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K’Ogalo need at least two goals in Zambia to proceed to CAF Confed Cup group stages

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K’Ogalo need at least two goals in Zambia to proceed to CAF Confed Cup group stages

Those who have been following Kenyan football for long know that Lusaka has invariably been a dreary hunting ground for Kenyan football teams.

From the national team Harambee Stars to clubs such as AFC Leopards and Shabana to the defunct Kenya Pipeline FC, all of them have sad stories to tell of their trips to the Zambian capital in the 1980s where they were subjected to difficult times on the pitch by their respective opponents.

Leopards’ tormentors then at the club level were Mufulira Wanderers while Shabana and Pipeline suffered at the hands of Kabwe Warriors and Power Dynamos respectively.

Pundits posit that the country’s envoys in the CAF Confederation Cup group stage play-offs, Gor Mahia, could be headed the same way after the Kenyan champions were stunned 1-0 by little-known Napsa Stars in the first leg of the group stages qualifier at Nyayo National Stadium last Sunday.

Although the match was played in closed doors due to Covid-19 restrictions, Gor fans could be looking at another heartbreak.

To say that Gor have a mountain to climb in Lusaka might sound like an understatement as they need to beat Napsa by two unanswered goals or win by a solitary goal and hope to prevail over the hosts in post-match penalties.

Having said that, Gor coach Manuel Vaz Pinto believes there is still room for improvement by his charges though he berated his strikers’ naivety in front of goal in the first leg clash in Nairobi.

“We had excellent chances that we failed to convert. When you control a game like that you have to possess a finishing touch which we lacked. To me, it was unbelievable that Napsa could score a goal against the run of play and doggedly hold onto the lead until the final whistle,” said Pinto.

What the he tactician is simply trying to put across is that if team skipper Kenneth Muguna, Nicholas Kipkirui, Jules Ulimwengu, Alpha Onyango and John Macharia had converted the chances that came their way in the Napsa danger zone, K’ogalo would have been heading into the decider in Lusaka on February 21 with settled nerves.

Instead, Gor will be trying to erase the one goal advantage, thanks to an opportunistic strike by Daniel Odaka in the 86th minute, and then go for the kill which is no mean task.

Gor will need to keep close tabs on equally dangerous Napsa strikers on the evening including Jimmy Mukeya and Austin Banda and, God forbid the free-scoring striker Emmanuel Mayuka, who is injured, does not recover in time to face the Green Army defence in the return match

In summary

Original Source Website: : https://www.pd.co.ke/sports/kogalo-need-at-least-two-goals-in-zambia-to-proceed-to-caf-confed-cup-group-stages-68271/

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