Fury over disallowed goal as Gor Mahia lose in Algeria


Johannesburg (AFP)

Kenyan club Gor Mahia were denied what appeared a legitimate goal when losing 1-0 away to Algerians NA Hussein Dey Sunday in a CAF Confederation Cup matchday 4 clash.

Ugandan defender Shafik Batambuze soared to nod a corner into the net on 59 minutes and turned to celebrate what the visiting side believed was the equaliser.

But the joy turned to anger as the Malian referee disallowed the goal, ruling that Hussein Dey goalkeeper Gaya Merbah had been fouled before the ball entered the net.

Big-screen replays at the 80,000-seat Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers suggested otherwise, showing Merbah colliding with a team-mate and falling to the ground.

The incident infuriated Gor supporters watching a broadcast of the match and they vented their anger on social media.

A tweet suggested it was a waste of time watching the match as the result had been pre-determined in favour of the Algerian club.

Another said Gor were robbed and that north African clubs do not need the assistance of referees to win CAF matches while one tweeter blasted African football for "stinking of corruption".

Many critics of the Algiers referee said the incident reminded them of a disallowed goal during a 2018 CAF Champions League semi-final in Tunisia won by local club Esperance.

Angolan visitors Primeiro Agosto scored what seemed a genuine goal from a corner, but it was mysteriously disallowed with replays showing no foul or offside.

The Zambian referee of that match was later suspended by CAF for alleged biased officiating.

Hussein Dey won the Group D clash thanks to a ninth-minute goal from Abderrahmane Yousfi, his first in the second-tier African competition.

- Scramble -

A cross triggered a frantic goalmouth scramble and after Gor goalkeeper Fredrick Odhiambo twice pushed the ball away, Yousfi forced it over the goalline.

The result underlined the poor away form of Nairobi-based Gor, who have won only one CAF match outside Kenya since 2009.

Losing also confirmed that the national stadium in Algiers is an unhappy hunting ground for the east Africans as a defeat there last season eliminated them from the Confederation Cup.

Victory lifted Hussein Dey to the top of table with seven points while Gor have six, Zamalek of Egypt five and Petro Atletico of Angola four.

With two rounds to play on March 10 and 17, all four clubs remain in contention for top-two finishes and quarter-finals places.

Off-form trophy-holders Raja Casablanca forced a 0-0 draw at fellow Moroccans Renaissance Berkane to keep alive hopes of survival despite remaining bottom of Group A.

After being thrashed at home by Berkane last weekend, recently hired French coach Patrice Carteron realised his future was probably on the line in the return match.

He opted for a 5-4-1 system with 33-year-old Mouhcine Iajour the lone striker and it stifled a Berkane attack that included Togolese Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba and Burkinabe Alain Traore.

In a section that includes three Moroccan clubs, Berkane have eight points, AS Otoho Oyo of Congo Brazzaville five, Hassania Agadir four and Raja three.

Should six-time CAF title winners Raja defeat Hassania at home and Otoho away they will squeeze into the knockout phase irrespective of the other results.