News Live Scores
Gor Mahia

How can Gor Mahia eliminate Motema Pembe?

21:27 GMT 02/11/2019
Wellington Ochieng of Gor Mahia vs DC Motema Pembe.
K'Ogalo need an away win to seal their qualification to the group stage of Africa's second-tier competition, but what are their chances?

A brace from Paul Kiongera and goals apiece from Christopher Wekesa, Kelvin Omondi and Edwin Lavatsa gave Gor Mahia a memorable 5-0 win away in Seychelles against their hosts Anse Reunion way back in 2013, when an excellent second-leg performance compensated for a goalless home draw.

The 5-0 win six years ago remain Gor Mahia's only win in the preliminary round of the Caf Confederation Cup, yet having been held 1-1 at home by DC Motema Pembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the first leg of their playoff bout last weekend, they may well need a win to advance this time around.

K'Ogalo opened the scoring courtesy of Ivorian striker Gnamien Yikpe, but William Luezi scored a vital away goal to give his team the advantage ahead of the second leg. The last time Gor were in Congo was way back in 2015 during the first preliminary round of the Caf Champions League.

After losing 1-0 in Nairobi, the 18-time Kenyan Premier League champions needed to score at least two goals to advance. However, they ended up falling by the same scoreline and bowed out of the competition.

On Sunday, they need at least a 1-0 win or a higher scoring draw to make it to the group stage of the Caf CC competition, but what are their chances of getting the win? 

While Kenneth Muguna, Gor Mahia captain, admits the team have been struggling away, he remains optimistic that the history books will be re-written on Sunday.

"We are optimistic about getting a win away to qualify for the group stage of the competition," Muguna told Goal on Thursday. "They scored away, why can't we do the same?

"Last season, we had to hold New Star [of Cameroon] to qualify, and we can do it [again]. We are prepared to go and fight for our slot in the next stage, and with a good display on the pitch coupled with goals, we can make it."

KCB assistant coach Godfrey Oduor believes more is needed for Gor Mahia if they are to get a win against the Congolese side.

"Playing away in the Caf competitions is not easy because most teams capitalize on the home ground advantage," Oduor told Goal. "Every player involved has to give more than 110% and play as a unit.

"If it is defending, everybody has to be involved, and when attacking, the technical bench has to ensure discipline is maintained in case of counter-attacks. If one department sleeps on the job, the whole team will be exposed," Oduor added.

Former Gor Mahia defender Francis Oduor believes the best K'Ogalo can get against the Central African side is a draw.

"Congolese love football and they will try to intimidate Gor as early as possible," Oduor told Goal. "Motema Pembe are a good team and will have massive support from the fans. 

"I think the best Gor can get from their hosts is a draw, and they will have to work harder to attain it."

So does it mean that Gor Mahia have no chance of winning against DC Motema Pembe on Sunday?

The Congolese side have conceded in four out of five home matches in the competition, losing 2-1 against Al Khartoum SC in the Preliminary Round, when they needed penalty shootout to advance to the playoffs.

This season, Gor have proved they can keep a clean sheet away; in the first round of the Caf Champions League preliminaries, they held Burundian champions Aigle Noir to a goalless draw away before claiming a 5-1 win at home.

Last season, in the same stage, they held New Star to a goalless draw to advance to the group stage of Caf CC after claiming a 2-1 win at home, and Steve Polack will need his charges to again be resolute at the back.

Simba SC midfielder Francis Kahata, who was an integral figure for Gor Mahia last season, is confident the team can pull through.

"I have confidence Gor Mahia are going to eliminate Motema Pembe from the competition," Kahata told Goal on Thursday. "It was unfortunate they could not win on Sunday, they played well but were punished after making an avoidable mistake.

"It is not lost, they have a good squad that is capable of winning away. I am confident they will get a win and qualify for the next stage.

"Gor have players who have been in the game for quite some time, and it is a plus for them. The likes of Joash [Onyango] and [Kenneth] Muguna will have a vital role to play," Kahata concluded. 

Now it's over to the KPL champions to prove they have what it takes to silence their critics.