Gor Mahia start their continental campaign for the 2018-2019 season today against Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi. They will be looking to overcome the disappointment of the UK tour which saw them play poorly lose to Everton. They will also be looking to overcome the loss of popular coach Dylan Kerr. But his replacement Zedekiah Otieno is adamant that the team is well prepared.
“We have worked on all possible scenarios and we think they might sit back and try to hit us on the counter. We are ready for that,” Zico told journalists on Monday.
Gor Mahia have never reached the champions league group stages. Zico is determined that this will be the first time. He will be hoping that Tuyisenge’s form from the national team translates to his club on Wednesday and that he and Kahata can put aside the distractions emanating from their transfer rumours.
Nyasa Big Bullets are confident after having won their last match 5-0 . Chiukepo Msowoya who scored a brace in this match is the man Kogalo must watch. He is vastly experienced having played in Rwanda, Mozambique and South Africa. he is also a key performer in the Malawi national team and played in the 2010 Africa nations cup.
The attack also has the young Patrick Phiri who at age 20 is also in the national team and scored against Comoros earlier this month. Together with Msowoya, they form a lethal attack that Gor Mahia will be hard pressed to contain.
Assistant Coach Lovemore Fazili recently led his team on a build-up tour of Tanzania where they played against Simba and JKU. Based on those results, he said he is confident against Gor Mahia.
“I think they (Gor Mahia) are our match. We do not need to panic. I am sure we can pull a surprise if we prepare well for the game,” said Fazili
They arrrived on Monday and have been training at Ruaraka grounds.
“We wanted to train at night but there was no pitch with floodlights. We hope to have our last session tomorrow at night and see how we adjust,” said Kalisto Pasua the head coach.
The Bullets have won the Malawi league 13 times and are on course to win the league again. They currently sit atop the league with four matches to go. Pasua is confident that his team will be sharper since they have been busy.
“The fact that we have been active can be good thing to us but again there are lots of tired legs in the squad. We just want the boys to have the right mentality and see what happens on Wednesday night,” said Pasua.
Against Simba in the recent friendly, Bullets relied on defending in large numbers then launching counter attacks. Indeed Malawian teams are noted for the speed with which they execute counter attacks. But Gor Mahia were recently given harsh lessons in lightning quick counter attacks by Everton so they should be ready for anything.