NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 27 – Kenyan League Champions Gor Mahia have a mountain to climb in the return leg of the CAF Champions League second round after succumbing to a heavy 6-0 beating away to Algerian side CR Belouizdad in the opening leg played on Saturday.
By half time, Gor were trailing 4-0 in a one-sided encounter that saw midfielder Amir Sayoud open the scoring seven minutes after kick-off before forward Hamza Bellahouel doubled up the lead four minutes later.
Deadly winger Sayoud grabbed his brace in the 20th minute from the spot as Larbi Tabti ensured the Algerian champions headed to the break with a comfortable four goals up after netting three minutes to the breather.
Returning for the last half, Sayoud completed his hat-trick in the 52nd minute before Maecky Ngombo sealed the big win in the 67th minute.
The result now leaves K’Ogalo needing to do the impossible of overturning the results for them to reach the elusive group stages of the African Champions League since they need to thrash the North Africans 7-0 when they host the Algerians for the second leg on either January 5-6, 2021 in Nairobi.
A defeat will see the Kenyan side relegated to the CAF Confederation Cup play-off round.
Gor’s misfortunes began even before the game and they may have lost the match without kicking a ball after the troubles that surrounded them.
First Gor had to write to CAF to postpone the tie that was scheduled for Wednesday, December 23 because the Algerian airspace was closed, their plea was granted. However, this meant that they had little time to prepare for the crunch since the team arrived on the eve of the match, hence less time to acclimatize.
Secondly, Gor players were on a go-slow, demanding their salary arrears, this led to the team travelling without their key players like Nicholas Kipkirui who excused himself over family commitments, while skipper Kenneth Muguna, experienced midfielder Bernard Ondiek and John Ochieng’ were left out because of injuries.