Charles Thuku and James Magayi @PeopleSports11
History is set to repeat itself as Kenyan Champions Gor Mahia have been drawn in Group D of the CAF Confederations Cup alongside their old adversaries in five-time African champions Zalamek of Egypt.
According to the draw held at the Confederation of African Fotball (CAF) headquarters in Cairo, other teams in the group include Algerian side NA Hussein and Petro Atletico of Angola.
Gor will meet Zamalek, dubbed Africa Supermen, in the first leg in Nairobi on February 3 ahead of subsequent fixtures.
This will be the third time Gor will be meeting Zamalek who once eliminated the 17-time Kenyan champions from the lucrative championships controversially.
Gor first played Zamalek in 1984 with the first leg match in Cairo ended in acrimony after six of K’Ogalo players were suspended by CAF for allegedly assaulting a referee.
The team met for the second time a decade later and after the first leg match in Nairobi ended 1-1, Zamalek completed the job at home with a 2-1 win.
Gor were among Africa Champions League last 32 losers who were relegated to the 2019 Confederation Cup playoffs.
Last year, Gor were Kenya’s emissaries in the Africa Champions League and after being held to a barren draw by Esperance of Tunisia in the first leg clash at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, they lost the reverse fixture 1-0 in Tunis and in the process dropped to the CAF Confederations Cup, Africa’s second-tier competition.
And by reaching this level of the competition, Gor is assured of a cool Sh27 million from CAF to assist in funding the trips to honour away games.
This is the same amount of money Gor will get after they vanquished New Star De Doula over two legs to qualify to the group stage.
Besides K’Ogalo, the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup group D stage featured Rwanda’s Rayon Sport, USM Alger of Algeria and Young Africans (Yanga) of Tanzania).
Gor’s campaign in the phase started with a 1-1 draw with Rayon in Kigali before settling for a barren draw with USM Alger in Nairobi.
The 17-time Kenyan champions then turned on the heat to wallop Yanga 4-0 in the first leg clash in Nairobi before they were stunned 2-1 by Rayon Sport at home in the reverse fixture.
A 3-2 beating of Yanga in Dar-es-Salaam seemed to have boosted Gor’s chances of gaining a slot in the play-off before the worst happened when they were knocked out of the Cup after losing 2-1 to USM Alger in the final match of the group stages at Stade Du 5 Julliet Stadium in Algiers.
The top placed Algerians led the pool with 11 points and they alongside second placed Rayon Sport at nine points earned a slot in the play-offs. K’Ogalo at third place with eightpoints and tail-enders Yanga at four points were both eliminated.