Gor face Sudan side in a crucial CAF Confederation Cup tie in Cairo

Friday, October 15th, 2021 00:00 |
Gor Mahia FC Head Coach Mark Harrison (left) listens to his Assistant Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo during their FKF-PL match against KCB at Thika Stadium on September 25, 2021. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

When Gor Mahia meets little-known Al Ahly Merowe in the first round clash of the CAF Confederation Cup in Egypt today, it shall be angling to go one better against a Sudanese outfit.

Exactly 33 years ago, when Gor set the record of being the first team from East and Central Africa to win the coveted Africa Cup Winners Cup (Mandela Cup), El Merreikh was among its victims in the knock-out stages en-route to the continental glory.

It was the second round of the tournament with the first leg clash in Khartoum ending 1-1 and the second in Kisumu 0-0. 

The Kenyan envoys thus advanced to the quarter finals on the strength of the away goal rule. 

Gor and Al Merreikh met for the second time in 1989 in the quarter finals of the same tournament but this time round, it was the Sudanese who had the last laugh.

 After losing 1-0 in Nairobi, El Merreikh turned on the heat in the reverse fixture in Omdurman which they won 2-0 to advance to the semi finals on a 2-1 aggregate.

Al Hilal Omdurman was the last Sudanese team to have toured Kenya having been in the country in February 2018 for friendly matches against Gor and AFC Leopards.

Two years earlier, Gor played Al Hilal in a friendly match in Port Sudan and won 1-0 with Enock Agwanda scoring the winner in the 47’ minute.

Al Merreikh and Al Ahly Merowe may be two Sudan outfits who are world apart in terms of Africa football adventure, but newly-hired Gor coach Mark Harrison said it would be utterly wrong to underestimate the former.

“Although we are confident of getting a good result, it must be understood that football dynamics have changed and it’s for this reason that we have to give all due respect to Merowe,” said Harrison.

The tactician made the remarks shortly before Gor boarded the plane to Cairo from where the team was to connect to Suez, the match venue.

One of the fastest rising football sides in Sudan, Merowe boasts of great players like Elsadig Hassan, Yassir Boss Abdulahi and Abdelaziz Kuda.

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