Gor confront Algeria’s USM: Kasarani to host continental match after Sports Ministry intervenes

By Gilbert Wandera: Wednesday, May 16th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Gor Mahia fans celebrates at Bukhungu after their team winning against Kakamega Homeboyz 3-2 at Bukhungu stadium on May 9, 2018. BY BENJAMIN SAKWA

Vastly improved Kenyan champions seek three points at Kasarani starting 7pm today.

Gor Mahia are in a must-win situation as they take on Algerian club USM Alger in today’s CAF Confederations Cup match at Kasarani.

The match will go ahead at the 60,000-seater facility and fans will be allowed to attend, the Ministry of Sports has said.

There were fears that Gor Mahia fans would not be allowed to watch the match after Sports Kenya said Kasarani would be closed due to vandalism during Sunday’s friendly against Hull City.

However, after a high level meeting between the Ministry of Sports, Gor Mahia and SportPesa, the match was given the go ahead.

Hours to the fixture, Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr expressed confidence that his team would pick up all three points and go to the top of Group ‘D’.

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The Algerian club are perched at the top of the group after thrashing Tanzanian club Yanga 4-0 while Gor Mahia are second with one point following their 1-1 tie against Rayon Sports.

With Yanga playing Rayon Sports today as well, Gor Mahia cannot afford to falter and Kerr said he understood the importance of the assignment ahead for his club. “This match means a lot for us and ours is to go for a win because if we win, we will most likely top the group,” said Kerr.

“I believe in my players and their ability and so we just have to focus on what we can do as a team in every match. We always continue to work hard for what we have achieved so far and l am happy all players have continued to give their best.”

With the absence of Meddie Kagere, Kerr said he would have to change his system of play as he seeks to get the best result out of this match.

“It means Jacques Tuyisenge and Ephrem Guikan should be able to work as desired since we have to work with the available squad.  Everyone who will get a chance to play must prove that they deserve it.”

Kagere will no doubt be missed, given his predatory instincts in front of goal. Aside from Guikan and Tuyisenge, Gor Mahia will also look to George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo, who in the past has provided a perfect link with the attacking force.

The Algerians are the favourites to win Group ‘D’ given their experience and performance in the past.