Gor wary of skid against Zambia opponents in Confed Cup - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 13 February 2021

Gor wary of skid against Zambia opponents in Confed Cup


After disappointing performances in last season’s Caf Confederation Cup, Kenyan champions Gor Mahia will be aiming to qualify for the group stage when they host Zambia’s Napsa Stars in the first leg of their play-off  match at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.

The Kenyan champions failed to make it to the group stage of Africa’s second-tier club competition last season after losing to Daring Club Motema Pembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo 3-2 on aggregate.

Football Kenya Federation’s head of communication, Kenn Okaka, has confirmed that the match, which kicks off at 3pm, will be played behind closed doors as fans are still not allowed back into the stadium due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“K’Ogalo” fans had appealed to the government and federation to allow them access to the stadium to cheer their team.

Both teams will step up their preparation for the match on Saturday at Nyayo National Stadium.

Napsa’s Burundian striker Laudit Mavugo said he is ready to hunt for goals and to secure the match-needed win for his side.

The 27-year-old forward, who will most likely play as Napsa’s sole striker in the absence of the injured Emmanuel  Mayuka, told Nation Sport that his team is focused on qualifying for the group stage.

“It is good that we are starting the campaign away. We came here early to prepare well.  It will be a tough match against Gor but every player is focused on getting a win here by giving his best, then we can hope to replicate  the same at home,” Mavugo, who has so far scored seven goals for his side in the Zambian Super League, said. 

Mayuka has top-scored for Napsa Stars in the Zambian league with 14 goals.

The return leg will be played on February 21.

Won't celebrate

Gor Mahia’s former defender David ‘Calabar’  Owino said he will not celebrate should he score out of respect for the 19-time Kenyan champions.

Nevertheless,  the 32-year-old defender, who joined Napsa Stars last month, has said he is at work and will fight hard for his team to get a positive result.

“I have a lot of respect for Gor. My three-year stay with them was a success. I wouldn’t celebrate if I score but the truth is that this is work and you have to give your all to the current team. A player’s allegiance is always with their current club,”  said Owino, who has featured regularly for Napsa since joining them from Zesco United on January 9.

He has been partnering Zambians Bornwel Silengo, Luka Banda and Amos Simwanza at the heart of Napsa’s defence.

Gor Mahia coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto told journalists on Friday at Camp Toyoyo grounds that the team is targeting the group stage.

“Our preparations have been good so far and since we are at home, I’m confident of a win. This is a tough game and wining at home will give us morale ahead of the second leg,” said the 47-year-old Portuguese.

While Gor will have a feeling of the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday morning, coach Mohamed Fathi is expected to lead his 23-man squad for a final session in the evening.

The Zambian side has been holding its sessions at Utalii grounds since they arrived on Wednesday.

Gor Mahia's best performance in recent times in the competition was in 2018 when they reached the quarterfinals stage but we edged out by RS Berkane of Morocco 7-1 on aggregate.  

Qualification to the group stage for either team will earn them Sh27 million from Caf.

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