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BY SAMSON MBII,21ST APRIL 2018-Gor Mahia will make trips to East Africa’s capitals Kigali and Dar es salaam, to honour fixtures in the group stage of the Caf Confederation Cup.
This follows the draw of the competition made in Cairo on Saturday.
As per the pairings held in Cairo, the Kenyan champions who eliminated South Africa’s SuperSport United to qualify for this stage of the continental competition, managed to avoid African giants, the likes of ASEC Mimoas from Cote d’ Ivorie, Ghana’s Aduana Stars, Enyimba (Nigeria), Al Hilal (Sudan) Djoliba AC (Mali), Al Masry (Egypt) and Raja Casablanca (Morocco) atleast for now.
In its stead, Gor will face East African rivals Yanga from Tanzania and Rwanda’s Rayon Sport.
Another potentially tough assignment against Algeria’s USM Alger is also on the cards, with the top two teams in this competition progressing to the quarter-finals of the tournament.
“I know Yanga very well,” said Gor Mahia’s English coach Dylan Kerr, who had a year-long stint at Yanga rivals Simba SC in 2015.
“I don’t know much about Rayon and the Algerian team though.”
“I’m happier we will play against neighbouring countries because it is financially better for our club. Overall, I expect it to be very tough because everyone wants to qualify for the quarter-finals. I believe in the team and the players, we can do this.”
K’Ogalo will open up their campaign with an away match against Rayon Sports, a team currently managed by former AFC Leopards coach Ivan Minnaert.
Also, Gor defeated Yanga 2-1 in Dar es Salaam the last time the two teams met competitively. That was in the opening match of the 2015 Cecafa Club Championships in Dar es Salaam.
“Now that we have got here, there is nothing to fear. We just play the way we know because in that group we stand a very big chance,” added Gor captain Harun Shakava.
On the financial front, the cash-strapped K’Ogalo – who are already assured of Sh27.5 million in prize money for making it to this stage of the competition – and are in line to earn another Sh8 million should the team qualify for the quarters.
Group A : Raja Casablanca, ASEC Mimosas, Aduana Stars, AS Vita Club
Group B : Al Masry, UD Songo, RS Berkane, Al Hilal Omdurman
Group C: Djoliba, Williamsville, AC CARA, Brazzaville, Enyimba FC
Group D: Rayon Sports, Gor Mahia ,Young Africans, USM Alger.
Gor will make a total Sh45 million if they progress to the semi-finals, or Sh125 million for going all the way and winning the tournament.