Gor Mahia face tall order in Caf Confederation Cup play-off

Wednesday March 18 2020

Gor Mahia forward Jacques Tuyisenge goes over a hurdle during a training session at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on January 12, 2019 on the eve of their Caf Confederation Cup play-off first leg against New Stars de Douala of Cameroon. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |


Kenyan champions Gor Mahia Sunday face New Stars de Douala of Cameroon in the Caf Confederation Cup play-off first leg at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani seeking to complete the job at home.

K’Ogalo will be out to avoid the mistake that denied them a slot in the coveted Caf Champions League group stage that would’ve seen them pocket Sh56 million in prize money when they bowed out on away goals following a 3-3 on aggregate score against Lobi Stars of Nigeria.

The Nigerian side started their group stage campaign on a sound note beating former champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa 2-1 in Enugu on Friday.

Now, Gor are 180 minutes away from Sh27 million should they knock out the Cameroonian side who jetted into the country on Friday night and will have a feel of the match venue on Saturday evening.

Tickets for the 4pm kick-off have been priced at Sh500 VIP and Sh200 for regular to go on sale Sunday morning at Kenya Cinema, Ngomongo Police station, opposite Safari Park hotel and Kasarani stadium’s Gates 2 and 12.

Tunisian Guirat Haythem will be the centre referee while compatriots Yamen Malloulchi and Khalil Hassani will serve as the first and second assistant referees respectively.

Tunisian Walid Djeridi is the fourth official while Tanzanian Ahmed Iddi Mgoyi the match commissioner.

Gor coach Hassan Oktay said they’ve done enough home work on their opponents and are focused on reaching the group stage where a prize money of Sh27 million is at stake.

“We’ve realized that they play better away from home and so we will be cautious,” said the Turkish-Cypriot coach before taking his charges through their paces in their penultimate training session on Saturday at Kasarani.

“They’ve mobile strikers and that means we’ve to be alert all the times,” added the 42-year-old Oktay who will miss suspended duo of Captain Harun Shakava and defensive partner Joash Onyango.

“It’s a big miss but we’ve players with enough quality and I believe whoever is called upon will give 100%. This is for Kenya, I expect to see over 25,000 fans in the stands cheering us on,” concluded Oktay who has two defeats and a single win in three continental games as Gor coach.

Gor will also do without the services of legendary striker Dennis Oliech who is yet to be cleared by the continental body while midfielder Humphrey Mieno is sidelined pending his move to Ethiopian giants St. George sports club.

New Stars coach Gerald Mbimi will bank on striker Ngongang Figo Junior who has five goals in this campaign but will do without deputy captain, midfielder Aristide Medjo who was red carded in their Confederation Cup first round reverse tie against Ahli Tripoli of Libya.

“We are very focused on the task ahead of us,” New Stars left back Lane Lakem is quoted saying on Cameroon site SportsNews.

The return leg will be played next Sunday in Limbe.

Caf Confederation Cup fixture

Gor Mahia v New Stars de Douala (MISC Kasarani, 4pm)