On-form Kenyan Premier League giants Gor Mahia face Malakia of South Sudan in a quarterfinal match of the Cecafa Kagame Club championship this afternoon at the 60,000-seater National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Gor, who have been enjoying a good run in the tournament start as favourites by the virtue of being the group “A” leaders.
However, K’Ogalo are likely to miss the services of midfielder Khalid Aucho who sustained an injury during Gor Mahia’s match against Khartoum last Friday.
Coach Frank Nuttal said Khalid was only 30 per cent ready to play.
Nuttal who rested eight of his regulars in their last preliminary match against Telecom of Djibouti said he will have his full team in today’s match.
“We have reached a crucial stage and no coach can gamble at this stage. I will have my regulars back,” the Scot.
“It will be a tough quarter-final as our opponents must have done their homework and they also have the ambition of advancing to the semifinals,” added the coach.
Nuttal said Gor Mahia has achieved a lot in the tournament as they have improved from last year’s disastrous performance where the team was bundled out before the knockout stages.
The coach is likely to prefer his team that stunned five-time champions Yanga in the opening match where Boniface Oluoch stood between the posts with captain Musa Mohammed, Sibomana Abouba and Harun Shakava protecting him.
Karim Nizigiyimana, Dirkir Glay are returning in defence. Ali Abondo and Godfrey Walusimbi are likely to take care of the midfield. Tournament’s top scorer Michael Olunga with four goals, Innocent Wafula and Medie Kagere will be banked on for goals.
Malakia coach Ramzi Sebit said he has a lot of respect for Gor Mahia but they will fight to the end.
Malakia made it to the quarterfinals as the best losers of group “C” and will be out to prove they are a force to reckon with.
Samuel Ssekamatte, captain David Dada and Peter Opera have been outstanding in their previous matches. The South Sudan side beat Adama City of Ethiopia 2-1, lost 2-0 to Azam and 1-0 to KCC.
Prior to the match, APR of Rwanda take on Al Khartoum in the first quarter final at 2pm.
The Rwandese finished group “B” as leaders and will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run.
Rwandan Serbian coach Dusan Dule has Andrew Buteera, Patrick Sibomana and Issa Bigirimana to go for goals.
The Khartoum side handled by Ghanaian James Appiah will bank heavily on Kenyan Anthony Akumu in central midfield with Salah Eldin, Marwan Salih and Ismail Baba leading the attacking front.