Bandari FC sustains CAF Confederation cup campaign

Zarzis, Tunisia – September 29, 2019 

The Kenya Ports Authority sponsored team Bandari FC has advanced to the next stage of the CAF Confederation Cup following a 3-2 aggregate win against US Ben Guerdane of Tunisia.

The Dockers went for the return leg match in Tunisia riding on the 2-0 advantage which they registered on September 14, 2019 at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

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Bandari FC players assemble for prayer before their tie against US Ben Guerdane in Tunisia.

Though trailing by 2-0 before kickoff at the Union Sportive de Ben Guerdane Stadium, the Tunisian side announced the intentions for a revenge mission by scoring two goals to restore parity by the half time break to the satisfaction of their hundreds of fans.

The home team appeared to have conducted thorough preparations on sharpening their attacking against Bandari FC and this was fruitful as their Brazilian import Ricardo Alves Pereira managed to score a brace. The goals came in the 5th and 23rd minutes of the game.     

Bandari FC had two clear missed chances in the 15th and 26th minutes when Ugandan import William Wadri was left with the goalkeeper to beat and in the second instance got a cross from Abdalla Hassan which he could have nodded in an empty net.

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US Ben Guerdane goalkeeper Ghaith Yeferni saves a shot with Bandari striker William Wadri (dreadlocked) in  hot pursuit.

For the US Ben Guerdane side, their thirst for glory was evident in the entire first half enjoying ball possession as Ricardo exchanged passes with team mates Sofiane Khelili, Gil and Sabri Ammeri.

Bandari FC also kept pushing for a goal which was imminent in the 36th minute when a William Wadri cross found Dan Guya but he headed it wide. In the 44th minute Abdalla Hassan made a good run with the ball but was brought down by Khaled Yahia who got a yellow card and a free kick awarded to Bandari but still the first half ended at 2-0 in favour of US Ben Guerdane.

Upon resumption of the second half, Bandari FC Head Coach made some changes by introducing Cliff Kasuti for Darius Msagha in the 52nd minute.

Part of the second half looked horrendous for Bandari FC but defender Brian Otieno stopped a goal bound shot in the 54th minute while goalkeeper Michael Wanyika made crucial saves including a penalty that was awarded to the home team in the 64th minute.

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Bandari FC custodian Michael Wanyika getting ready for the penalty which he saved in the 64th minute.

The goalkeeper showcased his prowess by punching the penalty shot and quickly saving the resulting rebound.

Head Coach Bernard Mwalala's strategy of defending and attacking proved rewarding in the 89th minute when the Dockers went on the offensive with William Wadri scoring the much needed goal after getting a pass from Kasuti.

The match ended at 2-1 for US Ben Guerdane but the aggregate 3-2 win for Bandari FC secured them a ticket to advance to the next stage of the CAF Confederation Cup competition.

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Bandari FC Captain Felly Mulumba celebrates the victory with goalkeeper Michael Wanyika and defender Fred Nkata.

The result left the Bandari FC players and officials experiencing the most exhilarating moment in a foreign land, waving the Kenyan flag, singing and dancing in praise of Kenya Ports Authority and the Managing Director Dr. Arch. Daniel Manduku.

Commenting on the outcome, Head Coach Bernard Mwalala thanked God for the victory terming it historic and good for Kenya as a country.

"We now have just to wait and see which teams we are going to face in the next stage of the competition and plan against them but at the moment we want to go home and celebrate this historic win," he added.

The 16 successful teams in the CAF Confederation Cup competition will now be paired against 16 other teams bundled out of the CAF Champions league for the final preliminary round of the CAF Confederation prior to the group stages.