Continental assignments are always tactically won. The truth of the matter remains, even the best teams have always lost because of lack of effective tactics.
Most teams that have done well in such competitions have a good record at home. They have a good winning ratio but the most important thing is ensuring they do not concede. Clean sheets are usually vital because away goals give opposing teams an advantage.
This season, Gor Mahia has done well in games played at home. They managed to keep a clean sheet against Equatorial Guinea's Vegetarianos in a 2-0 win, and a 0-0 draw against Tunisia's Esperance. The only main undoing was not getting a win against the latter.
So what should the sixteen time Kenyan Premier League champions do to ensure they do not concede at home when they face SuperSport United in the play-off of Caf Confederation Cup on Sunday?
Coach Kerr must pick right squad
Coach Dylan Kerr has turned most of his players into performers and that is why he can afford to make changes and still win matches. However, this is not a match to gamble with, the tactician has to select the best squad which can do the job in the first leg. By doing that, the team will get the much needed result as well as keep the much needed clean sheet.
Take pressure to the opponent
As seen against Esperence of Tunisia, K’Ogalo has the ability to stop even the so called best teams in the continent. When pressure is applied well, the opponents will not find time to attack, the best they will do is aimlessly shoot and that will work for the home team. Gor Mahia should press Supersport United from the first to the final whistle.
Defending as a unit
Aggressiveness is what makes teams perform better at home, and ending up getting a positive result. When strikers are aggressive, it means once possession is lost in their department, they will try as fast as possible to shut the opponent. Same is expected in the midfield department. If K’Ogalo resort to this approach, it means the South African side will find it hard to break them down and that means scoring will be tough for them.
This is extremely important because it limits the mistakes and chances of conceding. On most occasions, when the ball is given away, most of the teammates are caught off position and chances of getting punished are high. Gor Mahia should ensure that does not happen, because by doing that, their opponents will have a chance of getting that away goal.