Its all systems go at Nyayo stadium on Saturday February 14 as Gor Mahia take on Madagascan champions CNaPs in the preliminary round of the 2015 Africa champions league.
Gor Mahia’s performance in continental events since 2009 has been poor. However their performance has been slowly improving. From the Rwanda APR disaster of 2009 and the disastrous loss to Ferroviario of Maputo, Gor Mahia has improved over the last two campaigns. The improvement has seen them go beyond the preliminary round, most notably in 2014 when a penalty saving clinic by skipper Jerim Onyango saw Gor Mahia overcome biased officiating against US Bitam of Gabon.
Coach Frank Nuttall is determined to improve on this record.
“The new signings have demonstrated beyond doubt that they are equal to the task ahead. We have struggled at the continental stage for a while now and it is important that we change this. We will not underrate our opponents but we believe we are capable of winning and we shall work towards that,” he said. to the Nation.
The Rwandese trio of Sibomana, Nigiziyimana and Meddie Kagere is unavailable because they were signed after the CAF deadline. In their absence, Gor Mahia will continue to depend on George Odhiambo “Blackberry” and new signing Michael Olunga for goals. Ghanaian Taofiq Zachary and Tim Otieno are additional options.
In defence, Musa Mohamed who skippered the team on Wednesday will be counted on to utilize his experience to marshall a defence that will include Dirkir Glay with either Emuge or Shakava.
CNaPs in high spirits
CNaPs for their part also competed in the Champions league in 2014 where they were eliminated in the preliminary round, losing to Liga Muculmana of Mozambique 0-1 on aggregate. They have been quoted in the Mdagascan media as saying they do not consider Gor Mahia a threat.
Prior to leaving Madagascar, they were received by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr. Jean Anicet Andriamosarisoa Ambohijatovo for the traditional “Tso-drano”. An opportunity for a number of Malagasy Sports reaffirm the commitment of his department for the promotion and development of sport in the country.
“The CNaPS Sports is a great team and we know your ability. Malagasy soccer players expect a lot from you especially given the reality of today’s football. We commend the efforts of the leaders of this discipline for the shares despite the difficulties, “said the Minister.
As a contribution, the ministry will take over the price of the ticket referees for the second leg at home. For its part, the delegation led by team official Hiaja Rakotoarison promised to do their best in opposing land. “We will try to score the most goals in opposing land,” said the coach of the team, Harimanitra Rabearisoa.