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Gor Mahia Face Tough Zamalek Test At Kasarani

gor mahia
[Courtesy]

[IMAGE/ COURTESY]
Gor Mahia will face Zamalek SC in the Caf Confederation Cup Group D match at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.

It will be the sixth time K’Ogalo will be facing the White Knights of Egypt in continental football.

The Kenyan champions have managed a win and a draw in the previous encounters with one game being abandoned.

Five times African Champions Zamalek head into this tie against a back drop of a strong domestic form and are the favourites on paper.

The current Egyptian Premier League leaders have only lost once in 18 fixtures while winning 14 matches. They are unbeaten in all competitions this year.

Zamalek center back Mahmoud Alaa is the league’s top scorer with 12 goals.

Midfielder Ferjani Sassi is another proven goalscorer in the coach Christian Gross’s side.

Gross, a former Tottenham Hotspur manager, is asking his charges not to be carried away by the league exploits as they are entering a different competition.

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“I have asked the players to forget about the domestic league and focus on our continental mission,” said Gross.

“It’s a totally different competition now and we have to be 100 per cent focused from the start to the end”, he added.

The 64-year old is eyeing a winning start in Nairobi.

“It’s always good to start the group stage with a victory. Gor Mahia game is going to be difficult but we have to give our all, whether the game is at home or away”, added Gross who led Saudi side Al Ahly Jeddah to a domestic double in 2016.

Gor Mahia on the other hand have blown hot and cold this season but has shown grit in continental football.

The 1987 Caf Winners’ Cup Champions are known to thrive in big matches and dispite the odds they are roundly expected to give a good fight.

K’Ogalo has shown sustained growth in the Caf interclubs and for the second season running missed a historic qualification to the Caf Champions League by a whisker after contraversially losing to Lobi Stars of Nigeria away in Enugu hence dropping to the Confederation Cup where they edged out Cameroon’s New Stars de Douala to reach the round of 16.

In the previous season they were eliminated 1-0 on aggregate by Esperance de Tunis who went ahead to lift the cup for the third time.

After tasting the Confederation Cup proper last season – reaching the group stage for the first time, K’Ogalo will be hoping to go a notch higher this edition to make the knockout stages of the tournament and registering good results at home starting with Zamalek will be key to this end.

Coach Hasan Oktay stressed the need for is charges to score goals while urging Kenyans to rally behind the team, sentiments which were echoed by striker Jacques Tuyisenge.

“It’s very important that we score goals. This game is for all Kenyans and I urge them to support the team,” the Cypriot said.

“We are ready for the game and confident of our ability to do well against Zamalek so we call on fans to show up in large numbers to support us,” Tuyisenge reiterated.

K’Ogalo will miss the services of offensive midfielder Francis Mustafa and holding midfielder Ernest Wendo.

The game will kick off at 4.00pm Kenyan time.

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Written by Bonface Osano

Communication And Media Student. Sports Writer.

Email: news@kahawatungu.com

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