Gor Mahia will be seeking to capitalize on home ground advantage when they host Seychelles side ANSE Re Union in the preliminary round of the Caf Confederation Cup first leg tie at the Nyayo Stadium starting 4pm Saturday.
The Kenyan league runners up remain the only East African side to have triumphed on the continental front way back in 1987, but the team has perhaps intelligently, sought to put in check the expectations from their fans.
“We were bundled out in the first stage of the competition last year, so we are seeking to go one better and qualify for the first round”, revealed midfielder Moses Odhiambo.
This encounter pitting Kenya’s domestic cup winners and their Seychellois counterparts will certainly be a tough match, the humuor of the visiting team’s notwithstanding.
“When is today?” posed coach Juel Ah Kong during a brief interview at the team hotel Friday.
“We have some Valentine gifts for Gor Mahia, we’ll deliver them during the game.”
Kong who’s been elevated to head coach following the departure of Serbian manager Gardevesic Vojo, has undoubtedly done his research ahead of the match against Zdravko Logarusic’s charges.
“Both teams will not be at their best because both the Kenyan and Seychelles league seasons are yet to kick off. I am told Gor are a strong side with a very good coach. They have three speedy wingers who interchange positions. We will have to be wary”, revealed the tactician who refused to confirm whether Kenyan defender Silas Gwanda was part of the 25 man contingent for the key match.
However, pundits have predicted a straight forward win for K’Ogalo against a side whose country is placed 68 places below Kenya on the latest Fifa rankings.
“The Seychelles players are technically and tactically astute. When we last played their national team, I noticed they were not comfortable with aerial balls or physical challenges, considering the size of their players. During that match they were undone by the pace of Dennis Oliech. I believe Gor will secure a comfortable win” observed Sammy Shollei, a former Kenyan international who was the head of delegation in 2011 when Kenya beat Seychelles 3-0 away during the preliminary round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.