Caf Champions League: Kipkirui shines as Gor Mahia hammer Aigle Noir to advance

Goal Kenya.
The Kenyan champions have progressed to the next round of the competition after registering a comfortable win at home

Gor Mahia have sealed their place in the next round of the Caf Champions League after comfortably beating Burundi's Aigle Noir 5-1 on Sunday.

A double from Nicholas Kipkirui coupled with an own goal and strikes from Dickson Ambundo and Boniface Oluoch was all the home team needed to make it past the first round. The visitors scored their consolation courtesy of Benjamin Gasongo.

K'Ogalo needed an early goal to settle the nerves of the fans and pressurize their opponents. In the second minute, Tobias Otieno released Kipkirui on the left wing. The attacker managed to get past Kelvin Bizimana but his low cross went out for an unfruitful corner.

Goalkeeper Aime Ndizeye almost gifted the hosts an opener when he failed to effectively clear the ball. It fell to Boniface Omondi who tried to dribble his way in, but the defenders managed to clear the danger.

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Gor Mahia continued to press for an opener and it came in the ninth minute courtesy of Kipkirui’s effort which was deflected by an Aigle Noir defender into his own net. Captain Kenneth delivered a sumptuous cross from the right, and the attacker’s flicked ball hit the defender.

Kipkirui could have doubled the advantage in the 15th minute when Lawrence Juma picked him in space. However, the former Zoo Kericho player could not utilise the full advantage and shot straight at the goalkeeper who parried the ball away.

Aigle Noir continued chasing shadows with K'Ogalo pushing forward with every little opportunity presented to them. Kipkirui made amends for the earlier miss in the 18th minute, coincidentally, connecting to a Juma cross.

The visitors brought in Akonkwa Akimana in place of Keita Seidou in the 30th minute to try and bring life to the midfield which was otherwise ineffective. The Kenyan league champions dominated the proceedings and reduced their opponents to mere spectators.

The red hot Kipkirui completed his double in the 38th minute after guiding in a Wellington Ochieng cross. Aigle Noir defenders had failed to clear a dangerous ball in the 18-yard area and Gor Mahia regained possession which they fully capitalized on.

Aigle Noir's meaningful attempt in the entire first half came in the 40th minute when Aime Kanyamuneza unleashed a ferocious shot from about 30-yards, but goalkeeper David Mapigano handled it well.

In the 47th minute, influential skipper Muguna initiated an attack from deep in the K’Ogalo half, sprinted all the way to receive the ball in the opponent's danger zone but his cross was headed to safety by Hamza Hitimana.

Gor Mahia continued attacking in search for more goals, and it took determination and commitment from Aigle Noir defenders to keep the ball out of the danger zone in the 60th minute.

Dickson Ambundo had brought in a perfect cross to Boniface Omondi, but the latter's shot was blocked by the defender.

Muguna collected the rebound, passed it to Juma who did well to nutmeg the defender, but his shot was once again kept out by Kanyamuneza.

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It was 4-0 in favour of the home side with about 25 minutes to go. Boniface Omondi received a pass on the right, before crossing it to Ambundo. The striker tapped it in to open his account for the club and give the Steven Polack charges a comfortable lead.

By the time Omondi made it five in the 68th minute, the visitors had been drained and looked out of sorts. The home fans did not make it easier for them either as they cheered passionately every time Gor Mahia attacked.

Aigle Noir scored what turned out to be a consolation goal in the 73rd minute through Gasongo who made a timely run between Joash Onyango and Charles Momanyi in the Gor Mahia defense. Interestingly, it was the only shot on target from the visitors in the second half.