Sportpesa Cup: Kenyan giants searching for ticket to play against English side Everton

By Ernest Ndunda in Dar es Salaam: Wednesday, January 23rd 2019 at 00:01 GMT +3 | Football
Gor Mahia FC Captain Haron Shakava during KPL match against Mt Kenya FC at Kasarani stadium. Jan 16, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Gor and Leopards start chase for Cup glory today

Tanzania sides Simba and Mbao keen to see off Kenyan sides.

Kenya’s football giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards will be in action this afternoon as they clash against Tanzanian opponents in the quarter-finals of the Sportpesa Cup in Tanzania.

Two time champions Gor Mahia start their quest for a third third title at 2pm when they play against a much improved Tanzanian Mainland Premier League side Mbao.

This will be the third quarter-final match at the  intimidating 60,000 capacity National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

AFC Leopards complete the fourth quarter-final of the eight team tournament at 4:15pm with a tough match against Tanzanian league champions Simba where former Gor Mahia striker Meddie Kagere will be back to haunt Ingwe.

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Gor Mahia who are buoyed by the qualification to the group stages of the Caf Confederations Cup after eliminating New Stars of Cameroon on Sunday will be leaving nothing to chance.

Despite being fatigued after playing two competitive matches within five days, Gor Mahia who arrived in Tanzania in the wee hours of yesterday are determined to prove they are the best in East Africa.

The Kenyan champions played Mount Kenya in a league match last Wednesday before flying out to face New Stars last Sunday where they drew 0-0 in the return leg.

Captain Harun Shavaka said upon their arrival from Cameroon that they are prepared to win the coveted title for the third year in a row.

Jeffry Odenyi of AFC Leopards' controls the ball during the Sportpesa premier league Match against KCB at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on January 12,2018.KCB won 1-0. Photo:Kipsang Joseph/standard

“We have not come to Tanzania to participate but to win. It will be a good match.

“Our good show in Cameroon is an added advantage in tomorrow’s (today’s) match,” he said.

Experienced striker Jacques Tuyisenge said each team has prepared well and they are looking forward to a good game against the little known Mbao side.

Mbao striker Said Khamis believes today’s match will be a ‘David versus Goliath’ tie. “We are set to give Gor Mahia a good game. We have a good side full of individual talent,” Khamis said. “Gor Mahia must know that they will be playing a team from Mwanza that is ready to punch above its weight,” warned the striker.

The eagerly awaited fourth quarter-final match between Simba and AFC Leopards has seen both Kenyan and Tanzanian fans on the edge. Kagere will be out to lead Simba in knocking out Ingwe.

Leopards coach Marko Versiljevik knows what is at stake and said he will fight to the final whistle.

“We are in Tanzania to play three matches- quarters, semi-final and the final and win the trophy,” he said.

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