Gor out to wrap CECAFA campaign in style in third-place play-off


Francis Mustafa is carried aloft by Philemon Otieno in celebration of Gor Mahia's second goal ...
Francis Mustafa is carried aloft by Philemon Otieno in celebration of Gor Mahia's second goal against Vipers SC at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. (PHOTO/Sportpicha)

In Summary

  • Kenyan League champions Gor Mahia will be gunning for a stylish end to their Cecafa Kagame Cup campaign when they take on Jeshi La Kujenga Uchumi(JKU) of Zanzibar in a third-place play-off this afternoon at the National Stadium here in Dar es Salaam from 3pm
  • Gor, shut out of the final by Azam FC of Tanzania who beat them 2-0 in Wednesday's semis, will be aiming for consolation when they take on the Hemedi 'Morocco'  coached side, hoping to  soothe the pain of the crushing semis defeat.
  • At stake is a third- place winners medal and Sh 750,000 that they would relish the prospects of taking home.

Isaac Swila in Dar, Tanzania

Kenyan League champions Gor Mahia will be gunning for a stylish end to their Cecafa Kagame Cup campaign when they take on Jeshi La Kujenga Uchumi(JKU) of Zanzibar in a third-place play-off this afternoon at the National Stadium here in Dar es Salaam from 3pm

Gor, shut out of the final by Azam FC of Tanzania who beat them 2-0 in Wednesday’s semis, will be aiming for consolation when they take on the Hemedi ‘Morocco’  coached side, hoping to  soothe the pain of the crushing semis defeat.

At stake is a third- place winners medal and Ksh 1 million that they would relish the prospects of taking home.

K’Ogalo came agonisingly close to featuring in the final for the second successive time but their capitulation in extra-time did not aid their cause, leaving their Cup dreams in shatters.

So heart-wrenching was the defeat that head coach Dylan Kerr said that had it not been for the rules of the competition, they would have preferred to take an early flight home after the Wednesday defeat for the boys to recover ahead of another grueling phase of fixtures that awaits them back at home.

“It has been particularly hectic, playing eight games in 16 days. The boys are tired, they need to recover,” he told Citizen Digital.

But before they can focus their minds of the domestic challenges that await them, K’Ogalo will first have to battle it out with the Zanzibar outfit who have been anything but entertaining, and dynamic, in this competition, missing the final slot by a whisker.

In their knife-edge semis battle, Meddie Kagere spoiled the party for the Hemedi ‘ Morocco’ charges with a 43rd minute goal in a match dogged by questionable officiating.

However, Morocco being the gentleman he is, has been composed, noting that they have learnt vital lessons  even as his Simba counterpart Masudi Juma skipped the post-match briefing after the feisty Wednesday semis.

“The competition has been tough, with lots of quality and our aim is to now finish on a high in our last match(against Gor Mahia).”

Gor Mahia FC coach Dylan Kerr addressing journalists after their match against AS Ports FC during their group B match of the Cecafa Club Challenge Kagame Cup at the National Stadium Dar Es Salaam on July 05, 2018. Gor Mahia FC won 2-0. (Photo/Vincent Ooro/Sportpicha)

Gor will have to be wary of the  finesse football played by the islanders who have proved their mettle with eye-catching displays.

Kerr’s  squad has in the meantime been ravaged by injuries, with key man Ernest Wendo missing the semis defeat, while Joash Onyango has also been in and out of the squad with discomforts. Francis Kahata also didn’t feature in the last game with a thigh sprain and it remains unclear if he will feature today.

At the same venue, Simba SC and Azam will lock horns  in an all Tanzanian final from 6pm, with Azam gunning to bag the title for the second successive time after the 2015 heroics. In the subsequent years, the tourney was not held, but today they head into the match as underdogs, as Simba enjoy a better run of form.

Fixtures

Third-Place Play-off

Gor Mahia v JKU, 3PM(National Stadium)

Final

Azam v Simba, 6PM(National Stadium)

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Story By Isaac Swila
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