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K’Ogalo, Kariobangi in contrasting positions

Kenya’s representatives to CAF club championships Gor Mahia and Kariobangi Sharks have dates with their destinies as they play in Malawi and Djibouti in their second legs of preliminary rounds this afternoon.

Sharks are in better stead to progress, having thumped Arta Solar of Djibouti 6-1 in the opening leg while K’Ogalo, who squeezed a 1-0 victory over Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi, are braced for a nervy return leg.

It will take a near impossible huge score line for Arta Solar to overturn the 6-1 defeat they suffered in Nairobi and dump Sharks out of Confederation Cup.

William Muluya’s Sharks are all but through and only need not to post a worse score line than the hammering Arta Solar succumbed to in Nairobi.

A 25-man squad left Nairobi on Monday aboard Ethiopian Airlines confident of booking a date with Asante Kotoko of Ghana in the next stage.

“We’ll go out there and do what we have to. The most important thing is that we won at home but we must be careful. Football can be cruel and the result we posted at home can easily go against us. We know the humid conditions in which they game will be played so we’ll make the players comfortable enough to contend with any situation,” said Muluya.

Sharks will still be without 2018 golden boot winner Eric Kapaito who is still recovering from a knee injury.

Meanwhile, in Blantyre, Gor will face the sternest of stuff, carrying a slim 1-0 lead into the return leg fixture with Nyasa Big Bullets. To add to their worries, K’Ogalo are without talismanic striker Jacques Tuyisenge who failed to recover in time after limping off in last Wednesday’s game.

Creative midfielder Francis Kahata did not board the plane as he tried to force a move away to the Carthage while attacking midfielder Kenneth Muguna is also out of the game due to injury.

Ivorian Ephrem Guikan was not registered for the competition, leaving K’Ogalo light upfront as they bank on Erisa Ssekisambu and Mustafa Francis to get the goals. The two players failed to impress in that role last Wednesday.

“The slim score line is not a disaster. Last season we beat Supersport by the same margin at home and still progressed past them,” said Gor assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno.

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