NAIROBI, Kenya, February 26 – Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia are a draw away from making the first round of the CAF Champions League for the second successive season when they travel to face CNaPS in Miarinarivo, Madagascar on Sunday with a slender 1-0 lead from the home leg.
K’Ogalo are expected to depart on the eve of the game in what club assistant Secretary General Ronald Ngala said will enable players to better master the low altitude conditions.
Gor were in a similar position last season when they went to Gabonese side US Bitam before advancing 4-2 on post match penalties after losing the return 1-0.
K’Ogalo, now under Frank Nuttall are not prepared to play the lottery of spot-kicks as they seek to force a result that will see them through to take on Congo’s AC Leopards in the first round.
Gor are coming from a 4-2 win over Mathare United in their KPL opener, with Nutall likely to make changes in midfield with Eric Ochieng who started on the bench available to replace Jerry Santos who did not impress in the first round
K’Ogalo has been lifted by the recovery of centre back Dirkir Glay who will likely partner Harun Shakava who was benched in the first leg, Musa Mohammed and Kevin Oluoch.
With youthful Michael Olunga finally finding his range, the former Tusker FC forward who was influential in Nairobi after he won the penalty that was converted by in form Ali Abondo, is raring to net a debut Champions League goal.
“We are not under pressure and I don’t see the win in the first leg as narrow because we already have an advantage. We have been at this stage before and we know what we are expected to do.
“We are not going to Madagascar to defend but rather we will be seeking for more goals,” Gor captain and keeper Jerim Onyango who missed the match with a wrist injury told Capital Sport.
However, little known Madagascans who are good at keeping the ball can shock the Kenyan giants just as they did in the second half where their speed and good runs split the Gor’s defence on several occasions but new signing shot-stopper Boniface Oluoch denied them a crucial away goal.
K’Ogalo will be worried by CNaPS danger man Jeannot Vonimbola and Rija Rakotomandimbyir who both failed to convert guilt edged chances.
KEEPERS; Fredrick Onyango, Bonface Oluoch, David Juma, DEFENDERS; Godfrey Walusimbi, Kevin Oluoch, Musa Mohamed, Haron Shakava, Israel Emuge, Dirkir Glay, Bernard Odhiambo, MIDFIELDERS; Collins Okoth, Jerry Santo, Khalid Aucho , Eric Ochieng , Ali Abondo. FORWARDS; George Odhiambo, Ronald Otieno, Timothy Otieno and Michael Olunga.
Technical bench: FranK Nuttall, Frank Ouna ,Jolawi Obondo.