Why Gor Mahia will need a ‘miracle’ tonight to produce biggest second leg comeback

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Sunday, April 14th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Gor Mahia FC forward Nicholas Kipkirui falls down during their CAF Confederation Cup quarter-final match against RSB Berkane of Morocco at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi Kenya on April 07, 2019. RSB Berkane won 2-0. [COURTESY]

Gor Mahia will need a ‘miracle’ to produce the biggest second leg comeback in tonight’s (10pm) CAF Confederation Cup quarters away to Morocco’s RS Berkane to progress to the last four.

With bungled travel arrangements, a poor away form in the competition and confidence hardly soaring after losing 5-4 on penalties to Bandari in SportPesa Shield’s round of 16 on Wednesday, the record Kenyan champions, who suffered a 2-0 defeat to the North African side in Nairobi last weekend, have an impossible mission in the return leg.

But it clearly seems Gor management didn’t learn from their shoddy preparation in last weekend’s home loss as the team faced a travel hitch to Berkane.

The bungled travel arrangements saw the team fly out late and in two batches, to Morocco. The first batch of nine players left on Friday and not Thursday as earlier planned while the second group of eleven players, the regular starters, traveled yesterday morning through Qatar.

With over 15 hours of traveling, it means the second batch composed of players who are expected to start the game tonight, will not have enough time to rest before the match.

Head coach Hassan Oktay and captain Harun Shakava, who are returning from suspension, were part of the contingent that left yesterday.

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The playing unit included Kenyan international trio of Joash Onyango, Francis Kahata and Philemon Otieno. Others are goalkeeper Peter Odhiambo, Lawrence Juma, Geoffrey Ochieng, Nicholas Kipkirui, Kenneth Muguna, Boniface Omondi and Erisa Ssekisambu.

Rwandese talisman Jacques Tuyisenge, Shafik Batambuze and Ernest Wendo are all still serving bans.

And with all those hurdles, K’Ogalo will need a ‘miracle’ to at least score twice and keep a clean sheet in order to keep their semi final hopes alive.

Oktay is optimistic of making the impossible possible. “Berkane have a two goal advantage and we will be missing some of our key players.”

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