K’Ogalo coach upbeat over Confederation Cup quarter-final slot

James Magayi in Kigali

Gor Mahia have their eyes dead set on CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals after their dominant display in Kigali, Rwanda against hosts Rayon Sports on Sunday.

Gor missed numerous chances that would certainly have won them maximum points but, having meted opposition strength in the money stage of continental club championship, are happy to take a point on the road.

The draw leaves Gor second in Group D behind Algerian outfit USM Alger who walloped Young Africans (Yanga) of Tanzania 4-0.

USM Alger are group favourites and underlined their top-dog status with the huge home win over Yanga. The Algerian club face Gor in nine days’ time in Nairobi.

Gor tactician Dylan Kerr lauded his players for their impressive work away from home and tipped them to get better. “The boys were very brave in the face of such a partisan crowd. We came here to try and score then keep a clean sheet. We scored early enough and controlled the game,” said Kerr.

Kerr deflected heat off goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch who faced social media criticism for conceding the equaliser. “I felt that the free kick was too soft and the taker is a real professional. He did what few can do. He sent it in the top corner above the wall, no goalkeeper can reach that. We had chances to make amends but it just didn’t work out,” added Kerr.

The British also reaffirmed his confidence in Ugandan left back Godfrey Walusimbi who returned to action after missing K’Ogalo’s last three continental assignments due to a pay dispute with the club. “I always know what I’m getting from him. George Odhiambo struggles without him but he was devastating with Walusimbi behind him. He’s a professional and he knows what to do. I didn’t think twice about picking him for this game.” said Kerr when questioned over Walusimbi’s fitness.

In the face of fixture congestion, Gor have relied on their deep squad and Kerr remains unfazed. He said: “People feel that the players are doing more than enough but that is not the case. We have rotation in the squad and that means everyone gets a chance to play.”

He went on: “We want to do well in the Confederation Cup and defend the league. All opponents are good so we just need to do our best, get points and move to the next level.”

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