Gor Mahia eager to dim Lobi Stars at Kasarani

By Gilbert Wandera: Sunday, December 16th 2018 at 00:07 GMT +3 | Football
Gor Mahia FC's Kenneth Muguna (left) and Chimango Kayira of Nyasa Bullets of Malawi during CAF Champions League at Kasarani Stadium on Nov 28, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Coach Oktay longs to have a fine start in CAF Champions League campaign.

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay seeks to start his continental sojourn on a positive note when his side take on Nigerian team Lobi Stars in today’s CAF Champions League match at Kasarani Stadium.

Oktay goes into this match confident after the team thrashed Zoo Kericho 4-0 in a mid-week SportPesa Premier League (SPL) fixture.

That victory instilled confidence in a squad that until then was struggling to get good results.

But it can easily get bad for Oktay if his side does not win today given the fact that the team reached the group stages of last year’s Confederations Cup.

However, off the pitch, matters could derail Gor Mahia’s quest to make it to the group stages of the Champions League after reports emerged that players went on a go slow on Friday protesting late payment of their November salaries.

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This is not what the club needs at this point. The club has however been known to do better even under such circumstances and today is no exception that with Sh55 million awaiting the team should they make it to the group stages.

Gor Mahia will however miss Ivorian striker Ephraim Guikan who seems to have found his scoring boots after netting a double during Zoo Kericho’s demolition.

The Ivorian was not registered for continental duty. Even in his absence, the club still has enough fire power upfront. Ugandan striker Erisa Sekisambu looks promising upfront and should combine well with Samuel Onyango for goals.

Experienced goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch should also start as his will be highly needed at this stage.

Lobi Stars edged out UMS de Loum of Cameroon 2-1 on aggregate to make it to this stage and will be hoping to make it past the Kenyan champions as well.

Lobi Stars coach Solomon Ogbeide says his team can match the Kenyan champions.

 “Of course we know that Gor Mahia are a very big club from Kenya but the business…is the match on the field of play and Lobi Stars are also a big team,” he told the official Caf website.