BY SAMSON MBII.NAIROBI,20TH AUG 2018-Gor Mahia failed to make it to the quarter finals of the CAF Confederations Cup after going down 1-2 to Rayon Sports of Rwanda in their Group D clash staged at the MISC Kasarani on Sunday 19 August.
It was Rayon who begun on scoring not after Caleb Bimenyimana put them into the lead just three minutes into the game after connecting well to a cross from the left wing and were unlucky not not preserve their lead until the half time break following an additional five minutes to the normal 45; the hosts through Francis Mustafa restoring parity in the 48th minute, after the striker had capitalized on some poor defending from the visitors to send the game square going into the second half.
The visitors on resumption seemed not to have been moved by the Gor Mahia response in the dying minutes of the first half and deservedly regained their lead in the 51st minute through left back Eric Rutanga, who just as he did in the reverse fixture in Rwanda, sent in a sumptous free kick that escaped everyone in the Gor Mahia defence and straight past Shaban Odhoji in the hosts goal.
In his bid to chase the game, Gor Mahia head coach Dyllan Kerr introduced attacker Lawrence Juma for defender Wellington Ochieng in the 71st minute but Rayon seemingly looking to see game off started playing the time wasting tactics with goalkeeper Abouba Bashunga going down in the 75th minute following a slight collision with Jacques Tuyisenge.
Rayon almost extended their lead minutes after their goalkeeper was up for action with Olivier Seth’s header missing the target by a whisker; George Odhiambo getting into the referees book a minute later after the Rayon scare after elbowing his marker.
Kerr then threw Samuel Onyango for goalscorer Mustafa with eleven minutes remaining on the clock his first contribution being a good threaded pass to Odhiambo who lost his footing while trying to connect.
Rayon thought they had secured their three points after Bimenyimana tucked in a cross by Rutanga on the second attempt following a first point blank save by Odhoji but the striker was adjudged to have fouled the keeper prior to his goal.
Kerr was to introduce Bernard Ondiek for George Odhiambo in the dying minutes with the home team in quick succession sending two efforts with the Rayon keeper had spilled an effort but both were thwarted by the visitors defence as they held for a precious win that sent the group wide open.
In the other clash in Group D, Yanga managed to see off USM Algers 2-1 in Dar Es Salaam for their first win in the group. The win means now that Gor Mahia and USM are still tied both on eight with Yanga taking thier tally to four with Rayon now on six points.
Rayon will host Yanga in their final group game on the same day that Gor Mahia will be up against USM in Algeria. Any draw in the former tie will have both USM and Gor Mahia through with a win for Rayon dumping the loser between the the USM and Gor Mahia game.
A Rayon win and a draw between Gor Mahia and USM will see the teams progressing into the quarter finals decided on goal difference.