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K’Ogalo bullish ahead of crucial tie against Congo’s Otoho today

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | December 5th 2021

 

Gor Mahia's Benson Ochieng drible ball past Kariobangi Sharks Captain Samuel Olwande during FKF Premier League match at The Moi International Sports centre on Wednesday, October 27, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Gor Mahia head coach Mark Harrison is confident his team will progress to the group stages of the Caf Confederations Cup.

The record Kenyan champions host Congolese side AS Otoho d’Oyo in a crucial second leg of the second-tier continental cup competition playoffs at Nyayo Stadium today from 4pm.

Despite the Congolese charges coming into the match with a slim 1-0 advantage from the first leg, Harrison strongly believes they will knock out the Congolese.

“We are still in contention. We are at home and we have a great chance of progressing. We have to be positive and patient as well. We can't afford to get crazy and do silly things while searching for a goal. The two goals will come if we do things right,” Harrison said.

K’Ogalo has a lot to do for them to qualify for the lucrative Sh27million group stages and have to score two goals without reply to be sure of reaching the group stages.

“Under the circumstances, a 1-0 loss was a decent result considering what we went through in Congo,” the coach said.

“Some of the things we had to endure are pretty scandalous, you know. We only had 11 infield players, I had one sub and that was the goalkeeper.

“We played in 35 degrees, 90 percent humidity but I couldn't make any changes. The 11 players had to stay strong for 90 minutes. I take my hat off for them,” Harrison said.

Gor have also been boosted by the return of Sidney Ochieng who missed the first leg with a hamstring injury.

Philemon Otieno also returns from a knock alongside Jules Ulimwengu and John Ochieng who didn’t play due to controversial Covid-19 tests in Congo.

“It is good news to have Sidney and Philemon back. We have a tight squad and to have them in contention is a relief as we seek to turn around the results. Ulimwengu and John are also in contention,” Harrison said.

The English tactician also welcomed the government’s approval to allow fans to attend the match.

Elsewhere, local champions Tusker are in Tunisia ahead of their second leg match against CS Sfaxien.

The brewers played out to a 0-0 draw in Nairobi and will be seeking to win tomorrow for a chance to qualify for the group stages.

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