The Green Army dined with the big boys in 2014, 2015, 2016 and now once again, they are already in it after winning the Kenyan Premier League title last season for a record 16 times.
In the year 2014, Gor Mahia was paired with Gabonese side US Bitam. K’Ogalo won by a solitary goal at home, but lost by the same margin away; sending the match into penalties, and the Kenyan side progressed after winning 4-2, and as a result, set a date with Tunisian giants Esperance where they were unfortunately eliminated on an 8-2 aggregate score.
Then came the year 2015, once again Gor Mahia won the rights to represent the nation. This time around, they had to go past Madagascan side CNaPS Sport. The Green Army won by a solitary goal at home, before losing 3-2 in the return leg but still qualified to the next round thanks to away goal rule.
Just like the previous year, they were bundled out by Republic of Congo's AC Leopards after falling by a solitary goal both home and away.
The fans expected something better in the year 2016 considering the team had gone the previous domestic league campaign without defeat and had a better team. Unfortunately, they failed to go past the 2014 opponents, this time losing at home and away by 1-0 and 2-1 margins respectively.
In 2018, under coach Dylan Kerr, K’Ogalo has started the campaign well, winning the first leg against Equatorial Guinea side Leones Vegetarianos by two goals.
However, as seen in the previous matches, K’Ogalo has conceded two goals or more in away matches, save for the game against AC Leopards. So what will the Kenyan champions do to ensure they progress?
Well, the best way to defend is to attack, and Gor Mahia can do that better, so putting their opponents in the back foot will work to their advantage because it will minimize the chances of being attacked. It will also mount pressure on the opponents and make them do mistakes.
Stick to the plan
Coach Kerr has used the 4-4-2 system on most occasions, a formation that has paid dividends. The players are accustomed to it and have mastered the movements well. Interfering with the system will instil some fear to the players. It will take away some level of self-belief and that might lead to the downfall of the Kenyan champions.
Sticking to the technique will not only show full confidence from the technical bench to the players, but it will also give the players freedom to display better football.
Finally, an early goal will settle the match. The home team will be playing cautiously considering the fact that they need three goals to progress. That might work to their disadvantage because Gor Mahia will use it to get an opener.
Gor Mahia should avoid conceding because that will give their opponents motivation, and put the team into panic mode. But if the Kenyan champions display the game they played last weekend, then they will without doubt progress.