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Bandari sink Tunisia's US Ben Guerdane at Kasarani

Saturday September 14 2019

Bandari midfielder Abdalla Hassan celebrates his goal during their Caf Confederation Cup first round, first leg match against US Ben Guerdane of Tunisia on September 14, 2019 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Bandari midfielder Abdalla Hassan celebrates his goal during their Caf Confederation Cup first round, first leg match against US Ben Guerdane of Tunisia on September 14, 2019 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

JEFF KINYANJUI
By JEFF KINYANJUI
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Bandari edged out visiting Tunisian side US Ben Guerdane 2-0 in the Caf Confederation Cup first round, first leg match at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday.

After a goalless first half, Congolese striker Yema Mwama opened the scoring for the dockers with a powerful header off an Abdallah Hassan cross in the 74th minute and they doubled the lead just four minutes later, Abdallah Hassan heading in a William Wadri delivered after he had been fouled on the left flank.

Bandari coach Bernard Mwalala expressed satisfaction with the result but was quick to point that the tie was far from over.

“I was confident we would do well and I am happy with the performance of the team today but it is not yet time to celebrate, we have a tough job to complete in Tunisia. We will go to defend the two goals and try to at least score one but we know it will be a tough game. They are a good team and the fact that they will be playing at home will make it tougher for us,” Mwalala said.

Prior to this match, Bandari had not scored in open play in five matches and it had been a concern for Mwalala. He said he was was impressed with the performance of his forwards against US Ben Guerdane.

“We have been working very hard on our finishing and I’m glad it has started paying off. However there’s room for improvement, we have to do better in the final third.”

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US Ben Guerdane started the match the better side and could have taken the lead in the fifth minute but Bandari custodian Michael Wanyika did well to deny Khaled Yahia from close range. A few minutes later, Melo Dos Santos cut from the right flank but his shot was again dealt with by Wanyika.

Bandari settled in the match and started threatening upfront. Captain Felly Mulumba could have given the dockers the lead in the 17th minute but his header off a Nicholas Meja free-kick went just inches wide. Fred Nkata made a lung bursting run down the left flank and cut into the box but his shot was cleared.

Bandari got the first corner kick in 40th minute, William Wadri took it beautifully but Collins Agade headed wide. Danson Chetambe’s hard shot just before the breather was parried away by US Ben Guerdane keeper Saber Ben Salah.

Bandari made two changes in quick succession, Danson Chetambe was rested for Shaban Kenga in the 55th minute while Benjamin Mosha came in for Cliff Kasuti minutes later. The Tunisian side brought in Fakhri Auoji for the jaded Ricardo Alves.

After the changes Bandari now looked the better side and deservedly opened the scoring in the 74th minute, Yema Mwama turning in an inviting cross by Hassan. They doubled the lead just four minutes later, this time Hassan heading in past Saber Ben Salah off a curling free-kick by Wadri. Mwalala pulled out Mosha - who appeared injured - n the 80th minute for Wycliffe Ochomo while US Ben Guerdane introduced Mohammed Jerbi for Khaled Yahia.

Bandari held on to win 2-0 and will now head to Tunisia in two weeks time for the return leg. The aggregate winner will enter the group stage of the Caf Confederation Cup.

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