Gor Mahia have been paired against Burundian side Aigle Noir CS in the preliminary round of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League. The first leg is slated for the weekend of August 10.
Aigle Noir CS are a relatively new side on the Burundian scene. They have been rising steadily since they made their first appearance in the Burundian top tier in the 2015-2016 season. They gained a place in the top tier after buying a place in the league from from the previously existing Rusizi FC of Cibitoke which ceased operations.
They finished in 4th place in their first season, then 4th again, then 3rd place in the 2017-2018 season before winning for the first time in the 2018-2019 season. They finished 13 points ahead of second placed Musongati FC and 13 points ahead of traditional giants, Vital O.
This promises to be a tough outing for Gor Mahia. Burundian sides have been traditionally difficult. The Burundi national side acquitted themselves well at the recent AFCON. It turns out however that not a single player of Aigle Noir CS was selected to the national team, whereas Kenya’s Sofapaka had three Burundians selected.
Last year Gor Mahia escaped the preliminary round against Bullets of Malawi thanks to a dramatic penalty shootout in Blantyre. They were then eliminated by Lobi Stars of Nigeria.
Should Gor Mahia go past the Burundians, they will likely face USM Alger, their nemesis from 2017.