Gor Mahia needed penalty shootout to progress to the next stage of the Caf Champions League following a 1-1 (4-3 aggregate) victory on Wednesday.
The Kenyan champions beat Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi 5-4 on aggregate after a dramatic second leg staged at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, Malawi.
Keeper Boniface Oluoch was the toast for the Kenyan side after saving two penalties, one in regulation time and another in the shootout to bundle out Nyasa Big Bullets.
Gor Mahia took time to settle into the game; allowing Bullets to dictate the first quarter of the opening half. Only George Odhiambo came close within the first five minutes.
Nyasa Big Bullets won a dangerous free-kick from the left side, but Boniface Oluoch was on a high alert t parry the ball to safety.
Just like Gor Mahia, the host had absolutely no hunger for success. It took Nyasa Big Bullets 31 minutes to have the first attempt on goal. But Gor Mahia was not different either.
Shakava was solid at the back, but his final touches on the ball let him down. Odhiambo was lethargic upfront. Clearly, the absence of Jacques Tuyisenge was being felt by the Kenyan champions.
Poor marking and a bad decision by Boniface Oluoch gave Big Bullets the first goal, just 10 minutes after the restart. Chiugepo Msowoya controlled a harmless looking ball before firing a dipping shot past Oluoch, who had left his line as Nyasa Big Bullets took a deserved lead at the break.
Oluoch, however, made up for his mistake with arguably the biggest save of the year when he denied Nyasa Big Bullets from the spot. Gor Mahia had conceded a penalty with only four minutes to the final minute, but Oluoch dived the right side to save a casually taken penalty by Msowoya.
The save sent the game into a shootout and once again Oluoch dived to the right side to deny Marakesh Kubeya. Shakava, Humphrey Mieno, Benard Ondiek all converted their spot kicks for Gor Mahia.
Gor Mahia XI: Boniface Oluoch (GK), Philemon Otieno, Joash Onyango, Harun Shakava (captain), Shafik Batambuze, Humphrey Mieno, Ernest Wendo, George Odhiambo, Samuel Onyango, Francis Mustafa and Erisa Ssekisambu.