Bandari hold CAF destiny in own hands

Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 07:00 |
Bandari winger Abdallah Hassan evades a Sofapaka defendfer Maelo George tackle during KPL match at Machakos Stadium

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield winners Bandari are on the verge of joining the continent’s elite clubs. The coastal team must decisively beat Guinean outfit Horoya AC at Kasarani  Sunday to reach the CAF Confederation Cup group stage for the first time-ever.

At stake for victors is Sh27 million windfall from the continent’s football governing body but the Kenyan club must overturn the 4-2 loss suffered in Conakry a week ago to enter the money zone of continental club football.

Looming large at Horoya is African great Aristide Bance, who breached Bandari’s mean defence three times last Sunday. Skipper Felly Mulumba and the entire Bandari backline will do well to keep Bance quite in Nairobi as conceding at home will hugely dent chances of their progress.  

“That is a big concern to me in particular and the club in general. We shipped in four goals but we must not allow them to score here. That way we have a fighting chance against Horoya. We have worked on what is needed to get us through and now the players must follow instructions and execute the plans then we’ll be home. I’m confident of that backline to keep our opponents at bay and the midfield and forward line to hunt for goals,” said media shy Bandari tactician Bernard Mwalala.

He concedes that handling Bance will be the key to ousting Horoya. “Of course he is colossus and we must deal with him or risk it all. However, playing at home gives us the confidence and courage to go all out and kill the game. It is a tough game but I’m least worried. We managed the Arab team (US Ben Guerdane) we do it on Sunday,” he added

The other representative from Kenya vying for a place in the Confederation Cup group stage, Gor, are away to DC Motema Pembe at the Stadium of Martyrs in Kinshasa, Congo. Gor Mahia’s task is herculean having failed to win at home last weekend.

Motema Pembe looked feeble than other teams K’Ogalo have beaten in the past but ill preparations rendered the Kenyan champions blunt in attack and porous in defence. Having conceded one goal at home Gor must get on the score sheet in Congo for a chance to progress. A scoreless draw will knock out K’Ogalo as will any loss.

Only a scoring draw of more than one goal or outright victor on the road can take that DC Motema Pembe. Coach Polack is boosted by return to fitness of Ivorian striker Gislain Yikpe Gnamien who scored last weekend. Polack is however, concerned about the mistakes his backline made and hopes his side fires on all cylinders.                             - James Magayi 

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