Any time Gor Mahia have been pushed into a corner since Dylan Kerr took over, they have managed to wriggle themselves out of trouble. They will have to do so again this evening to keep their continental sojourn alive when try come up against USM Alger in the final match of Group ‘A’.
Gor had looked certain to seal a place in the last eight with a game to spare but a shock loss to Rwandan side Rayon Sports threw the door ajar, leaving three sides battling for the lucrative two slots of the next round.
Still K’Ogalo with eight points from five matches remain top of the group on goal difference and need to avoid defeat against USM to seal their passage into the next round.
Having already sealed their defence of their domestic title in style with a 2-0 victory over AFC Leopards, Gor will be confident of getting the result they need to book a place in the next round.
Francis Kahata, Jacques Tuyisenge and George Odhiambo have been instrumental in K’Ogalo’s fairy tale run and will all need to produce the performance of their lives to keep Gor’s hopes of continental conquest.
While they may not necessarily have to score to stay in the competition Kerr’s charges will have to keep USM Alger at bay.There-in lies the biggest headache for the Briton as he ponders over who to field in goal and at the left back position going by the reportedly unsanctioned departure of Ugandan Godfrey Walusimbi.
Boniface Oluoch in spite of a succession of mistakes might still get the nod ahead of Shaban Odhonji and Peter Odhiambo. Despite being his natural position, Wesley Onguso may be overlooked in preference to either Charles Momanyi or Phil Otieno in the left-back slot.
The calm head and leadership of captain and centre back Haroun Shakava will be required now more than ever if Gor are to navigate a tricky situation and make it to the million dollar quarter final stage.
Whatever the result in Algiers, both USM and K’Ogalo will romp into the next round should third place Rayon fail to defeat bottom of the table Yanga. Rayon have six points going into this evening’s clash.