Gor expected in Algiers this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s crunch tie
- Kenya’s representatives in the Caf- Confederations Cup Gor Mahia are expected to land in Algiers, Algeria this afternoon ahead of a crunch Group D decider against hosts USM Alger tomorrow.
- Gor Mahia need to win the match to be assured of one of the last eight slots, notwithstanding the Rayon Sport versus Yanga encounter. Should Gor Mahia lose to USMA, they will bank on a win by Yanga against Rayon Sports away in Kigali, to qualify for the quarters as group runners up.
By Milton Ochieng in Algiers
Kenya’s representatives in the Caf- Confederations Cup Gor Mahia are expected to land in Algiers, Algeria this afternoon ahead of a crunch Group D decider against hosts USM Alger tomorrow.
The team could not find a connecting flight to Algiers and spent the night in Morocco yesterday. However the local giants got a setback after State House failed to deliver on their promise of securing 30 air tickets to enable the team travel full squad to Algeria.
The team only received 21 tickets out of the 30 promised by the government, thus travelling without their team doctor and physiotherapist. Team manager Jolawi Obondo said the communication they got from State House was that the air tickets prices were higher than expected prompting the government to purchase only 21 out of the 30 promised..
Only 17 players travelled alongside head coach Dylan Kerr, his assistant Zedekiah Otieno, team manager Jolawi Obondo and club CEO Lordvick Aduda.
Gor Mahia need to win the match to be assured of one of the last eight slots, notwithstanding the Rayon Sport versus Yanga encounter. Should Gor Mahia lose to USMA, they will bank on a win by Yanga against Rayon Sports away in Kigali, to qualify for the quarters as group runners up.
Despite being the group leaders on eight points, the race for the quarters slot is wide open, the Kenyan giant’s fate hanging in the balance owing to the fact that the head-to- head rule will be the tie breaker with Rayon Sports having an advantage over them, having drawn in Rwanda and securing a win in Nairobi in their two -leg face off. This mathematically means Gor Mahia must beat USM Alger or draw in order to progress.
The inclusion of third choice goalkeeper Fredrick Odhiambo is a big boost for Gor Mahia, having impressed in the last two league assignments against Sofapaka in Narok and during the Mashemeji derby in Nairobi. Odhiambo has been included in the team alongside the towering and fully recovered Burundian defender Karim Nzigyimana who makes a comeback after a long break due to injury.
The football mad nation is seemingly awaiting the arrival of the Kenyan giants and football fans could be seen as early as yesterday waving the Algerian flag in the street of Algiers with some dressed in USMA outfit, an indication that Gor Mahia will have a hill to climb in this one.
Upon the mention of Kenyan citizenship at Algiers International Airport, an official was just curious to know whether Gor Mahia had arrived, a sign that the match is eagerly awaited. The match kicks off tomorrow at 2pm Algerian time(4pm in Kenya), the biggest problem facing foreign journalists is communication with Arabic and French being the main languages spoken here.
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