Ivo Mapunda, who was left feeling as though not much was being done upfront, committed himself almost towards the half line, pushing his team mates to get in the goal.
All these efforts were futile and they were almost made to pay in the finals minute, but a goal mouth melee in the box was cleared away by David Otieno.