Orange Caf Champions League Preliminary round 1st leg:
Saturday 8, 2014
Gor Mahia (Kenya) Vs Bitam (Gabon) – Nyayo stadium @ 4.00pm
Gor Mahia’s hunt for glory in the 2014 Orange Caf Champions league kicks off this Saturday 8 when they host Gabon’s US Bitam in the first leg of the preliminary round at Nyayo stadium.
The 2013 Kenya league winners faced an early exit in last year’s continental campaign albeit Caf Confederations Cup at the hands of Egypt’s ENPPI at this stage and will look to make an improvement by going past Omam Biyik coached side.
Bobby Williamson will miss the services of midfielder Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi and striker Joseph Wanyonyi who are out injured.
New signings in Ugandan internationals Godfrey Walusimbi and Geoffrey ‘Baba’ Kizito are expected to make their official competitive debut for K’Ogalo.
Walusimbi is optimistic Gor Mahia will get the desired result but cautions his team mates to avoid making mistakes.
“Playing in Champions League is a big thing. We want to play well and go as far as we can. This is one of those games where you don’t have a clue about the qualities of the player you will be marking. This calls for caution, but we will be up for this tie, make no mistake,” Walusimbi said.
Walusimbi and Kizito join compatriots Israel Emuge and Daniel Mzee Sserunkuma who were part of the title of winning squad last season.
Sserunkuma is expected to lead the hunt for goals alongside Kenyan international Ramah Salim with Kizito and Teddy Akumu patrolling the midfielder while Emuge and Walusimbi are expected to start at centre back and left back respectively.
Meanwhile, US Bitam Coach is confident his side can get a decent result at Nyayo and complete the task at home a week later but is wary of the threat posed by Cranes striker Daniel Sserunkuma.
“That stocky, dreadlocked striker is the pulse (of that team),” stated Biyik as quoted by Sporton.nation.ke
“He (Sserunkuma) is an animal that fights and fights and can break your heart… presumably he’s fired up by the team (Gor) fans, who make a lot of noise for long spells. I will have to work on the mental state of my players ahead of the clash,” he added.
Though Biyik admits it won’t be easy to get result off Gor Mahia at Nyayo, he expects an entertaining game between two good teams.
“It will not be easy though because our opponents have a home advantage to protect. It will be a meeting of two good teams and we should expect an exciting match.”
He also warned Gor Mahia to score an early goal or else he expects fans to turn against their own team something that will work in his side’s favour.
“I understand the mind set of most home fans. They normally expect an early goal and if it does not come, they get frustrated and turn against their own team. I ask Gor to get an early goal or forget about winning this match,” he told Goal .com.
Biyik’s squad is boasted by the presence of three players, who have just featured in the Africa Nations Championships (Chan) with Gabon. They include defenders Fredy Kogbe, Reeckangue Roosvelte as well as forward Phylipe Ebonde.
Gor Mahia last played in the competition was in 1996 when they were edged out in the first round by Dynamos of Zimbabwe.
Young Africans (Tanzania) Vs Komorozine (Comoros Island) – National stadium, Dar es Salaam
In Tanzania, Emma Okwi and Hamis Diego’s Young Africans host Comoros Island’s Komorozine in Dar es Salaam.