Gor Mahia progressed to the first round of the prestigious Caf Africa Champions League following a dramatic, and perhaps an undeserved victory over Malawi's Nyasa Bullets in the preliminary round.
Veteran shot stopper Boniface Oluoch saved an 88th minute before forcing the match into penalties after the Malawians had taken a 55th minute lead. The tie in a 1-1 stalemate as Gor Mahia had won the first leg with an identical score line.
Bernard Ondiek's last-gasp goal in the first leg at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi last week had given Gor Mahia a 1-0 slender edge heading into this tie, but Happy Msowoya happily cancelled this advantage with a goal of at a packed Kamuzu Stadium.
The Kenyans held their nerve to expertly convert their kicks through as Ondieki, Humphrey Mieno, Boniface Omondi, and captain Harun Shakava pacifying the home crowd that had painted the stadium in scarlet red, Nyasa’s home colour.
Oluoch saved Miracle Gabeya’s kick and made himself big to distract Pilirani Zonda who sent his shot bouncing off the cross bar to secure their passage to the next round. Yamikani Fodya, John Lanjesi and Msowoya converted their kicks.
Earlier, Gor Mahia’s assistant coach Zedekiah Zico Otieno was sent to the stands after he protested strongly the decision to award their hosts a penalty kick in the dying minutes of second half.
The result seemed harsh to the Malawians who had dominated the proceedings from start to finish with Gor Mahia clearly missing the services of potent striker Jacques Tuyisenge, his Ivorian Partner Ephrem Ghuikan and Kenyan midfield maestro Francis Kahata who sat out of this match for various reasons.
This outcome ensures K'Ogalo progress to the first round of this competition, where a certainly more difficult assignment against either Cameroon's Union des Mouvements Sportifs de Loum or Nigeria's Lobi Stars lies in wait. The first round match will be played on December 14 and the return leg a week later.