The day the beer went flat

In 1994, Kenya Breweries FC, later renamed Tusker FC were just 90 minutes away from emulating the Gor Mahia class of 1987 in lifting the Africa Cup Winners Cup.

This did not happen.

The Brewers had played to a priceless 2-2 away draw against hosts DC Motema Pembe in the first leg of the final played at Kinshasa’s Stade des Martyrs on 27 November 1994.

Patrick Nachok’s 5th minute opener gave the Brewers an unlikely lead before the hosts responded through a 16th minute goal from Monka Ngalama and Buawi’s 45th effort that gave them a 2-1 lead at the interval. Henry Motego would level matters for Breweries ten minutes into the second half, the scores remaining 2-2 until full time, giving Breweries the advantage by virtue of scoring two away goals.

Everybody expected the return match in Nairobi to be a walkover for the brewers but Motema Pembe had other ideas, stunning the home side 3-0 at the Nyayo National Stadium on 10 December 1994 to claim the title 5-2 on aggregate.

It was an almighty capitulation from the brewers in their best run on the continental scene since reaching the semifinals of the 1973 Africa Cup of Champion Clubs where they fell 4-1 on aggregate to Ghana’s Asante Kotoko.

Kenya Breweries path to the 1994 Africa Cup Winners Cup Final saw them defeat Mozambique’s Ferroviario de Beira 5-1 on aggregate, winning the first leg 2-0 in Nairobi before posting a 3-1 away win. They would then benefit from a second round walkover following the withdrawal of Rwanda’s Rayon Sport due to the Rwandese genocide.

Re-Union’s Stade Tamponnaise lay in wait in the quarters, Breweries winning the first leg in Nairobi 1-0 before playing out a 1-1 draw in the return fixture to claim a 2-1 aggregate win.

They would face Gabon’s Mbilinga in the semis, drawing 1-1 in Libreville before cruising to a 3-0 win in Nairobi to reach the final courtesy of a 4-1 aggregate win.

The events at Nyayo on that day in December 1994 were an anticlimactic end to what had been a sizzling campaign for the beer brewers from Ruaraka.

 

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