Kipkirui absence unexplained as Gor Mahia leave for CR Belouizdad meeting

Bonventure Michika of Ulinzi Stars vs Nicholas Kipkirui of Gor Mahia.Goal Kenya.

Striker Nicholas Kipkirui will miss Gor Mahia’s Caf Champions League tie against CR Belouizdad as he has been omitted from the travelling squad.

The match was rescheduled for December 26 after Gor Mahia had requested the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to push the game forward owing to the travel technicalities.

Kipkirui, who was on target against APR of Rwanda when K’Ogalo saw off the Rwandan side and qualified for the first round tie, is, however, not going to be involved against the Algerian side.

“Captain Kenneth Muguna misses the trip with a rib injury, midfielder Bernard Ondiek and John Ochieng’ too are out with injuries,” Gor Mahia explained the absence of the injured players without revealing why the former Zoo FC striker was left out.

Ernest Wendo, who has been looking a rejuvenated midfield maestro, is among the travelling stars that also includes Jules Ulimwengu. The Rwandan was consecutively on target against Ulinzi Stars and Tusker in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League and would hope he would find the back of the net on the continental stage.

The team en route to Algeria comprises mostly of local players as Ulimwengu and Tito Okello are the only foreigners available.

With the absence of Muguna, assistant captain Philemon Otieno is expected to lead the team to get good results although they have had tough times whenever they face Northern African sides.

Stand-in coach Sammy Omollo remains confident the team is capable of delivering the desired results.

“If we manage to stick to our game plan, I am optimistic we will get at least a draw away. Yes, we are going for a win but a draw will not be bad. Then when we come home we finish the job by winning,” Omollo told Goal in an earlier interview.

“Yes, Algerian teams have been challenging for us, but nothing is impossible, we can get past them.”

Travelling Squad:

Gad Mathew, Philemon Otieno, Michael Apudo, Charles Momanyi, Juma Andrew, Ernest Wendo, Sydney Ochieng, Samuel Onyango

Tito Okello, Jules Ulimwengu, Geoffery Ochieng, Bonface Oluoch, Kevin Wesonga, Joachim Oluoch, Nicholas Omondi, Benson Omalla, Frank Odhiambo, Clifton Miheso

Technical Staff:   Samuel Omollo, Patrick Odhiambo, Jolawi Obondo, Willis Ochieng, Victor Nyaoro, Frederick Otieno

Officials: Dolfina Odhiambo, Gerphas Okuku.

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