Zamalek suffered a surprise 4-2 loss at the hands of Gor Mahia in Nairobi on Sunday to get their CAF Confederation Cup Group D campaign off to a disastrous start.
The Kenyans were inspired by two goals and as assist from captain Jacques Tuyisenge, securing a famous win over the Egyptian heavyweights which sends them to the top of the standings – temporarily at least.
Zamalek claimed the lead as early as the seventh minute,with Ibrahim Hassan’s shot from the edge of the penalty area passing through a crowd of bodies before finding the bottom corner of the net – Mahia were guilty of failing to properly clear their lines from a corner kick.
The Kenyans were rocked by the early goal, but they gradually worked their way back into the game and levelled the score at 1-1 just past the midway point of the first half. A sustained spell of pressure ended with Jacques Tuyisenge showing composure in the box, coolly slotting home after finding a pocket of space.
Mahia had the wind in their sails by now and began to boss the game against the White Knights. It was no surprise when the hosts went ahead in the 38th minute, as Tuyisenge capitalised on some poor defending from Zamalek and netted his second to make it 2-1.
Yet Zamalek remained an attacking threat and silenced the home crowd just before the half-time interval, with Hassan completing his brace in the 44th minute. The match was locked at 2-2 heading into the break.
The topsy-turvy nature of the game continued in the second half, with Gor Mahia reclaiming the lead in the 51st minute. This time Tuyisenge turned provider, laying on for Nicholas Kipkiriu to put the ball past Mahmoud Abd Elrehim and make it 3-2.
The White Knights responded by sending on Hamid Ahadad and Omar Elsaid from the substitutes’ bench to boost their attack, while Mahia also looked to their reserves for inspiration and introduced veteran Dennis Oliech midway through the second half.
The 34-year-old proved his worth with the killer goal in the final minute of regulation time, making it 4-2 to the hosts and killing off Zamalek’s hopes of salvaging something from the game.
The other Group D match will see NA Hussein Dey play host to Petro Atletico in Algiers tonight.
Gor Mahia (2) 4 (Tuyisenge 25’ 38’, Kipkiriu 51’, Oliech 90’)
Zamalek (2) 2 (Hassan 7’ 44’)
Mahia: Oluoch Otieno, Shafik, Kipkiriu (Oliech 67’), Nyambura (Odhiambo 87’), Tuyisenge, Omondi, Ochieng, Muguna, Juma (Shakava 80’), Omondi Otieno, Momanyi
Zamalek: Abd Elrehim, Hamed, Alaaeldin, Ibrahim, Kahraba (Ahadad 58’), Naguez, Sassi, Hassan (Elsaid 61’), Gomaa, Hamdy (Emam 88’), Boutaib