EYES ON DEFENCE

Pamzo keen to fix defence ahead of Confederations Cup playoff

K’Ogalo, who lost 6-0 in the first leg in Algiers on Boxing Day, surrendered their lead to fall 2-1 in the return leg played behind closed doors at the Nyayo National Stadium yesterday.

In Summary

• The heavy loss was Gor’s third in a row to a North African opponent as they lost 6-1 on aggregate to USM Alger last season and narrowly went down 1-0 on aggregate to Tunisian giants Esperance in 2018.

•First leg hero Amir Sayoud inspired the visitors' fightback as he struck a superb freekick in the 79th minute to level matters. Sayoud scored a hat-trick in the first leg.

Gor Mahia's Michael Apudo (L) and Charles Momanyi in battle against Fred Ngombo of CR Belouizdad from Algeria during their CAF Champions League preliminary round return leg match at Nyayo Stadium.
Gor Mahia's Michael Apudo (L) and Charles Momanyi in battle against Fred Ngombo of CR Belouizdad from Algeria during their CAF Champions League preliminary round return leg match at Nyayo Stadium.
Image: ERICK BARASA

Gor Mahia stand-in coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo has highlighted the significance of fixing the defence before the first leg of the Caf Confederations Cup playoff.

The Kenyan champions crashed out of the lucrative CAF Champions League after losing 8-1 on aggregate to Algerian champions CR Belouizdad and will now have to contend with playing in the second tier of the continental championships.

K’Ogalo, who lost 6-0 in the first leg in Algiers on Boxing Day, surrendered their lead to fall 2-1 in the return leg played behind closed doors at the Nyayo National Stadium yesterday.

Pamzo, who is optimistic of taking charge in the playoffs, faulted his defence for leaking more than half a dozen goals in the first round against the North Africans, who comfortably booked a place in the group stages.

The heavy loss was Gor’s third in a row to a North African opponent as they lost 6-1 on aggregate to USM Alger last season and narrowly went down 1-0 on aggregate to Tunisian giants Esperance in 2018.

“We gave our best especially in the return leg and I am happy with the fighting spirit that the players showed despite the challenges we have been through. We need to work on our defending before the Confed playoff,” observed the Posta Rangers gaffer.

“We should have done better in terms of defending. We also have to improve on how we take our chances. With good planning, we have a chance of progressing in this tournament.”

Gor broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute through Burundian import Jules Ulimwengu, a goal which saw him take his tally to three goals in as many matches in Gor colours.

Larbi Tabti will have himself to blame for failing to level matters with three minutes to the break after he was put through on goal but his lobbed attempt was gathered by the advancing Gad Mathews.

Eleven minutes after the restart, Pamzo handed Malawi national Andrew Malisero his debut, coming on for a seemingly weary Clifton Miheso and extended the favour to John Macharia, who replaced Cameroonian, Bertrand Konfor.

First leg hero Amir Sayoud inspired the visitors’ fightback as he struck a superb freekick in the 79th minute to level matters. Sayoud scored a hat-trick in the first leg.

The match seemed headed for a one-all draw but Abdelkader Belharane fired home the winner for Belouizdad in the 85th minute to complete a double over the Kenyan champions.