Key talking points from Gor Mahia’s failed bid in Caf Champions League

After holding Esperance to a scoreless draw at home in the first leg, Gor Mahia were left with a task of forcing at least a score line draw away

Gor Mahia crashed out of Caf Champions League on a 1-0 aggregate score to Tunisian side Esperance on Sunday.

The outcome relegated K’Ogalo and coach Dylan Kerr to the lower tier competition, Caf Confederation Cup. After holding Esperance to a scoreless draw at home in the first leg, Gor Mahia were left with an uphill task of forcing at least a score line draw away in Tunis to progress to the group stages.

That, however, was not achieved after the hosts forced a slim win, thanks to a 21st minute goal by Anice Badri, who beat three defenders to slot in the far right past Boniface Oluoch.

So where exactly did Gor Mahia lose the match?

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    #1 Wasted chances in Machakos

    Gor Mahia were arguably the best side in the opening leg staged on March 7 at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. The Kenyan champions dominated the game on both halves but blew away scoring chances. Rwandan strikers Jacques Tuyisenge and Meddie Kagere missed three clear scoring opportunities in the first leg and it seemed that the opponent had read the threat posed by the duo and were given a man-to-man marking in the return leg, stopping any threat posed by Gor Mahia in Tunis.

  2. Goal Kenya.

    #2 Key players missing

    Gor Mahia boarded the plane to Tunisia minus four key players, who were part of the first leg squad. Right back, Wellington Ochieng’ and, the striking duo of Kevin Omondi and Ivorian Ephraim Guikan were ruled out with injuries. Ochieng’ was stretched off in the first leg while Guikan and Omondi picked knocks in the last league match. Also missing from the squad was left back, Godfrey Walusimbi, who refused to travel after the club failed to pay his sign on fee. The absence of the quartet was a big setback for Dylan Kerr.

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    #3 Hostile reception

    K'Ogalo were subjected to a hostile reception at the Stade Olympique de Radès after a section of Esperance fans pelted players with water bottles and other assorted paraphernalia, forcing the reserve bench and officials to seek refuge in the field. The match had to be stopped for three minutes after the home fans turned violent late into the first half. Esperance rode on the advantage of the intimidating atmosphere at home soil to force a slim victory over the Kenyan champions.

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    #4 Time wasting

    Esperance ball boys did not make things any better for Gor Mahia whenever the ball rolled out of play. The young boys took their sweet time retrieving the balls, sometimes forcing Gor Mahia officials and players to take up the role. Gor Mahia coach, Willis Ochieng' was sent off by controversial Botswana referee Joshua Bondo, after he tried to take the ball from a ball boy with time running out.

  5. Goal Kenya.

    #5 Low turn out

    Gor Mahia fans were criticized for the low turn-out witnessed at Machakos Stadium in the first leg but it seems the Green Army did not learn from their mistake and questionable love for the club. Even though the match was held on a mid-week when some would argue, most fans were at work, the number witnessed at the Stade Olympique de Radès made a mockery of the so called Gor Mahia’die-hard fans. Less than 20 fans turned up to cheer K’Ogalo in Tunisia.