Gor Mahia need another big performance on the continental scene to stay on course for a knockout berth in the CAF Confederation Cup as they host Group D leaders NA Hussein Dey at Kasarani stadium on Sunday evening.
K’Ogalo will reclaim top spot in the group should they trounce the Carthage club and based on their home games this season, the 17 times Kenyan champions are hugely favoured to win.
The team has won all its home games in the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup this season with their biggest score registered over five times African Champions Zamalek. Among the teams bruised in the wake of K’Ogalo home wrath are Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi, Lobi Stars of Nigeria and New Star de Douala of Cameroon.
Na Hussein Dey poses the trickiest of threats after Zamalek. The Group D leaders played Zamalek in Egypt and registered an unimaginable draw to seize control of quarter-final push. Gor Mahia will have to tread more carefully as they play a daring team audacious enough to grab a point away in a tournament mostly defined by teams winning all home matches.
But having downed Zamalek so ruthlessly, Gor Mahia’s might also send shivers down the spines of other teams and Coach Hassan Oktay is bullish that a home victory for K’Ogalo is a guarantee.
With one victory and a loss in the group, Oktay’s work is cut out for him but the Turk is proving to be quite a tactician. “I have done my homework on the opponents. They are good but I have a good team too and we are playing at home. That support and advantage should carry us over Hussein Dey and I’m confident that we will get three points,” Oktay said.
After a rough patch that saw him lose the dressing room early in the season the Turk is now in great terms with the players and tips his charges to register a better scoreline than their last home match. “We know that at the end of the day goal difference and head to head record matters in this championship so we must score more goals and avoid conceding. But ultimately we should be in the next stage of the competition,” he said.
Gor Mahia rested five players for their midweek stalemate with Western Stima and hope to have fresh legs as Francis Kahata, Boniface Omondi, Shafik Batambuze, Haron Shakava and Boniface Oluoch all return for the big fixture.