K’Ogalo eliminated Equatorial Guinea side Leones Vegetarianos, winning 2-0 at home before drawing 1-1 away in Malabo for a 3-1 aggregate score while Esperance managed a 1-1 draw with ASAC Concord of Mauritania in the first leg in Nouakchott, before prevailing 5-0 in Tunis to sail through 6-1 on aggregate.
The last time the two sides faced each other in the same competition was way back in 2014. In that reverse fixture, the Kenyan champions fell at home 2-3, and suffered an embarrassing 5-0 defeat away at the Stade Olympique Rades.
The Dylan Kerr coached side have another chance to make things right against the former African champions, but what should they do to win at home?
Avoid costly mistakes
At times K’Ogalo are fond of giving away balls in the dangerous positions, and end up paying for the mistakes. Sometimes it is not the defender but a goalkeeper making an erroneous judgment.
The latest incident was the goal Boniface Oluoch conceded against Kariobangi Sharks in the Kenyan Premier League. Against a top opposition, they should avoid that.
The North African teams are known for their excellence in punishing mistakes, and giving them a chance to do that will definitely give them the spirit to press and force Gor Mahia into committing mistakes.
Gor Mahia should go for early goals
Gor Mahia is always known for pushing the opponent from the first whistle, and grab that early goal. Against Esperance, nothing should change at all.
In 2014, Gor Mahia proved that they can score more than one goal against a better opponent.
Remember it also happened last year in the 2-1 defeat against Everton in Tanzania; but K’Ogalo should try and hit the back of the net after fifteen minutes or so, by doing that, they will frustrate their opponents and spoil their game plan.
Apply effective tactics
Coach Kerr has managed to turn every player into a performer and that is the main reason why the tactician has managed to make regular changes but the team still performs.
It should be the same case against Esperance, players should be disciplined and follow the instructions by the coach. Sticking to the formation known to the team will also give the players psychological boost in applying what they already know.
The coach should also improvise methods of executing his thoughts well and at the end get the needed outcome, win.
K'Ogalo fans should fill the stadium
The turnout for Gor Mahia matches has been wanting so far this season, with most fans opting to stay at home and follow match proceedings on TV.
That is not a way to support a team; it makes players feel ordinary and unwanted. For a player to perform, he needs to feel special most importantly, through fans' support.
If a handful supporters turn out to cheer the team that will be a psychological blow in that, the players will be unstable and will not concentrate fully on the match.
They will not have the 'home' feeling, meaning the away team will have an advantage against them.