Burundian Francis Mustafa scored the winner as Gor Mahia secured their place in the semi-finals of the Cecafa Kagame Cup after coming from behind to beat Ugandan champions Vipers 2-1 in a tightly contested quarterfinal match here at National stadium on Sunday.
Tadeo Lwanga broke the deadlock at the quarter-hour mark with a spectacular 25-yarder curling shot that caught Boniface Oluoch flat foot in the Gor goal, before Jacques Tuyisenge levelled for K’Ogalo in the 47th minute.
Mustafa, acquired from Rwandese side Kiyovu Sports last month, tapped home the 55th goal of this year’s edition of the competition 17 minutes to full time, after Vipers custodian Bashir Sekagya had parried Tuyisenge’s shot.
Gor faces the winner of the last eight clash between defending champions and home side Azam and Rwanda’s Rayon Sports, who faceoff on Monday afternoon, in the first semi-final set for Wednesday.
“Credit to my players they dominated the whole game, fought hard despite the fatigue, but just as I asked them before the match to show character, they came in and did just that,” an elated Gor coach Dylan Kerr told Nation Sport after the match.
Kerr started with George “Blackberry” Odhiambo and Francis Mustafa in place of Bernard Ondiek and Ephrem Guikan in the two changes made from the team that edged Djibouti side AS Ports 2-0 on Thursday.
Gor Mahia forward George Odhiambo (right) charges past Vipers’ Ibrahim Kiyemba during their Cecafa Kagame Cup quarter-final match at National Stadium, Dar es Salaam on July 8, 2018. PHOTO VINCENT OPIYO |NATION MEDIA GROUP
Mustafa had a first start half to forget for his new club after wasting five clear scoring chances.
Godfrey Walusimbi sent in a delightful cross from the left but the Burundian’s feeble shot was picked by Bashir Sekagya in Vipers goal and in the 34th minute, he was put through on goal by Innocent Wafula, but failed to beat Sekagya in a one-on-one situation.
Gor were dealt an injury blow two minutes to the breather after Ernest Wendo was stretchered off with Francis Kahata replacing him.
Gor were rewarded for their numerous attack four minutes after the restart as Jacques Tuyisenge deflected home Francis Mustafa’s shot towards goal after being fed by Innocent Wafula from the right flank.
Mustafa’s 64th minute goal was disallowed for offside and first assistant referee Salim Mkono coming under sharp criticism.
Gor continued with the onslaught that yielded the winner after Tuyisenge’s shot was parried by Sekagya with an unmarked Mustafa slotting home from close range.