Gor Mahia’s fate in their own hands

Bottom placed Gor Mahia will have to bring their A game in their final match of the CAF Confederation Cup that is slated for Sunday at the Moi International Sports Centre.

The Kenyan champions are poised to play Angolan side Petro De Luanda as they seek a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament. K’Ogalo will have to go for nothing but three points to be guaranteed of a spot in the quarterfinals.

If Zamalek manage a draw against Hussein Dey and Gor wins at home, Zamalek and Gor will proceed with the Kenyan side proceeding as leaders of the group. If Zamalek loses against Hussein Dey, the Algerians and Gor will proceed with the former doing so as group leaders. In the event that Gor loses to Petro, the Angolan side will be assured of a spot in the knockouts alongside either of the North African sides.

K’Ogalo coach, Hassan Otkay, has previously insisted that Gor Mahia is a strong team after they suffered a controversial loss against Hussein Dey in Algiers, Algeria.

“Every loss makes you more stronger,” Oktay told Nation Sport, ” You find that you note so many weaknesses in your team whenever playing outside the country and you try to improve them. The more they play away from home, the more they improve themselves.”

Banking on the fine form of their North African imports, Tunisian duo Ferjani Sassi and Hamdi Naguez, and Moroccans Hamid Ahadad and Khaled Boutaib, Zamalek will try to return from the Algerian capital with a point at least to confirm their knockout place in a tournament they never won before. With nine CAF titles to their name, the White Knights want to add a new continental taste to their trophy-full cabinet.

Zamalek have only won one away match in the competition against Gor’s Sunday opponents, Petro de Luanda. They lost against Gor Mahia at Kasarani and K’Ogalo can only hope they will emulate a good performance if they are to proceed as group leaders.

Gor’s campaign in the tournament has been challenging as they have lost all their away games while they capitalise on their home matches. However, against Hussein Dey in Algiers, they lost by one goal in a match that saw Gor’s goal ruled out for a foul. The footage at the Stadium’s screen, however, suggests otherwise.

After suffering a humiliating 4-0 loss to the White Knights of Egypt, Gor will very much need home support to ease past Petro De Luanda.

The internal shackles at K’Ogalo is also to consider as players had planned to boycott their Thursday Kenya Premier League fixture against Kakamega Homeboyz. Despite the pre-match drama, K’Ogalo went on to register a 2-1 victory against Homeboyz.

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Everything is up for grabs in both fixtures of Group D as any team can still qualify for the quarterfinals. Gor, however, will have to win against Petro as a draw or a loss will see them exit the competition.

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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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