On Sunday, Kogalo will tackle DC Motema Pembe of DR Congo in a CAF Confederations playoff match. The encounter will determine who goes to the group stage and the Ksh 27 million windfall that comes with reaching the group stage.
Gor Mahia will try to overcome all the tribulations they have been facing including the loss of sponsorship which has resulted in players going months without pay.
In addition their performance on the local stage has not been convincing. But coach Steve Polack is confident.
“I feel we have improved in every aspect and my players will now do the job at home. I expect a win. In football, you aspire to win your home matches before the fans and that is what we will go for on Sunday,” said Polack in an interview with Nation Sport at Camp Toyoyo.
The return of Joash Onyango and Kenneth Muguna will also be a much needed boost to the team.
“There were issues with my two captains (Kenneth Muguna and Joash Onyango), but they are back. The players have agreed that we hand them back their roles. The off-pitch issues will always be there but we are more focussed on winning our game at home so that we can head to the second leg with confidence,” added Polack.
Gor Mahia will also be relying on Lawrence Juma who has hit a rich vein of form that saw him called up to the national team. Juma has proven to be a reliable player in such playoff games. Last year he scored one of the goals that propelled Kogalo to the group stage.
They will also hope to get a solid performance from the goalkeeping position which was very shaky against Algerian side USM Alger.
DC Motema Pembe arrived in Kenya Friday after a camp in Rwanda. They have been in solid form at home. They are currently in second place with 17 points from 8 matches, two points behind league leaders TP Mazembe. Their last league match was a 3-0 win over bottom club Bukavu Dawa.
To reach this stage, Motema Pembe eliminated Stade de Melong of Cameroon on 4-0 aggregate, before beating Al Khartoum of Sudan on away goals rule.