Gor Mahia carried a massive advantage heading into the second leg after beating Nigerian outfit Lobi Stars 3-1 in the CAF Champions League First Round qualifiers in a match staged at the MISC Kasarani on Sunday 16th December.
Gor Mahia started the game brightly with early goals from Jacques Tuyisenge and Samuel Onyango while Samad Kadiri pulled one back for Lobi Stars in the 30th minute. K’Ogalo went into the break leading 3-1 courtesy of Samuel Onyango’s wonder goal.
Gor Mahia who have knackered the art of scoring early goals since Hassan Oktay’s tenure had a blistering start to the game creating two clear-cut chances, first which narrowly missed the head of Francis Kahata after Samuel Onyango’s cross and the other when Francis Mustapha’s cut back was gathered by the keeper with Jaques Tuyisenge larking in the far post.
Tuyisenge was however not to be denied in the 7th minute when Francis Kahata played him through on goal with a sumptuous pass as the Rwandese took one touch before releasing a ferocious shot that found the back of the net as the raucous fans inside the stadium erupted in celebrations.
Gor continued to press for another goal as Lobi Stars calamitous start continued in the 22nd minute when Tuyisenge supplied in a cross that somehow missed everyone and found Samuel Onyango in the far post whose first time shot was blocked by the keeper but the former Ulinzi Stars man followed up his shot and scored with an overhead kick to hand K’Ogalo a 2-0 lead.
Lobi Stars head coach Solomon Ogbeide sought to put an end to the nightmare start as he introduced a defender Austin Ogunye for Zango Umar.
The Pride of Benue pulled one back at the stroke of the half-hour mark when Kwambe delivered a pinpoint corner that was nodded in by Kadiri to halve the deficit.
Shafiq Batambuze who has been a revelation since joining Gor from Singida United played in another long searching ball from his own half reminiscent of his assist to Ssekisambu as this time it’s found Samuel Onyango who tore the Lobi Stars defense into shreds as he got past the keeper and sat two defenders on their backside before nonchalantly slotting the ball into the empty net in the 42nd minute.
Gor Mahia continued from where they left from in the second half as Batambuze played another of his trademark ball’s from the back that found Tuyisenge in acres of space but his cross ball from the wing was dealt with by the Lobi Stars defense.
Samuel Onyango should have bagged his hat-trick ten minutes after the resumption of the second half but his header sailed over the bar after Mustapha found him with a cross from the right flank.
Tuyisenge was next to miss a chance for Gor Mahia when Batambuze who was having a good game located Tuyisenge but the Rwandese couldn’t keep his effort low after getting past the keeper and a gaping wide goalmouth glaring in front of him.
Gor Mahia held on for the 3-1 win heading into the second leg away in Nigeria.