Caf Champions League: What must Gor Mahia do to get past USM Alger?

The KPL champions need a 3-0 win to eliminate the Algerian side from Africa's elite competition, but how must they go about it?

10-man Gor Mahia were held to a goalless draw at home by USM Alger in their first encounter last year in May at Kasarani Stadium, having been paired together in Group D of the Caf Confederation Cup.

Dylan Kerr's side needed a win to seal their progression to the quarter-finals of the competition, but their hopes were dented by Joash Onyango's 55th-minute dismissal and they ultimately fell to a 2-1 defeat away in Algeria.

Rayon Sports of Rwanda finished second in the group, while K'Ogalo packed their bags alongside Young Africans of Tanzania.

USM Alger player Abderrahmane Meziane (L) and Gor Mahia FC player Charles Momanyi.

Now, USM and Gor Mahia are meeting again at the same venue, but in the Caf Champions League final preliminary round. The North African side won 4-1 in the first leg owing to braces from Mohamed Meftah and Zakaria Benchaa, while Gor Mahia captain Kenneth Muguna scored the consolation for the visitors.

For the Steven Polack-led side to advance, they need a 3-0 scoreline on Sunday...but how can they achieve it?

K'Ogalo have not entirely failed to deliver when needed; they defeated Yanga SC 4-0 in Kasarani a year ago, they claimed a 4-2 win against Egyptian giants SC Zamalek at home several months ago, and trounced Aigle Noir of Burundi 5-1 in the previous round this year.

They're certainly capable of winning at home, even if they've lost three of their last ten at home, against Esperance, AC Leopards of Congo, and CNaPS Sport of Madagascar, although goalscoring can be a concern.

Kenneth Muguna and Clifton Miheso of Gor Mahia.

On three occasions, they won by a solitary goal, and conceded in half of those ten games. The 5-1 win against Aigle Noir was the first time Gor had scored more than four goals at home in the Caf CL, and they clearly need to sharpen their attack to progress.

Encouragingly, the North Africa side have struggled away; they have won just two of their last 10 outings, losing five and drawing the remaining three games, although only one of those defeats has come in their last five matches.

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They have failed to score on just three occasions, and so Gor must know that they will need to get in among the goals - and quickly - if they're to outgun their opponents.

The KPL champions have not had the best defensive record of late; they have conceded eight goals in their last four games in all competitions, and improvement is required.

The tempo and menality of this Gor side will be key; they must be intense, press hard, and prevent USMA from establishing any kind of rhythm and control. If the intensity is not there, then Gor will have their work cut out to claw back a tie that appears to have escaped them.