Twahir: Blame our exit on Kenyan calendar

By alex wafula
Feb 28, 2021
  • Edwin Lavatsa scored the consolation goal for Bandari against Lupopo who won 3-1 on aggregate in the Confederation Cup. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Twahir Muhiddin, the Bandari FC  blamed the Kenyan football calendar for their exit from the Confederation Cup.

The coach admitted Bandari were not on the same competitive level with Lupopo but apportioned the blame on the structure of the Kenyan football calendar.

“If you look at Lupopo, their league is almost over. Meaning they are seven, eight months ahead of us in terms of match fitness and preparation. For us, we are just one month in. As long as our calendar remains the same way, we will not be competitive enough,” Muhiddin, who had raised similar concerns before the competition started said after the match.

Bandari's exit means Kenya as no team in any CAF competitions this year after Kenyan champions Gor Mahia were ousted by Madagascar side CNaPS Sport in the Champions League.

Bandari drew 1-1 with Congolese side St Elloi Lupopo at the Nyayo Stadium for a 3-1 aggregate against Lopopo who beat them 2-0 in the first leg in Lubumbashi a fortnight ago.

As expected, Muhiddin praised his charges for a good fight. 

George Abege and Shabaan Kenga saw their opening minute chances go to waste. Lupopo came close in the 15th minute but Wilson Obungu parried a Pambani Makiadi freekick Pambani Makiadi.

Two minutes later, Bandari had a good scoring opportunity from a freekick at the edge of the box but Anthony Kimani hit the wall.

Makambo Maolingi capitalized on a lapse by Bandari defense to score the first goal. Despite conceding the goal, the hosts rallied back and Ugandan striker George Abege had a chance with a shot from the edge of the box which went over.

Felly Mulumba should have done better with a 31st minute chance but he could not get a stronger connection to a Bernard Mang’oli freekick on the far post, Lupopo keeper Tibolia Kilebela tipping the ball over for a corner.

Four minutes to the break, Keta Nday Ilunga came close to doubling the visitor’s tally but his shot after skipping over Mulumba hit the side netting.

Mbayi came close

On resumption, Mousa Mbayi came close to scoring Lupopo’s second but his header from a Junior Baometu freekick went inches over the bar.

Muhiddin then introduced Danny Sserunkuma for Abege who had failed to trouble the Lupopo defense and this change pumped some energy into the Bandari forward line.

The dockers came close in the 66th minute but his effort at a volley from a Musa Mudde long pass wasn’t strong enough.

Kimani exchanged passes swiftly with Sserunkuma in the 70th minute, but the Ugandan was bullied off the ball inside the box allowing keeper Kilebela to race and pick up.

Bandari got a consolation goal when Lavatsa struck a penalty in the third minute of added time after Poso Mayenge handled inside the box.

Elsewhere, Muhoroni Youth won their second match on the trot after beating Thika United 2-1 at the Thika County Stadium in the Sportpesa-sponsored Kenya Premier League.

Wycliffe Ochomo scored a brace in the second and 38th minutes with Brian Torach scoring a consolation in the 66th minute.

At the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, Posta Rangers were held to a one all draw by Western Stima. Timothy Otieno scored the opener in the 15th minute but Wesley Kemboi levelled matters.

In Mumias, Dennis Onkangi scored the lone goal as Chemelil Sugar picked up their first win of the league by beating Kakamega Homeboyz 1-0.