Gor Mahia Land Moroccan Opposition In The Confederation Cup Quarterfinals

gor mahia
/ Courtesy

Gor Mahia will face Renaissance Sportive de Berkane or simply RS Berkane in the quarterfinals of the Caf Confederation Cup.

The draw was conducted on Wednesday at the Caf headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.

K’Ogalo will host the first leg of the two legged encounter on 7th April at the Kasarani Stadium, with the return match scheduled a week later at 18,000 capacity Stade Municipal de Berkane, Morocco.

The 17-time KPL champions qualified for the round of eight for the first time after finishing second in Group D behind Zamalek SC of Egypt.

As a rule, group runner-ups begin the first leg of the knockout round at home.

If successful, Gor Mahia will play the winner between Nkana FC of Zambia and CS Sfaxien of Tunisia in the semifinals.

About RS Berkane

The club was formed in 1938 in the city of Berkane which is located in northeastern Morocco and borders the Mediterranean to its north.

The capital city of Berkane Province boasts a population of just over 100,000 people according to a 2014 census.

It is considered the capital of the citrus fruit industry of Morocco, and high-quality fresh fruit and vegetables are plentiful year round.

Nicknamed the Oranges, RS Berkane is not a football powerhouse neither in Morocco or Africa. In their 81 years of existence, they have only won one major trophy, the Moroccan Cup in 2018.

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The team regained promotion to Morocco’s topflight league, Botola, after finishing second in Botola 2 during the 2011-12 season.

Unlike Gor Mahia who are perennial continental campaigners and winners of the older version of the Caf Confederation Cup in 1987, RS Berkane are participating in the championship only for the third time.

The small success they have enjoyed recently is highly attributed to financial support and influence of their chairman Faouzi Lekjaa.

Lekjaa is the president of the Morocco FA and a powerful member of the Caf Executive Committee. He is also the director of budget in the ministry of finance.

The club has had a rough campaign in the ongoing Botola season and are placed 9th in the 16-team league on 27 points after 21 games, 21 points off run away leaders Wydad Casablanca.

Their last league outing was an embarrassing 7-3 thumping in the hands of Raja Casablanca.

The hope of playing continental football next season therefore lies in going all the way in the current campaign.

Despite their domestic woes, the team has performed well in the Confederation Cup thus far and finished top of Group A with 11 points from three wins, including one away, two draws and a single loss.

A strong midfield is one of their strengths.

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Some of their notable players include 30-year-old Burkina Faso international attacking midfielder Alain Traore, formerly of French sides Auxerre, Lorient and Monaco.

27-year-old Togolese international striker Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba, formerly of US Bitam of Gabon.

Kodjo, who is currently with the Sparrow Hawks ahead of their final Afcon 2019 qualifying match against Benin on Sunday, is highly linked with a move to African Champions Esperance de Tunis this summer.

RS Berkane coach is 51-year-old Mounir Jaouani, a former Morocco international who played for Kénitra Athlétic Club in his heydays.

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Written by Bonface Osano

Communication And Media Student. Sports Writer.


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