Bandari arrive in Sudan, ready for crucial CAF tie

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Thursday, August 22nd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Bandari FC’s William Wadri (left) and Mohamed Khatab of Al Ahli Shandi during the first leg tie of the CAF Confederation Cup at Kasarani stadium on Saturday. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Bandari coach Benard Mwalala says he is bothered by his team’s blunt attack ahead of tomorrow’s night (9:30pm) crunch Confederation Cup return leg tie against Sudan’s Al Ahly Shandy in Khartoum.

The dockers have recently struggled to score goals and even failed to have a single shot on target for the first time in many fixtures when two sides battled out to a barren draw in the first leg at Kasarani Stadium.

This came barely a month after Bandari bowed out of the Cecafa Kagame Cup on their debut in Rwanda without a win after drawing all their three group B matches against KCCA (1-1), Mukura (2-2) and Azam (0-0).

The domestic cup winners then huffed and puffed but they once again lacked the spark upfront to claim a goal as they fell 1-0 to 10-man Gor Mahia in last Sunday’s Kenyan Premier League Super Cup encounter in Machakos.

Bandari, who held their first training in Khartoum yesterday morning, have their work cut out as they must produce some magic to book a date with either Tunisian side US Ben Guerdane or South Sudan’s Amarat United in the first round.

And for them to secure the next round ticket, Bandari must force their hosts to a scoring draw or bag victory of any kind.

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Even though the Khartoum match remains on the knife edge, the former Kenyan international is hopeful his strikers can rediscover their scoring power tomorrow and punish Al Ahly.

“I’m not really worried of our attacking line because there are such moments in football where you can play very well but lack goals. I have trust and faith in my players. I’m confident they will deliver,” said Mwalala.

“I think the qualification is still wide open and we are still in the mix. We didn’t create a lot of chances at home, but if we score in Khartoum, pressure will definitely be on Ahly.

“But unlike the first leg, we are going to Khartoum at least knowing whom our opponents are. I think both teams have the same game plan; sit back and counter-attack. But we need to score first and put pressure on them.”

Meanwhile, the first batch of 12 players of Burundian side Aigle Noir arrived in the country yesterday ahead of Sunday’s crucial Champions League return leg fixture against Gor Mahia at Kasarani Stadium.

According to Gor’s Treasurer Sally Bolo, the second batch is expected to land today at noon.

Meanwhile, the official said the club has gone digital after partnering with technology company Infinity Tickets (Africa Data Technologies Limited) to introduce e-ticketing ahead of Aigle Noir match. The VVIP tickets will be retailed at Sh 2,000, while the VIP and regular tickets will go for Sh 500 and Sh200.

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