Record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia face an uphill task ever in the club’s history as they seek to perform an almost impossible task of overturning a 6-0 defeat against CR Belouizdad of Algeria in the second leg of their Caf Champions League first round tie.
The second leg of the reverse fixture kicks off behind closed doors at the refurbished Nyayo stadium from 3pm on Wednesday.
The Algerian champions beat K’Ogalo 6-0 in the first leg on December 26 last year at Stade du 5 Juillet 1962 Stadium in Algiers and Gor will need a miraculous 7-0 win to proceed to the group stages of the competition.
Seychellois Bernard Hensel Camille will be the center referee and he will be assisted by compatriots Hensley Danny Petrousse (First Assistant Referee), Steve Marie (Second Assistant Referee) and Eldrick Matthieu Adelaide (Fourth Official).
Mzee Zam Ali from Zanzibar will act as the Match Commissioner, while Kenyan Dr. Wycliffe Makanga has been appointed the Covid-19 Officer.
Gor Mahia stand-in tactician Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo said his charges have no pressure going to the match as he targets a win to redeem the huge defeat suffered in the first leg.
“This is a game we are playing to win and I have urged the players not to focus on getting the seven goals, but a win of any kind. Remember our opponents are a tough team and we have to up our game. I have no injury worries and we shall have an experienced squad feature in the match,” said Omollo, after the team’s training session at Nyayo stadium on Tuesday.
The former Kenyan international defender will welcome back captain Kenneth Muguna who missed the first leg due to a knee injury.
He will however miss the services of veteran striker Nicholas Kipkirui, who has not turned up for training due to personal reasons, since helping K’Ogalo edge out APR of Rwanda 4-3 on aggregate on December 5 in the last round.
Muguna is elatedwith his return promising to do his best to help K’Ogalo triumph in the game.
“I am happy to be back and have trained very well. As the coach has said we have to win this match and there is a determination to achieve that in the squad going by the turnout and how we trained,” said Muguna.
CR Belouizdad captain Chemseddine Nessakh on Tuesday told the club’s website they are ready to pile more misery on K’Ogalo at home as they are sure of qualifying for the moneyed group stage.
“We are anticipating a great match but we are here to win as our focus is already in the group stage of the competition. We have had good training sessions and every player is prepared for the match which we believe shall win,” said Nessakh.
K’Ogalo were a full house on Tuesday and had intensive training sessions led by Omollo. The players who have been on strike attended the training session after the club management assured them of their pay.
On the other hand, the seven time Algerian champions, under the tutelage of 52-year-old French tactician Franck Dumas, also had a feel of the Nyayo stadium pitch with the 22 players who jetted in the country on Sunday.
Should Gor fail to overturn the deficit, a two-legged playoff to qualify for the Confederation Cup group stages awaits them.
Gor Mahia probable line up
Gad Mathews, Philemon Otieno, Michael Apudo, Andrew Juma, Charles Momanyi, Clifftone Miheso, Samuel Onyango, Kenneth Muguna, Benson Omalla, Tito Okello, Jules Ulimwengu
Boniface Oluoch, Joachim Oluoch, Sydney Ochieng’, Geoffrey Ochieng’, Kelvin Wesonga, Nicholas Omondi
CR Belouizdad line up
Toufik Moussaoui, Sofiane Bouchar Mokhtar Belkhiter Chemseddine Nessakh, Rayen Hais
Zakaria Draou, Amir Sayou, Housem Mrezigue, Larbi Tabt, Marcellin Koukpo, Maecky Ngombo
Gaya Merba, Ahmed Abdelkader, Zinelaabidine Boulakhoua, Zakaria Khali, Haroune Benmenni, Abdelkader Belharane, Mohamed Bakir, Bilal Tarikat, Houseyyn Selmi