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Gor should look past officiating mistakes ahead of Zamalek clash

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Kenyan Champions Gor Mahia now face a difficult task qualifying into the knockout stages of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederations Club Championships.

After losing 1-0 to Algerian side NA Hussein Dey, their campaign in the tournament got more difficult as they have no option but to deliver against El Zamalek in Egypt.

In the controversial match, Gor’s goal was disallowed on claims that Shafik Batambuze fouled a Hussein Dey player before heading home a Francis Kahata. Video footage from the stadium’s screens however suggested otherwise. Gor fans have taken to social media to complain about the incident blaming it on poor officiating from the Malian referee, Boubou Traore.

The Kenyan Giants are now second in group B with six points, a point shy of the leaders NA Hussein Dey. Group D is now a group of death as three evenly matched sides battle out for a spot in the knock out stages while the fourth is just a determinant of who will make it. Gor Mahia now needs specific results from other fixtures in order to qualify for the knockout stages. It is not just in their hands as they are yet to face Egyptian side El Zamalek which is arguably the best team in the group.

In their first leg fixture played at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani, Hussein Otkay’s team eased away with a 4-2 victory against the Egyptian White Knights but might find it difficult to emulate the same at Zamalek. it is only the winners and the runners-up of the tournament that will qualify for the knockout stages and should they lose against Zamalek, K’Ogalo will drop to third in the group table.

CAF Confederations Cup Group D Table. When K’Ogalo began their campaign in the tournament, they were tipped to perform well in it but away fixtures have proved to be difficult for them.

A draw against Zamalek will see Gor maintain their position and have a good chance of qualifying as their home record is good and they are likely to win against Angola’s Petro De Luanda at home. Zamalek won against the Angolan side in Angola and are also likely to emulate the same result in Egypt. Zamalek will only be assured of a spot in the knockout stages if Petro de Luanda win against Hussein Dey in Angola should they fail to win against Gor Mahia on Sunday 10th March.

Petro de Luanda is the only team in the group that is assured of not getting a spot in the last 8 of the tournament. Hussein Dey is currently top in the group and will be assured of qualification to the last 8 if they win against bottom-placed Petro De Luanda in Angola.

All is at stake for the top three sides as they all have a chance for qualifying for the knockouts but just a slip from any of the sides will see them exit the competition.

When K’Ogalo began their campaign in the tournament, they were tipped to perform well in it but away fixtures have proved to be difficult for them. They have not won an away match in the tournament losing 2-1 to Petro De Luanda and recently 1-0 to NA Hussein Dey.

READ: What Kenyans watched most in February

It is clear that Gor’s goal was supposed to pass but there is no Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Confederations Cup so the match result will still stand. If K’Ogalo really wants to make it to the knockout stages, they ought to give their best in their remaining two matches but most importantly against El Zamalek.

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Kevin Namunwa
Kevin Namunwahttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Kevin Namunwa is a senior reporter for Business Today. Email at [email protected].
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