Gor to renew rivalry with USM Alger after latest CAF Champions League
Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice is a saying Gor Mahia will be put to prove that it contains a semblance of truth after the Kenyan Premier League champions thumped Aigle Noir of Burundi 5-1 on aggregate to reach the first round of the Africa Champions League.
Following the feat on Sunday, Gor will renew rivalry with USM Alger who incidentally eliminated the Kenyan emissaries in the Group stage of the same competition two seasons ago.
USM Alger will stalk Gor for a second time in a trot in the money-spinning Africa inter-clubs event after they bundled out SONIDEP of Niger 3-1 on aggregate.
During their last meeting, Gor and US Alger were in Group D with the first leg in Nairobi ending in a barren draw amidst a litany of missed chances by K’Ogalo.
USM Alger won 2-1 in the reverse fixture in Algiers, which means that revenge is on the air for K’Ogalo.
“It’s unfathomable to lose twice to the same team (USM Alger) and the idea here is to prepare adequately for the match. We have crossed the Aigle Noir hurdle and I believe the one against USM Alger will be trickier though they are beatable,” said Gor captain Kenneth Muguna.
He added: “We are not going to the next round immediately since there is a forthcoming league match against Tusker. But ideally, if we take the continental games each at a time, we’ll be a composed lot to muster something worthwhile.”
Gor’s performance has ignited hopes of renaissance in the local game and their fans, who have received praise from the team’s coach Steven Polack for their partisan support, can now read from the same script as those of Bandari who scraped through to the first round of the CAF Confederation Cup on away goals at the expense of Al Ahly Shandy of Sudan.
When Bandari fans had resigned themselves to fate following the team’s uninspiring barren draw with Al Shandy in the first leg of the campaign in Nairobi, the dockers did what appeared unthinkable by holding the Sudanese 1-1 away to advance to the first round on the away goal rule.
Bandari will now cross swords with US Ben Guerdace of Tunisia - who ejected Amarat United of South Sudan 3-1 on aggregate - in what is expected to be an involving fixture.
Like Gor, Bandari knows the enormity of their next match with the team’s coach Bernard Mwalala expecting it to be tough by all standards.
“If we were able to eliminate Shandy, I think we have the potential to see off Guerdace as well. I don’t expect things to be easy but sailing to the next is possible with sound planning,” said Mwalala while giving his players plaudits for a job well done in Khartoum.