News Live Scores
CAF Champions League

Caf Champions League: Can Gor Mahia end their poor away record vs USM Alger?

21:15 SAST 2019/09/12
lawrence Juma celebrates with Wellington Ochieng of Gor Mahia
K'Ogalo's away record in continental competition is something the Kenyan giants must improve if they're to reach the group stage

Gor Mahia's away record in Caf competitions remains a concern heading into this weekend's showdown with USM Alger in Algeria.

They returned to the continental stage on February 2017 and were given Leones Vegetarianos of Equatorial Guinea in the Champions League first preliminary round. The Kenyan representatives drew 1-1 in their away fixture after they had eased to a 2-0 win at home.

K'Ogalo were then paired against Tunisian giants Esperance on March 2018, and were defeated be a slim goal margin; 1-0 away from home after a 0-0 draw at Kasarani.

That meant the Green Army dropped to the continent's second-tier and were handed Premier Soccer League side SuperSport United in the play-offs. They ultimately snuck through to the next round, but not without losing 2-1 away as their quality again deserted them on the road.

K'Ogalo then found themselves in Group D with Yanga SC, USM Alger and Rayon Sports. Their away record did them little justice once again as they drew 1-1 with Rayon Sports, lost 2-1 to USM Alger but did manage to pick a 3-2 win over Yanga SC.

However, it was the 2-1 loss at home to Rayon Sports which complicated their chances of progress to the quarter-finals as the Rwandan side managed to pick up a point away to USM Alger, meaning the two sides progressed from Group D.

Gor Mahia's Champions League journey in 2018 started with a match and a win against Malawian giants Nyasa Big Bullets.

In the first leg, the Kenyan champions needed stoppage time to nab a 1-0 home win at Kasarani. The second leg ended with a 1-0 win for Big Bullets, and ultimately forced the match to extra time.

The Green Army withstood pressure and pulled off a 4-3 win, with goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch turning hero after saving two penalties; one in the 86th minute, when he denied Chiukepo Msowoya and also when he stopped Marakesh Kubeya's third spot-kick.

Gor Mahia's Champions League hit a dead end in December 2018, when they were eliminated by Nigerians Lobi Stars in the second qualifying round after a 2-0 away loss.

Austin Ogunye and Alimi Sikiru scored to break the hearts of the Green Army, after the Kenyans had won 3-1 at home.

Again, the Green Army, now under a new manager Hassan Oktay, dropped to Confederation Cup, and were given New Star de Doula of Cameroon in the play-offs.

After a 2-1 home victory, they took a goalless draw in Doula, which meant they booked a place in the group stages. In Group D, the Kenyan outfit lost 2-1 away to Petro Atletico, 1-0 to NA Hussein Dey of Algeria and 4-0 to SC Zamalek of Egypt.

It was a miserable return.

They managed to progress through to the quarter-finals after a 4-2 win over Zamalek, 2-0 win over Hussein Dey and a 1-0 win over Petro Atletico in Nairobi, but here their poor away record cost them, as they were defeated 5-1 by Renaissance Sportive de Berkane of Morocco.

Oktay's charges failed to win at home too as they were defeated 2-0.

Now into the 2019/20 season, where Gor sailed past Burundian champions Aigle Noir with a 5-1 home win after failing to score away from home, as the match ended 0-0 in Bujumbura.

With Steven Polack in charge, will Gor's away fortunes change as they head to the North once again to face USM Alger?

Bandari team manager Wilson Oburu isn't confident, and has explained why most clubs find it difficult to perform better when playing away.

“Teams always lose because they sometimes feel maybe there are some underhand things which the host team engages to disadvantage them,” Oburu told Goal. “Playing in front of partisan supporters is also another factor which leads to poor record for many clubs.

"However, teams have to learn to live with such factors.”

Will Gor manage to negotiate the various challenges that will come their way with a trip to North Africa, or will their underwhelming away record, which has cost them before, again come back to haunt the KPL giants.