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Kenya Gor Mahia FC stuns Egyptian giant
Zamalek FC in Nairobi Confed Cup thriller

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Gor Mahia FC completed a memorable 4-2 upset of five-time African champions Zamalek FC of Egypt in Nairobi on Sunday to get their 2018/19 CAF Confederations Cup group stage campaign off to a dream start.

Gor Mahia forward Jacques Tuyisenge claimed a brace and set up a third for strike partner Nicholas Kipkurui before Dennis Oliech came off the bench to seal the victory with a fourth in added time.

Zamalek responded through Ibrahim Hassan who also scored twice in the first half after profiting from mistakes from Gor keeper and Kenya international Boniface Oluoch.

Victory over the favorites in Nairobi saw the Kenyan champions take early charge of Group D of the Confederations Cup that also has Angolan heavyweights Petro Atletico and Algerian side NA Hussein Dey.

The win was also sweet revenge for Gor following their infamous meeting in the 1984 CAF Africa Champions Cup (now Champions League) that saw the record 17-time Kenyan champions banned for three years from continental competition following an ill-tempered contest against Zamalek in Cairo.

Gor head coach, Hassan Oktay, sprung a surprise in his selection when he benched record goal-scorer Oliech and captain Harun Shakava who was returning to CAF action alongside Charles Momanyi after serving suspension.

Kipkurui was soon involved in the first talking point of the game when Tarek Ahmed cluttered him to the face in the second minute, both men writhing on the turf in pain.

The Zamalek defender was lucky to escape with only a yellow card having appeared to use his elbow with Oktay leading the protests.

In the seventh, Gor fell behind to Zamalek when Oluoch had dropped a clanger and gifted Zamalek an ill-deserved corner.

The delivery to the box was only half cleared, with the ball falling to Hassan who fired in a precise left-footed low shot past the despairing dive of keeper for 1-0 to the visitors.

Gor, with the busy Kipkurui rising in prominence, took charge of the game and in the 25th Kasarani stadium erupted when Tuyisenge beat Mahmoud Abd Elrehim for 1-1.

A long floating ball from the left was headed across goal by the former Zoo Kericho FC star, evading a defender and finding the record Gor signing who in turn, passed to the advancing Francis Kahata before accepting the return to fire into the net.

Inspired by getting level, Gor turned the screw, passing up two wonderful chances to go ahead when Boniface Omondi shot straight at the keeper before Kipkurui forced a clearance off the crossbar by Abdallah Saleh for a fruitless corner.

Zamalek had not read the warning side and in the 38th, Tuyisenge once again showed his predatory instincts when he headed in a deep Omondi cross from the right at the far post despite the best efforts of Abd Elrehim to keep it out.

Kasarani was now rocking but all the good work was undone a minute to the break when Gor were pegged back by a second Hassan strike that tricked into the net via a deflection that wrong-footed Oluoch, who had already committed himself.

Zamalek shaded play at the start of the second but it was the home fans who were up on their feet in the 51st when Kipkurui put Gor 3-2 ahead with a thumping header from a deep cross from the right delivered by his forward partner, Tuyisenge.

To the disappointment of fans Kipkurui was forced off the field injured after he went down to a meaty challenge, paving way for the legend that is Oliech in the 66th and a just a minute from coming on, he almost brought the house down when he almost made it four for Gor in what would have been quite the introduction.

Khalid Boutaib then missed a chance to make it 3-3 when he fired over from close range after a header back from a free-kick and moments later, the action-packed contest saw Oliech square the ball for Kahata who screwed the ball wide from inside the box as the match approached its last quarter of an hour.

Oliech was denied twice by brave defending and after the second chance went begging, Oktay brought on Shakava in place of Lawrence Juma as he sought to close out the game with 10 minutes standing between his side and a famous victory over the five-time African champions and Group D favorites.

With Zamalek committing men forward in search of an equalizer, the final flourish fell deservedly to Oliech, who raced on to a long ball, composed himself by weaving through a trailing defender before pulling the trigger to send the home fans into orbit.

 

             

 

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