Gor targeting a clean sheet win over Esperance-Kerr
Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia have a date with destiny on Wednesday when they host Tunisia giants Esperance in an African champion’s league clash at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos .
Whenever Gor meets Esperance, the fans develop a mixture of irrational fear, passion and motivation owing to the rich history the two giants have in the continental affair.
Gor will be looking to replicate the spirit of the 1987 team that delivered an outstanding performance to beat the Tunisians to the Mandela Cup, after a 1-1 draw in Nairobi preceded by a 2-2 stalemate in Tunis.
The 16-time KPL champions will however be hoping to avoid a gloomy fate that befell them in 2014, in the hands of Esperance when they lost 5-0 away and another 3-2 defeat at home, completing an aggregate of woeful 8-2.
Defend very wisely
Head coach Dylan Kerr says his charges are targeting a win, and a clean sheet in the mouth-watering clash.
“They like to play quickly. They look for gaps and if we are too far apart we will get punished quickly, we have to attack and defend very wisely,” said Kerr.
Esperance are already in Machakos, and will be training at the Kenyatta Stadium in on Tuesday evening ahead of the showdown on Wednesday.
Kogalo will have to be wary of the fierce attack led by Taha Yassine, Haythem Jouini, and Anice Badri who have scored 16 goals for their club.
“We have to make sure we don’t concede a goal at home and score many goals for us to be on the safe side when we go for the return leg in Tunis 10 days later. For us to do that we have to keep it tight at the back and work every hard in the midfield,” He added.
This file photo shows Gor Mahia’s players, from left, Wellington Ochieng, Kelvin Omondi, Ernest Wendo, Captain Harun Shakava and Humphrey Mieno celebrate a goal in a past match.
K’Ogalo are enjoying great form in the KPL, having collected 12 points out of four matches. They however face the North African giants without injured right-back Wellington Ochieng, who suffered a twisted ankle during their tie against Bandari on Saturday.
“If there is one player who was really psyched up for this champion’s league duel was Wellington. He was so enthusiastic and looking forward to play in this game is its very unfortunate that we will miss him for six weeks.
“His energy is fantastic ,he works very hard in training and during game tight he is good in defending and attacking at the same time we will miss him big time, ” averred Kerr.
No cash incentive
There will no cash incentive for Gor Mahia players no matter what result they deliver, club Chairman Ambrose Rachier has said. However, Rachier urged fans to turn up in large numbers noting it will be an invaluable motivation.
“Things are tight financially, we can’t promise what we can’t provide. We are however ensuring that everything is in order for the players to perform. The players are motivated, let them win it for themselves, and for Kenyans,” underscored Rachier.
The match will be exclusively live on Viusasa from 3:00pm EAT (+3GMT).