16 April 2018 02:17
Kenya champions, Gor Mahia, left Monday for Pretoria, South Africa, for the return leg against SuperSport United, taking with them a 1-0 advantage from the first leg.
K’Ogalo, as they are fondly referred will only need to avoid defeat to book a historic slot at the mini-league stage. Head coach Dylan Kerr believes that they face a mountainous task, but is quick to add that they stand a good chance to progress.
“The tie is far from over and I think the advantage is still with them (SuperSport). I have told the players that the destiny is in their hands. They have 90 minutes to make themselves heroes. They have to be confident and believe that everything we have done in training will bear fruit,” the Brit said.
At the Lucas Moripe Stadium in the South African capital, Pretoria, Kerr expects a mother of all fights against a side that was solid at home in their run up to the final of the same tournament last year. Having watched their last two league matches, he believes that his side can weather the storm and get a result that will pull them into the group stages.
“We proved in the first leg that we can match them man-to-man and that has given us a lot of confidence that we can do it. We will have to give our best and I have told the players not to come out of the pitch with regrets. I expect them to come all out and we are ready for whatever they throw at us,” Kerr offered.
Domestically, SuperSport are currently engrossed in a fight to avoid relegation and are only a point off the play-off spot. Yet, Kerr believes that the South Africans will be a hard nut to crack at their backyard.
While the British rested most of his key players for last Wednesday’s league match win over Wazito, SuperSPort have faced two back-to-back ties against Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City, both which ended in barren draws.
Gor head into the match fresher and Kerr hopes his side can make it count.
“We are playing on a better pitch and I am hoping the players can express themselves better. We have worked on our tactics based on what we saw from the first leg and hopefully, we can execute that in the best way possible,” added the coach.
He will take with him to Pretoria virtually the same squad that played in the first leg and will only miss the services of midfielder Ernest Wendo who is suspended after two yellow cards. Wendo will be replaced by utility player Joachim Oluoch.
Meanwhile, skipper Harun Shakava remains confident that they have what it takes to progress and has rallied his teammates to give in a shift of hard work in Pretoria.
“They are a very good team and they showed in the first leg. We won and that gives us confidence that we can do it. We went to Tunisia and managed to play well though we lost 1-0 and it is the lessons from there that we take to South Africa,” the defender added.
Gor, winners of the defunct CAF Cup Winners’ Cup in 1987 have found it hard to progress to the group stages of continental football, but they believe this is their opportunity to get themselves back to the pinnacle of African prowess.
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
CS la Mancha (Congo) vs AS Vita (DR Congo) (0-1)
USM Alger (Algeria) vs Plateau United (Nigeria) (1-2)
El Masry (Egypt) vs Mounana (Gabon) (1-1)
CR Belouizdad (Algeria) vs ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire) (0-1)
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Raja Club Athletic (Morocco) vs Zanaco (Zambia) (2-0)
CARA (Congo) vs Saint George (Ethiopia) (0-1)
Akwa United (Nigeria) vs El Hilal (Sudan) (0-2)
Supersport (South Africa) vs Gor Mahia (Kenya) (0—1)
Hilal Obied (Sudan) vs UD Songo (Mozambique) (1-3)
Enyimba (Nigeria) vs Bidvest (South Africa) (1-1)
Fosa Juniors (Madagascar) vs Aduana (Ghana) (1-6)
Wolaitta Dicha (Ethiopia) vs Young Africans (Tanzania) (0-2)
RS Berkane (Morocco) vs Generation Foot (Senegal) (1-3)
Niefang (Equatorial Guinea) vs Williamsville (0-2)
Djoliba (Mali) vs MFM (Nigeria) (1-0)
Costa do Sol (Mozambique) vs Rayon Sports (Rwanda0 (0-3)