Gor Mahia came from behind to hold Al Khartoum to a 1-1 draw in the top of Group ‘A’ table clash in the ongoing Cecafa Kagame Cup. Ousman Baba opened the scoring in the 7th minute for Khartoum but Eric Ochieng headed in the equaliser for Gor from a Khalid Aucho cross three minutes to half-time.
Unexpectedly, Innocent Wafula, Eric Ochieng and Ali Abondo–all started with Collins Okoth fit enough to start on the bench for Gor. Khartoum on the other end left captain Bilal Sallehidine and Kenyan Anthony Akumu on the bench with Hassan Eltayeb and Murwan Salim taking their places.
Hardly had the top of the table clash settled than Khartoum took the lead. Awadh Abdalla whipped a dangerous ball into the box which Boniface Oluoch failed to hold onto allowing Baba to pounce and place the ball into the unguarded net.
It was a rare mistake from Oluoch that left K’Ogallo once again needing to come from behind to get something out of the encounter. Michael Olunga had the chance to restore parity in the ninth minute but he skied his free-kick. Soon after Abondo fired a low set piece that Amir Eldahir held onto at the second time of asking.
From nowhere, Khartoum nearly doubled their lead from a quick break but Abdalla was denied by the upright with Oluoch well beaten. Gor resorted to long balls forward, looking to release either Olunga or Medie Kagere but Sudanese Rashid Zacharia foiled their plans.
Olunga, who had scored in the previous two games had chances to add to his three goals but he shot tamely into Eldahir’s arms before skying an even better opportunity with his weaker right foot.
Those misses were nearly punished as Awadh, from a quick break, guided the ball goal-wards but watched agonisingly as the ball came off the upright with Oluoch well beaten. Just as it looked like Gor would go into the break, trailing for the first time in this year’s regional championships, they levelled matters.
Aucho was allowed time and space and he took full advantage flighting a delightful ball that Ochieng gleefully nodded past Eldahir. Khartoum came into the second half determined to reclaim their lead but were twice thwarted by the alert goal-keeping of Oluoch. Against the run of play, Wafula nearly caught Eldahir with a lobbed effort, forcing the Sudanese custodian to backpedal and stretch himself to tip the ball over for a fruitless corner.
Khartoum made two changes sending on Dominik Abul and Akumu for Eltayeb and Salim. Gor too introduced Okoth for his first taste of the competition but was to be no noteworthy change to the tie until Aucho was booked for dissent before limping off with an injury that will hopefully heal in time for the quarter finals.