James Magayi @magayijim
Kenyan participants in the CAF Club Champions League Gor Mahia could have beaten Equatorial Guinea side Leones Vegetarianos by more than the two goals they registered had they taken their chances.
In what was a dominant display from K’Ogalo at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on Saturday Gor bossed the tie and could have scored half a dozen goals but their wasteful forwards squandered opportunities and limited the scores to just two.
An assured performance by the Kenyan champions over their little-known opponents leaves fans and pundits hopeful of K’Ogalo holding their own in the return fixture next week and progressing to round one of the CAF Champions League.
Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr expressed caution ahead of their return leg despite his team dominating their opponents. “They are champions in a really fast-rising football country and they showed what they can do. I’m bracing for a better performance from them in their backyard and so we must be very careful,” Kerr warned. “Every team plays better at home but I’m counting on my boys to ensure that they move on to round one.
It’s what this club needs, a minimum target of a group stage. So we will tackle one game at a time and hopefully reach our targets,” he added. Kevin “Ade” Omondi scored his first goal on his second return to Gor before Ivorian striker Ephram Guikan came off the bench to double the lead for the 16-time Kenyan Premier League winners.
The winner of the tie on aggregate in the return leg scheduled for February 21 in Equatorial Guinea will face either ASAC Concorde of Mauritania or Tunisia’s Esperance in the next round.
Sofapaka are the only Kenyan team to make giant strides in CAF competitions in recent years, having had a fairytale run in the Confederation Cup in 2011 before being stopped by Club Africaine of Tunisia in the pre-group stages of the tournament.