Sixteen-time Kenyan champions Gor Mahia have a date with destiny this Sunday when they play struggling South African outfit Supersport United in the first leg of CAF Confederation Cup Round of 16.
Relegation-threatened Supersport is the only hurdle K’Ogalo need to clear to earn a place in the continental second tier club competition group stage, a feat that has eluded Kenyan clubs for the last three decades.
The first of this two-legged competition will be staged at Machakos’ Kenyatta Stadium on Sunday afternoon with stakes extremely high ahead of return leg in Pretoria, South Africa on April 17.
Progress to the coveted group stage attracts a minimum Sh27 million windfall; a kitty K’Ogalo is desperate to lay their hands on in their pursuit for financial stability.
Having dominated the local scenes since the turn of the decade with four league victories in sevens seasons, K’Ogalo faithful now crave continental glory. A cruel ouster from CAF Champions League at the hands of Esperance of Tunisia left the Kenyan club reeling in anger, which they intend to mete out on Supersport at home with uncertainty of what awaits in the return leg.
Gor will deem anything short of victory over ‘Matsatsantsa’ who are three points above relegation from South Africa’s top-flight league a failure.
K’Ogalo have definitely been lifted by sulking Ugandan left back Godfrey Walusimbi’s return to the fold after disagreements with club management saw him sit out the Esperance duel in Tunis last month.
The dismal performance of their opponents in their domestic front also offers hope of progress although Gor’s British tactician is taking nothing for granted.
Supersports lost 1-0 to Polokwane on Wednesday night and are in real danger of dropping to the second tier with just five league fixture remaining.
“They are in the last preliminary stage of this competition but struggling in their local league. That is something to think and analyse critically. Their home form is wanting but they beat a champion from Angola to get here so their continental form looks super. We cannot let our guard down or underrate them. We have to be discipline and take our chances especially at home as the other game taught us,” Kerr said.
“We don’t know if their priority will be winning and progressing to the next level or saving themselves for relegation fight. We just need to do our job and win at home. Goals have sort of dried up and it is worrying me. We create chances but fail to score and that must change if we are to progress. I believe though, that our squad is capable of getting the desired results. They work hard and are committed in what they do. That is great. Seeing these boys toiling that much to be ready encourages me too and the rest of the team,” added an optimistic Kerr
World Cup bound Madagascan referee Hamada El Moussa will officiate the fixture assisted by compatriots Gabriel Augustine and Ferdinand Velomana.