Confident Gor Mahia, leave for Egypt for crucial CAF Confederation match
Charles Thuku and Webster Nyandika
A confident Gor Mahia left for Egypt yesterday morning for the CAF Confederation Cup first round clash against Sudan side Al Ahly Merowe at New Suez Stadium in Suez tomorrow.
Gor’s contingent of 17 players, six technical staff officials and four distinct personnel left the country shortly after 7 am to Cairo from where they are scheduled to make a one-hour road trip to Suez, the match venue.
Suez is 134 kilometers away from Egyptian capital Cairo with the 27,000-seater Suez Stadium the biggest arena in the town and which also serves as the home ground of the country’s top-tier league sides Asmani El Suneis and Petrojet.
Incidentally, a good number in K’ogalo’s squad is made up of defenders and midfielders although Head Coach Mark Harrison reckoned that they are not going there wholly to defend.
“Yes, I have included many defenders and midfielders but that should not be misconstrued to mean that we will be purely defensive against Meroe.
On the contrary, we shall go on the offensive to get the much needed goals and defend if need be,” said Harrison.
Harrison has drafted five defenders in the squad including ex-Bandari and Tusker man Fred Nkata, Philemon Otieno, Harun Shakava, Frank Odhiambo, and Joachim Oluoch.
The English coach will be spoilt for choice in midfield which has youngster Victor Oyugi, Ernest Wendo, John Ochieng, Alpha Onyango, Sydney Ochieng’ and John Macharia
And inquisitively, K’Ogalo’s squad will be enjoying the services of dazzling Burundian striker Jules Ulimwengu, who had erroneously been reported to have left the team.
Few minutes before the morning flight, Gor’s Sporting Director Lordvick Aduda said the team, which is a blend of youth and experience, will be leaving with calmed nerves having secured air tickets early.
“We had enough tickets unlike in the past when there were hitches which resulted into arriving on match day or a few hours before.
I believe this arrangement shall give players time to focus on the fixture,” said Aduda.
He added: “The team is upbeat and we should not be judged by failure to sign players due to the embargo imposed by Fifa.
Gor is capable of getting a decent result both home and away to progress,” observed Aduda.
Harrison echoed similar sentiments, saying:”I trust my players to deliver. The younger lot are ready to take their chances and I’m sure they can surprise a lot of people,’’
Al Ahly Merowe consented for the game to be played at a neutral venue as it lacks a Caf-approved arena in Sudan to host continental matches.
Gor received a bye to the first round of the event by virtue of doing well in the Africa Champions League last year.