James Magayi and Charles Thuku
Gor Mahia left for Algeria yesterday for their crunch CAF Confederation Cup clash with USM Algers, needing at least a draw to nail a berth in the competition’s last eight.
K’Ogalo, however, left without their team doctor and physiotherapist as they received just 21 tickets from the government instead of the promised 30 owing to fluctuating prices.
Seventeen players, the coach and his assistant, team manager and the club chief executive were given priority as remaining club officials were left to search for additional tickets for the medical team to travel.
Despite topping their CAF Confederation Cup group, Gor’s chances of progress hang in the balance although fate is still in their hands. K’Ogalo have eight points, same as USM Alger, but Rwandan side Rayon Sports could upset the balance if they beat Young Africans (Yanga) of Tanzania tomorrow.
Rayon have six points and could sneak in between Gor and USM Alger should the fixture in Algiers end in a draw. A draw for Gor will certainly see them through to the quarters leaving USM Alger to sweat on the outcome between Rayon and Yanga.
Head-to-head performance is the first tie-breaker in this continental championships and Rayon have a better head-to-head record over Gor, having drawn in Kigali, Rwanda and won in Nairobi over their two legged clash.
K’Ogalo must therefore get at least a draw in Algeria to secure their place as they hold a better goal difference over USM.
Meanwhile, with Gor having already put an unprecedented 17 SportPesa Premiere League (SPL) in the bag with six matches to spare, the battle rages between Bandari, AFC Leopards and Sofapaka in their quest to wind up in second position.
Bandari are currently second with 51 points from 28 matches with Leopards three points adrift in third position from as many matches followed by Sofapaka on 44 points.
On the other end, Zoo FC (33 points), Nzoia Sugar (31 points), Vihiga United (30 points), Chemelil Sugar (28 points), Wazito FC (24 points) and Thika United (20 points) are all fighting to avoid relegation.
Zoo helped their course by forcing a 1-1 draw with Mathare United at the weekend but it is looking bleak for both Wazito and Thika.
Wazito have only managed one win in their last 10 matches while Thika have not won in the same period, only getting two draws that leave them favourites as the first team to be relegated.