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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Gor Mahia face Napsa Stars in Confed Cup playoff

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After registering a barren draw against AFC Leopards in the weekend derby, Gor Mahia is set to take on Zambia’s Napsa Stars in the Caf Confederation Cup play-offs.

Gor will be aiming for a more improved performance in the first leg of the competition on Sunday at Nyayo Stadium from 3pm, with the return leg set for a week later in Zambia.

The Zambian Super League (ZSL) side, who have had disappointing start to the season, are expected in the country on Friday evening ahead of Sunday’s tie.

Napsa are currently in 13th place on the ZSL standings on 16 points after 18 rounds of matches. Gor, on other hand are sixth on the Football Kenya Federation Premier League log with 16 points after nine matches.

Gor’s Portuguese coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto oversaw an intensive training session at Jericho estate’s Camp Toyoyo grounds on Tuesday after a day off.

And the tactician laid bare his intent to see his side qualify for the group stage of the competition.

“Games in Caf are different from the local league and we have to prepare adequately. We are continuing to analyse our opponents. They have not started their league well, but every team fights in the continental level,” said the 47-year-old tactician.

“Our main target is to qualify for the group stage of the competition, which is not only important to the club, but also the country. It is a two-legged match and we have to win at home,” added the tactician.

Napsa Stars is home to former K’Ogalo duo of defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino and custodian Shabaan Odhonji. Former Mathare United striker Andrew Tololwa also plies his trade with the club.

Despite joining Napsa Stars last month, Owino will be eligible to play against Gor since he had not featured for his former club, Zesco United in Caf competitions this season.

Gor Mahia’s best performance in the recent times in the competition was in 2018 when they reached the quarterfinals stage before falling RS Berkane of Morocco 7-1 on aggregate.

K’Ogalo were relegated to the Confederation Cup after being tossed out of the Caf Champions League first round by CR Belouizdad of Algeria 7-1 on aggregate. Napsa Stars edged UD Songo of Mozambique on away goals rule.

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