Mighty Gor in date with destiny; will they make Kenya proud?
- The much awaited decisive Caf Confederations Group D match pitting Kenyan giants Gor Mahia against Algerian powerhouse USM is only hours away.
- At the same time, USMA Communication Manager Amine Tirmane has said that they respect Gor Mahia and will not take the game for granted.
- Even a draw in the Kigali match will still favour Gor Mahia should they also draw against USMA.
Milton Ochieng in Algiers
The much awaited decisive Caf Confederations Group D match pitting Kenyan giants Gor Mahia against Algerian powerhouse USM is only hours away.
K’Ogalo are in Algeria for the decider to be played today from 4pm EAT at 05 Juillet Stadium in Algiers and hopes are high among the expectant K’Ogalo nation that the Dylan Kerr coached charges can defy the torrents, the boos and cat-calls and defy the hosts and favourites before their own fans.
K’Ogalo are rooted at the summit of group with eight points but as if fate would have it have to win to safeguard their dream of a Cup quarters that now hang by the thread.
So tight is the contest and there is no margin for error as second placed Algers also on 8 points and third placed Rayon Sports of Rwanda who will be hosting Young Afriacsn of Tanzani in another group match in Kigali also have a realistic chance of qualifying .
Rayon on 6 points after shocking Gor 2-1 in Nairobi some 12 days ago and could clinch the tic ket should they win at home and Gor falter in Algiers.
On the other hand, having secured a point from the hosts in Nairobi in their first leg group match, Algers are acutely aware that should Rayon win and they draw with Gor, a head- to- head count may suffice and this could complicate the matrix and will thus be angling for an outright win
The hosts are also cognizant of the threat posed by Gor Mahia and will need the home crowd support to overcome their visitors, something that Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr sees differently.
‘’We have come here to win, and not even to draw. We can’t depend on a miracle by Yanga to possibly beat Rayon Sport in order for us to qualify. We must win and remain top of the group, “Kerr told Citizen Digital early today at the team’s residence at City Hotel in Algiers.
According to Kerr, all his players are in good spirit and ready for action noting that Algers are beatable especially after going down to Yanga, in the other Group D match in Tanzania where they fell 2-1 on August 19.
The Briton coach however seems to blame the fixture congestions which he says cost them their last game against Rayon in Nairobi.
‘’This is a crucial match for us and we are going to give our best to surprise our hosts. We however respect USMA as a team with good composition of players from the defence to the striking force,’’ added Kerr.
Club CEO Lordvic Aduda also lauded the spirit in the team saying they are here “for nothing short of collecting maximum points”.
Having had a light training last evening at the muddy venue of today’s match, Aduda says he is not worried of the watering of the pitch by the Algerians since even in Machakos during their first leg, they played USMA in a water -logged Kenyatta Stadium which proved a nightmare for USMA .
At the same time, USMA Communication Manager Amine Tirmane has said that they respect Gor Mahia and will not take the game for granted.
A win for Gor Mahia will make them retain the group’s leadership with 11 points with the runners up being determined by the outcome of theRayon Sport- Yanga match in Kigali.
Should Gor Mahia lose in today’s match, they will pray hard for a miracle from Rwanda, hoping for a Yanga surprise win against hosts Rayon. This will make Gor Mahia the group’s runners up and give them a ticket to the last eight with Yanga and Rayon Sport finishing in the last two slots.
Even a draw in the Kigali match will still favour Gor Mahia should they also draw against USMA.
Gor Mahia remains the only CECAFA team to have lifted a continental trophy over three decades ago and their success in this campaign can make them heroes once again in the CECAFA region.
Only one player named by coach Kerr failed to make it to Algiers. Cercidy Okeyo, according to the CEO could not travel with the team due to logistical issues but Kerr says he has enough players for selection.
Will K’Ogalo make Kenyan proud? Only time will tell.
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