James Magayi @magayijim
Kenya’s representatives in CAF Confederation Cup Gor Mahia moved from stable to critical in their quest to recover from three decades of struggle in continental club championships and reach the quarter-finals following a home draw against USM Alger of Algeria on Wednesday.
The stalemate leaves K’Ogalo joint second in Group D with two points, two adrift of leaders USM Alger, but precariously staring at faltering further if they fail to collect maximum points in the ensuing encounters.
Gor have two home matches left against Young Africans of Tanzania in July and Rayon Sports of Rwanda in August, and two matches away in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Algiers, Algeria.
USM Alger’s two-point advantage leaves the three East African clubs scrambling for the second qualifying spot while the group remains open as one bad game for the Algerian outfit could alter the standings drastically.
K’Ogalo’s undoing remains failure to turn their impressive display and dominance into goals and points. Dylan Kerr’s side were dominant in their second group game even after losing Joash Onyango to a controversial red card at the beginning of the second half.
Gor created better chances but failed to make them count, hanging on for a dear point but fortunate to stay second as Young Africans (Yanga) and Rayon Sports also had a stalemate in Dar es Salaam.
Kerr defiantly declared that Gor are still in the running. “I cannot fault any of my players for failure to win tonight. They played their hearts out and ran like mad men,” Kerr said.
“Lack of goals is like a magic spell cast but we will break it because we are improving everyday and we are working hard to progress in this competition and also defend our league title. I cannot complain about the fixtures because we are professionals,” he added.
The continental duels take a break until after the FIFA World Cup when K’Ogalo will play Yannga in Dar then host them in Nairobi in July.