Local champions Gor Mahia face Zoo after good show in CAF ties

By Gilbert Wandera: Wednesday, March 27th 2019 at 01:05 GMT +3 | Football


Gor Mahia's Nicholas Kipkirui (R) and James Situma of Mathare United battle for ball possession during their KPL match at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday, January 6, 2019. They drew 1-1 [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

After a good show in the CAF Confederations Cup, Gor Mahia turn their focus to the SportPesa Premier League with today's away fixture against Zoo Kericho.

The Kenyan champions made history by becoming the first local club to make it to the quarter-final of the Confederations Cup.

But with a tight schedule facing the club coach Hassan Oktay has admitted it is going to be tough for his side from now on.

“Fatigue is finally getting to my players what with all these matches and to make it worse some of my players have returned from international duty with injuries and we could miss six of them today,” he said.

After playing Zoo Kericho, Gor Mahia will then travel to Kisumu for a date against Kariobangi Sharks and then fly to Mombasa to tackle Bandari before heading to Awendo to meet Sony Sugar.

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“We have five matches in a space of nine days and all of them are not easy fixtures and will stretch us to our limit.”

He described today’s opponents as a tough side which he expects will raise their game to match Gor Mahia.

Oktay also seems to have accepted the team’s fate and says he is no longer critical of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) as he used to be.

“I have realised KPL have a tough job to make sure the fixtures are played well as we have seemingly become victims of our own success.”

Former Zoo Kericho forward, Nicholas Kipkurui returns to haunt his old club following an impressive performance both in the league and on the continental stage.

AFC Leopards fresh from a 2-1 win over Western Stima at the weekend take on troubled Vihiga United at Bukhungu Stadium in another fixture today.

Leopards have been on an upswing after a bad start in the league and another three points will push them further from the relegation zone and perhaps a top-eight finish.

Vincent Oburu with three goals to his name should be one of the key players against the struggling Vihiga.

They face a club that has been hit by off-pitch challenges in their second year in top flight following doubts over their sponsorship by the county government. A victory this afternoon will be a big boost to them.

At Ruaraka this afternoon, Tusker face Kariobangi Sharks hoping to turn around their season. The Brewers have been disappointing over the last five matches and are in desperate need of a win to turn around their confidence.

The big question, however, is why the team still insists on playing their matches in a dilapidated facility that makes play almost impossible.

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