Gor, Zamalek Clash Echoes One Of The Most Scandalous Games In CAF History

Jan 31 - by Mutwiri Mutuota for SportPesa News

Egyptian giants arrive on Friday to face domestic record league winners in Confed Cup 'Group of Death' opener at Kasarani

Gor Mahia FC head coach, Hassan Oktay (foreground) and his assistant, Zedekiah 'Zico' Otieno (right) during a training session ahead of their 2019 SportPesa Cup quarter final against Mbao FC at Uhuru Grounds, Dar-es-Salaam on January 22, 2019. PHOTO/SPN

  • The Cairo giants are scheduled to land in Nairobi on Friday at 3:30am EAT (+3GMT) for the opening Pool D CAF Confederations Cup with the continental governing body appointing Celso Armindo Alvacao from Mozambique as the center referee for a fixture steeped deep in history
  • Gor on the other hand who are fresh from a morale boosting 2-0 victory over local rivals Sony Sugar FC in the SPL on Wednesday will have an open media session at MISC at 10am ahead of the biggest test so far in the season
  • Gor were subsequently banned from CAF competitions for three years with Magongo earning the nickname ‘Zamalek’ from the fiasco but following the end of the ban, the SPL champions returned to win the 1987 CAF Africa Winners’ Cup (Mandela Cup) in what remains the finest hour for a Kenyan team in competition

NAIROBI, Kenya- It will be a throwback to a bygone glorious era when SportPesa Premier League champions, Gor Mahia FC host Egyptian giants, Zamalek FC on Sunday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

The Cairo giants are scheduled to land in Nairobi on Friday at 3:30am EAT (+3GMT) for the opening Pool D CAF Confederations Cup with the continental governing body appointing Celso Armindo Alvacao from Mozambique as the center referee for a fixture steeped deep in history.

According to communication from CAF released to the media on Thursday, compatriots Arsenio Chadreque (first assistant), Zacarias Horacio Baloi (second assistant) and Zefanias Chijamela (fourth official) will assist Armindo in making the calls during the much-anticipated fixture.

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Mamoun Bushara Nasir of Sudan and Helly Zafinimanga of Madagascar will execute the supervisory roles as Match Commissioner and General Coordinator in that order.

Following their arrival, the White Knights will conduct their first training session at the Utalii Grounds at 4pm before getting a taste of the match venue on Saturday at the same time. 

They will hold a warm-down session at Utalii on Monday at 4pm before departing for Cairo on Tuesday at 4:20am with only the first 15 minutes of Saturday’s session open to the media before they hold their press conference after training.

Gor on the other hand who are fresh from a morale boosting 2-0 victory over local rivals Sony Sugar FC in the SPL on Wednesday will have an open media session at MISC at 10am ahead of the biggest test so far in the season.

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“When we heard the draw, we all cheered because Gor is a club that thrives on playing in big games. If you know the history of this club, Gor lose when they are playing against smaller teams.

Angolan giant

“To win the World Cup, you must beat giants like Germany. For us to win the Confed Cup, we must play and beat the likes of Zamalek,” Gor assistant head coach and the 2005 title winning captain, Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno told this reporter in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

The SPL winners had just arrived weary from a grueling nine-hour trip from Doula, Cameroon through Nairobi to defend their SportPesa Cup title where SportPesa News sought their take on landing in the 2018/19 Confed Cup group of death.

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Besides Zamalek, Gor will take on the might of Angolan giants, Petro Atletico de Luanda, the club made famous in Kenya when current SPL side Kakamega Homeboyz FC captain cum interim coach, Allan Wanga, signed for them in a big money move in 2008.

Wanga, who selected himself and notched a brace in their 4-0 demolition of SP Cup runner-ups, Bandari FC on Wednesday jointed Atletico after top scoring in the domestic league and winning the crown with Tusker FC the season before.

Algerian side with NA Hussein Dey round off a pool that has the potential of producing the champion of the second tier continental showpiece.

As ‘Zico’ perhaps foretold, Gor went on to tumble out of the SP Cup to minnows Mbao FC of Tanzania 3-4 on post-match penalties after the plucky home side came from 1-0 down to force a 1-1 draw at the end of the 90 to surrender the trophy they won in 2017 and 18.

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For older football fans, the meeting of Gor and Zamalek will inevitably evoke memories of their infamous 1984 meeting in the CAF Africa Club Championships (now CAF Champions League) second round, first leg in Cairo.

In one of the most dramatic games ever played in the competition, Gor, then anchored by the wizardly of the late Zakary Khamis Magongo in midfield frustrated the White Knights for lengthy periods and what transpired next as the clock wound down took the dark arts of African football to the extreme.

A Zamalek player allegedly took a dive on the fringes of the penalty box after an innocuous challenge from the retreating Magongo and upon realizing he had not made it to 12-yard area, he rolled himself right into the box.

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The Sudanese ref in charge of the tense affair then conversed with Zamalek players in Arabic and to the horror of Gor, he awarded a penalty that sparked hot protests from the Kenyan player and in the ensuing chaos, Magongo received his marching orders.

More drama followed when the ref retreated to the dressing room and emerged later to the field with a sling in the left hand and to the shock of the visitors, claimed he could not continue with the game causing the abandonment of the match.

Gor were subsequently banned from CAF competitions for three years with Magongo earning the nickname ‘Zamalek’ from the fiasco but following the end of the ban, the SPL champions returned to win the 1987 CAF Africa Winners’ Cup (Mandela Cup) in what remains the finest hour for a Kenyan team in competition.

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