Tusker FC was eliminated from the CAF Champions League after losing 2-1 to Mauritian Champions AS Port Louis 2000 in the preliminary round on Sunday evening at the New George V Stadium, Port Louis.
The hosts came from a goal down to score two goals in the final five minutes to book a first round ticket on a 3-2 aggregate.
Tusker, the Kenyan Premier League champions had hoped to proceed to the group stage but will rue their lackluster performance in the first leg and crucially, conceding at home.
In the second leg, the alemen were wasteful. They were punished by a determined Port Louis side .
Heading into the return leg after a 1-1 result in the first leg in Nairobi, Tusker needed a win to progress and started the match well, dictating the tempo. They were rewarded in the 21st minute via Hashim Ssempala’s long range effort.
The visitors came close to doubling their advantage on the stroke of halftime, but Antony Ndolo wasted a scoring opportunity.
In the second half, the brewers had another chance with a Noah Wafula shot that skied over the bar. Ndolo again was guilty of missing two golden opportunities. One of this was a one on one with the keeper and the second a simple tap in.
The hosts surged to find an equalizer in the final 15 minutes, as Tusker appeared content with a 1-0 lead.
George Nsimbe, the Tusker FC coach pulled out Shafik Batambuze whom he had employed upfront from his usual left back position and introduced James Situma to put up a five man defense and seal the result.
But, five minutes from time, the plan failed when Ephram Guikan scored to level the tie.
At this point, the game would have been decided from penalties but the hosts were not in the mood to go into the lottery. Guikan popped up for the winner in the 89th minute, finishing off from a corner after the Tusker defense failed to pick him out.
The hosts saw off the remaining minutes to book a ticket to Khartoum where they will play Sudan’s Al Hilal in the first round. The winner of the tie qualifies for the group stage of the Championship.
Pressure now mounts on Nsimbe after his false start especially with his predecessor Paul Nkata having lifted the bar so high winning the double last season.