Gor Mahia will be short handed as they face off with Petro De Luanda of Angola. Jacque Tuyisenge, the leading scorer this season will miss the match through suspension as will Philemon Otieno “Mbish”.
Also missing will be Dennis Oliech who has yet to recover from the injury he picked up in training. Ernest Wendo also has an injury and Wellington Ochieng has malaria.
“We have been forced to make a few changes to the travelling squad. Dennis Oliech will not travel because he has failed to recover while right back Wellington Ochieng is down with malaria. Ernest Wendo is also injured said CEO Omondi Aduda to goal.com
In their absence, Nicholas Kipkirui will be relied on a lot more for goals. Should Oktay decide to field a second striker, it will likely be Ugandan Erisa Sekisambu.
Large Fan Base
Petro fans are known to turn out in large numbers as confirmed by Allan Wanga who used to play in the Angolan league.
“Atletico is a very big club in Angola. It has a big following and they have not been in any Caf competition for a long time now so I am sure that the fans will come out in very large numbers to cheer their players
They tend to rely on their pacey wingers for rapid counter attacking raids.
“Expect a highly intimidating fan atmosphere, awfully humid weather, and an intense, fast-paced game complete with plenty of wing play.
They like to attack from the flanks and they always play for speed so Gor should be well prepared for that,”
With Mbish and Wellington missing, coach Oktay will need to find other options at full back to contain the speed of the Angolans.
Petro will be buoyed by the return of experienced captain Ricardo Job Estevao, known popularly as Job. He missed the opener against NA Hussein Dey. He is vastly experienced. He first played for the Angolan national team in 2007 while aged 20.
In their last league match on Saturday February 9, they lost to Angolan league leaders CD Primiero de Agosto
About Petro de Luanda
Petro de Luanda finished second in the Angolan league in 2018 and this term they are placed third.
Their squad comprises entirely of Angolans with the exception of two Brazilians : Midfielder Tony and striker Azulao. Both Brazilian players featured against NA Hussein Dey of Algeria who beat the Angolans 2-1 in their group opener. Azulao has been their top scorer in the past three seasons. Last season he scored 21 goals. Their coach is a Brazilian : Beto Bianchi
Petro was formed in 1980 and has won the Angolan league a record 15 times. However their last win was as far back as 2009.
They haven’t played much continental football of late. Their last appearance in continental football was in 2015, a factor which Allan Wanga thinks will work in Gor Mahia’s favor.
Based on their long absence from Caf games, I can say they will be the underdogs because Gor has been there for a while now ” Wanga said to the Nation
The match will be officialted by three Eritreans with Tsegay Mogos Teklu as centre referee, assisted by Berhe Tesfagiorghis and Suleiman Ali Salih.
The last time Gor Mahia faced off with an Angolan side was in the CAF Cup of 1993 at the quarter-final stage. The team was Atletico Aviacao of Luanda. Gor Mahia had reached this stage after eliminating Uganda Coffee and Hellenic of South Africa.
During this period, Gor Mahia boasted what is one the best defensive units the club has ever fielded: Tobias Ocholla, Zedekiah Otieno, Sammy Omollo “Pamzo”, Paul Ochieng, Joseph Owino: All national team players, manned the defence at this time, while Allan Odhiambo was a tall steel wall in the defensive midfield.
So the club hardly conceded goals. Unfortunately for Kogalo, the attack was blunt. Gor Mahia experimented with a number of coaches during this period but none could come up with a scoring formula. Many attackers were tried during this period.
So when Gor Mahia played Aviacao, their inability to score was their demise. The first leg in Luanda ended 0-0. The second leg at Nyayo stadium also ended 0-0. The Angolans were playing for penalties. They employed all manner of time wasting tactics. At one point a player blasted the ball outside the stadium.
During the penalty shootout, goalkeeper Joseph Asembo did not save a single penalty. The towering Asembo was an excellent shot stopper. But penalties was his achilles heel. Thus Gor Mahia went down on penalties.