Gor, Leopards eyeing away wins in CAF duties
Kenyan giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards will be out to silence their opponents in their Wednesday’s CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup matches respectively, their coaches have declared.
While Gor carries a two-goal first leg advantage against their Equatorial Guinea opponents Leones Vegetarianos in Malabo, Leopards will need at least two goals and avoid defeat against Malagasy Cup winners FOSA Juniors to advance.
Ingwe registered a 1-1 draw against Juniors, who are appearing for the first time in the continental stage barely three years since they were formed.
Speaking before jetting out for Malabo, Gor’s head coach Dylan Kerr swore to cruise mercilessly past the Western Africans, having seen their weaknesses and strengths in their first encounter at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.
“We will be playing not just to win, but to win convincingly. We are confident of our capabilities, so I won’t employ a defensive approach. It will be simple, attacking from the word go,” a bullish Kerr charged.
The team warmed up for Guinea assignment with a 4-2 mauling of Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Zoo Kericho last week, with a largely second-string side. Kerr rested the first team squad with his eyes on Vegetarianos, and expects the plan to pay off.
“There is depth in the team that you need and the 100 percent record we have kept so far this season gives us more confidence. We will, however, miss Jack (Jacques Tuyisenge) because he would have added the vitality you need in the attack in such a stage,” Kerr said of the injured Rwandan international.
Vegetarianos will need at least a 3-0 win to eliminate Gor, with the eventual winner booking a date with either Tunisian giant’s Esperance or Mauritania’s ASAC Concorde in the second round of preliminaries.
No room for mistakes
For Robert Matano, Leopards coach, his charges must show the fruits of their over a week of intense training to correct their first leg mistakes.
“We were poor in the way we coordinated our defence and attack in the first leg. The general work rate was very low, otherwise, we should have won it. They showed us what they are capable of doing, so we need to be at our best this being an away fixture,” Matano said.
Matano will be without injured Ghanaian import Prince Arkoh Papa, who was arguably the most lethal against FOSA defense in the first leg at the Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega.
The veteran tactician, however, welcomes back Harambee Stars defender Dennis Shikhayi, who missed the initial match with an injury.
Both Henry Uche and Aziz Okaka, who started in their first meeting which apparently was Ingwe’s last match before their return one, were dropped from the traveling party.
A win for Ingwe will give them a second-round preliminary spot against either Comoros side Ngazi Sport or Mauritius’ ASPL 2000.
Leopard’s match will kick-off at 2:30 pm EAT (+3GMT) while Gor’s will be at 7:00 pm. Both teams had training sessions in their respective match venues on Tuesday.