NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – Goals in either half from Issoufou Dayo and Bakre El Helali saw Moroccan side RS Berkane beat Gor Mahia 2-0 at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani to slow down the Kenyan champions’ fairy tale in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Gor will now have a mountain to climb in the return leg of the quarter final in Berkane next week as they now need a win of three clear goals away from home to progress.
Coming into the tie, Gor had an imperious run at home in continental football having lost or drawn none this season, but they could not sustain the momentum against the Moroccans.
A congested fixture that saw them play four games in nine days and the players’ go slow on Saturday saw the reigning Kenyan champions’ preparedness for the game hugely punctured.
Berkane opened the scoring in the 24th minute when Dayo connected from an Omar Namsaoui freekick inside the box unmarked. Geoffrey Ochieng had given away a cheap freekick and the home side was duly punished for the complacency.
Gor seemed to wake up just after conceding. In the opening exchanges of the game, they had struggled to create anything meaningful infront of goal and were often careless on possession.
Two minutes after going down Gor were presented with an opportunity when a short corner floated into the area by Kenneth Muguna was parried into Charles Momanyi’s path, but he took a signature centre back’s finishing volleying the ball over from insider the box.
In the 30th minute, a good change of play from skipper Oliech found Francis Kahata on the right with the midfielder cutting into the edge of the box on his favorite left foot before curling a beauty which keeper Abdelaali M’hamdi smothered over the bar.
With the crowd raising their decibels, Gor were charged and had a flurry of chances with Berkane having their keeper M’hamdi to thank.
Gor won a corner just a minute after Kahata’s chance, the ball landing on Boniface Omondi but his shot after taking a deflection inside the box was turned away by the keeper with the defense scrambling the ball away.
Almost immediately, another attack bore a corner for K’Ogalo and M’hamdi once again produced a superb save, tipping Charles Momanyi’s header away for another corner that was well defended this time round.
Gor had pushed upfield trying to open up the Berkane defense but the Moroccans almost broke 2-0 up on the counter in the 36th minute when Namsaoui’s brilliant cross from the right found Kodjo Laba unmarked at the edge of the six yard box but his header went just over.
Namsaoui once again created another brilliant opportunity for Berkane in the 42nd minute but it took a brilliant save from Fredrick Odhiambo to deny Bakre el Helali who had been sent through with a defense splitting through pass by the right back.
On the turn, Omondi had a chance for Gor when Oliech put him through and a brilliant first touch opened up shooting space, but his effort went inches wide.
-More to follow
The post Berkane slow Gor’s Confed Cup fairy-tale run appeared first on Capital Sports.