18 February 2013

Kenya: Under Pressure

Kenyan teams Tusker and Gor Mahia posted mixed results as the CAF Champions League and CAF continental Cup got underway over the weekend.

Gor in particular will feel they lost an opportunity to move closer to a place in the first round of the CAF Cup as they were held to a goal-less draw at home to Seychelles side, Anse Reunion despite dominating proceedings at Nyayo Stadium for much of the encounter.

"If you can't score, then you don't win. It is as simple as that. We had all our strikers on the pitch today but none of them could take the chances that came their way. We now have a big task of seeking qualification away from home which is a task that we can't take lightly," said Kogallo's straight talking Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic.

The coach had even tried throwing in Edwin Lavatsa who had looked unlikely to play with a toe injury to try and end that poor run in the tourney.

Gor have failed to score in this competition for the last couple of years having lost 4-0 on aggregate to Ferroviaro de Maputo last year and 5-0 to APR three years ago.

"We still need some time to get into the season and the results would have been different with more time of preparations. But that is not the excuse and it is not upto us to say what the federation should do in order to help local teams taking part in continental competitions," said Logarusic.

Gor will now have to cope with the absence of key midfielder Teddy Akumu who was sent off for a professional foul in the goal-less draw on Saturday when they travel to Seychelles in a fortnight.

Re-union coach Guel Ankhong felt his side should have scored at least one goal with the chances they had but insisted that it was still to play for in the tie.

"I would have been happy if we scored a goal. An away goal is very important but as it stands everything is still in the balance," he said.While Kogallo were ruing a missed opportunity, Kenya's CAF Champions League representatives, Tusker were as good as in the second round, having come back home with a 4-1 lead after coming from behind to beat St. Michel United in Seychelles.

Once again, versatile defender David Ochieng Cheche enhanced his reputation as goal scoring hardman with a brace that was marched by the combination of Ugandan Andrew Ssekayombya and Michael Olunga.

Robert Matano's side who were due back in Nairobi yesterday are now odds on favorite to move into the round of 32, where Egyptian giants and tournament champions Al Ahly lie in wait.

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