K’Ogalo were drawn to face the Tunisian giants on Wednesday after eliminating Leones Vegetarianos of Equatorial Guinea on a 3-1 aggregate. Gor Mahia won the first leg 2-0 at home before forcing a 1-1 draw away in Malabo.
Gor Mahia will host the first leg tie against Esperance slated for March 6 with the reverse fixture planned for 10 days later in Tunis. Gor Mahia were humiliated by the Tunisian side 8-2 on aggregate in the same stage in 2014.
Esperance won both meetings - 3-2 at Nyayo Stadium before recording an emphatic 5-0 victory at Stade Olympique Rades in the return leg fixture.
Ogolla now believes that the Kenyan league champions will only need miracles to make it to the Group stage of the lucrative competition.
“You see, during our time, Gor Mahia used to parade for Africa tournaments every year which gave players enough exposure unlike today when qualification to the same is erratic and can sometimes take two to three years making players rusty,” Ogolla told People Daily.
“Given that we were perennial qualifiers to these events, we used to meet top-notch teams and we were a battle-hardened lot and I guess that is why we beat Esperance.
“It’s always going to be a daunting task for Gor Mahia to kill off the match as a contest. They will require a miracle to do it.”
Considered as one of Africa’s football supermen, Esperance qualified in an even bigger fashion as after drawing 1-1 with ASAC Concord of Mauritania in the first leg in Nouakchott, they prevailed 5-0 over the islanders in the decider in Tunis to sail through 6-1 on aggregate.