Gor Mahia are set to depart for Kigali on Saturday at 7:20 am. Unlike the debacle that was the trip to South Africa, everything seems to be in place this time.
The last time K’Ogalo played a Rwandese side was in 2009. This was when a team full of schoolboys and recent form four leavers coached by James Sianga suffered stage fright and lost 0-5 at Nyayo stadium against a vastly experienced Rwanda APR side that had many internationals like Moses Odhiambo “Dube” as well as two Congolese internationals. They would later lose 0-1 in Kigali. The only person left from that team is George Odhiambo “Blackberry” who at the time had jus finished form four at Kamkunji secondary.
Gor Mahia played APR again at the 2014 CECAFA club cup in Rwanda. On that occasion, the match ended 2-2 with Walusimbi scoring a spectacular freekick.
Gor Mahia will be going to this match determined to put on a much better performance just as they did against Esperance this season .
Getting a point or three points away from home is going to be critical for Gor Mahia’s chances of making it to the next stage in this tournament. Coach Dylan Kerr has already done some homework on the Rwandese side.
“I watched them play [Rayon Sports] and one thing I picked out is that they have a very good attack but their defense is not very mobile. We need to look at how we can take advantage of that but at the same time be careful with our defense on the counter attack,”.
Though fatigue has been a factor for Gor Mahia, the same could be said for Rayon sports who played their least league match on Monday, drawing 1-1 with Kirehe.
Rayon Sport are coached by former AFC coach, Luc Minnaert. The Belgian tactician foresees a tough encounter.
“I have followed Gor Mahia and their progress and they are a very tough team. They have a squad that has been together for four or five seasons and they have become very solid. It will not be an easy match against them and I have told my players that. This is a battle of East African teams which have almost a similar style of football and it will make things even tougher.” Minnaert told Capital Sport from his base in Kigali.