Tusker, Gor Mahia seek Caf Confederations Cup glory

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Tusker players train at Ruaraka Grounds.[Courtesy-Tusker FC]

Kenyan champions Tusker FC will be hoping to put their poor performances in the local FKF Premier League aside when they host Tunisian side CS Sfaxien in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup play-off round at Nyayo Stadium.

In Congo, a depleted Gor Mahia will also be hoping to start on the front foot when they tackle AS Otoho d’Oyo in the first leg in Brazzaville, Congo for the right to enter the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup.

In Nairobi, Tusker head into the playoffs with an eye on the lucrative group stage which captain Eugene Asike said is there main target.

Asike says the team has learnt from mistakes in the past games and they are ready to make amends.

“We are going to look for win at home and we have prepared very well. We need to have good start and good result which we can defend away from home,” said Asike.

 “It is a good team with experienced players and they are more experienced than us in this competition. But with the quality we have on the side, we will be good to go on Sunday. The motivation is high to face them and we will need to give a good performance.”

Despite the tough start to the season, Asike is upbeat the team can sustain the pressure in a match which will be the first ever meeting between the two teams.

“We knew we would have our ups and down but the mood in camp is positive. We have learnt from the losses and now we focus ahead,” Asike said.

While Tusker was relegated to the Caf Confederation Cup after the heavy loss to Zamalek, CS Sfaxien beat Nigerian Premier League side Bayelsa 5-0 on aggregate in the first round.

In Brazzaville, Gor captain Harun Shakava said they are ready for the challenge despite being short-handed with only 16 players eligible to play.

The club has a lean squad for the play-offs because it couldn’t register enough players following a Fifa ban between July and August.

“We have been preparing for the playoffs with friendlies in Kisumu and Nairobi and from that we are able to build the team chemistry and work out some of our mistakes we made earlier.”

“We want to start on the front foot and get the advantage ahead of the second leg in Nairobi and therefore we are going to give our all,” said Shakava.

Gor booked a date with the Congolese side after beating Al Ahly Merowe of Sudan in the first round. The Sudanese side failed to honour the return leg in Nairobi after being thumped 3-1 in the first leg.

On the other hand, AS Otohô d’Oyo dropped from Caf Champions League after a 4-2 aggregate defeat to Angolan side Petro de Luanda in the first round to set a date with K'Ogalo.

The winners of the two leg play-off will qualify for the group stage which comes with a Sh27 million advantage.

Caf Confederations Cup Fixtures

Tusker v CS Sfaxien – Nyayo Stadium, 3pm

AS Otohô d’Oyo v Gor Mahi - Alphonse Massemba-Debat Stadium, 5.30 pm

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