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Caf Champions League: Gor Mahia have fallen for North African theatrics before - Muguna

15:16 BST 10/09/2019
Kenneth Muguna of Gor Mahia FC.
K’Ogalo’s new skipper urges his teammates to end their poor run of results when they play away in North Africa

Gor Mahia captain Kenneth Muguna has challenged his teammates to improve their form on the continent.

The Kenyan champions are preparing to take off for Algeria on Thursday where they are set to face USM Alger in the first leg of the Caf Champions League on Sunday.

K’Ogalo’s trips to the North, which are always set with long connection flights and a last-minute rush for air tickets, have usually affected the team's readiness.

Last season, Gor Mahia controversially fell 1-0 to NA Hussein Dey of Algeria in a Caf Confederation Cup group stage match. They also suffered a blistering 5-1 loss to beaten finalists RS Berkane of Morocco.

The club was also on the receiving end of Zamalek’s wrath as they went down 4-0 in Egypt.

K’Ogalo also watched their quest to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 2018 Confederation Cup end in the hands of USM Alger, who reaped a 2-1 win at home to qualify alongside Rayon Sports of Rwanda at the expense of the Kenyan club who needed a point from the final two group stage matches which they lost.

“We have struggled to play well in North Africa leave alone getting results but this time around, we are going for a win,” Muguna is quoted by The Star.

“We have in the past fallen to their theatrics and intimidation but we have come of age. A good number of the current crop of players have been there before and we are aware of what is expected of them.

“The past experience gives us an advantage and better planning ahead of the match.”

Gor Mahia have received a major boost ahead of the match with key players - Ghanaian striker Francis Afriyie and defender Maurice Ojwang – are declared fit to play in the away match.

Last season, K’Ogalo failed to make it past the second round after losing to Lobi Stars of Nigeria on the away goals rule after the two-legged fixture ended 3-3 on aggregate.