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What went wrong for Gor and Tusker in Caf?

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | December 7th 2021
Gor Mahia's striker Benson Ochieng reacts after missing a goal against AS Otoho D'Oyo during CAF Confederation Cup Playoffs at The Nyayo national stadium on Sunday, Dec 5, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenyan champions Tusker and Gor Mahia are sides that had wished for better endings.

They were both bundled out of the Caf Confederation Cup after dismal performances in their respective playoff matches. Tusker lost 1-0 to CS Sfaxien in the second leg of their play-off played in Tunisia.

The result meant the brewers bowed out of the second-tier continental competition after a 1-0 aggregate loss following their 0-0 draw in the first leg.

In Nairobi, Gor Mahia were held to a 1-1 draw by AS Otoho d’Oyo of the Republic of Congo at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium. The stalemate gifted the visitors a 2-1 wins on aggregate.

These results saw the two Kenyan clubs miss out of the lucrative Sh27 million Caf Confederation Cup Group stage grant.

This begs the question, what went wrong for Gor and Tusker?

Gor Mahia head coach Mark Harrison blamed lack of enough players for him to use in the defeat to Otoho.

Speaking after the match, Harrison said the availability of only 16 players to use made work hard for him especially after four were unavailable during the first leg.

“We gave away a silly goal in the first five minutes. Yes, we got back quickly, but we now had to win by three goal and it was always going to be difficult to achieve that. The performance was not good as it should be and we did not create enough opportunities,” said Harrison.

The club failed to register enough players for the continental showpiece between the July and August transfer window as they are serving a Fifa ban due to unpaid dues.

Tusker captain Eugene Asike (left) complains to the center referee during their Caf Confederation Cup return leg match against CS Sfaxien in Tunisia.[Courtesy-Tusker]

Gor used a lean squad in their 3-1 win over Al Ahly Merowe of Sudan on October 15 in the first leg of the first round of the competition but were awarded a walkover in the second leg.

The record Kenyan champions attempted to sail through to the group stage with the same players but could not do so after four players missed out on the first leg which they lost 1-0 in Congo.

For Tusker, the situation is vice versa. The club signed over 10 new players after winning the local league title last season in an attempt to strengthen their squad for continental duties.

With a large list of players to pick from, Robert Matano seems to have not yet found his probable line up as the brewers’ struggle of scoring goals continued.

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