15 May 2018

Kenya: Gor Play Alger at Kasarani

Gor Mahia face Algerian side USM Alger at Kasarani Stadium Wednesday from 7pm, having been allowed to use the venue despite an earlier ban by Sports Kenya.

This will be Gor's second Group 'D' match in Caf Confederation Cup, the Kenyan champions seeking to dislodge the Algerians from the top of the table.

As late as Tuesday afternoon, the venue of the match was in doubt, with Sports Kenya banning all football-related activities from the facility following an incident last Sunday where 89 stadium seats were destroyed during Gor Mahia's friendly match with English Championship team Hull City.

As a result of Sports Kenya's ban, Tuesday's pre-match press conference that is traditionally supposed to be held at the match venue a day before such matches, was held at Football Kenya Federation offices rather than at Kasarani Stadium.

The temporary ban had threatened to expose Gor to severe sanctions by Caf as the African football body requires at least 10 days' notice of change of venue.

The matter was however resolved with the local champions and their fans being allowed access to the stadium.

USM Alger lead Group D, having beaten Young Africans of Tanzania 4-0 in their opening group match. Gor and Rayon Sport have a single point each.

The match will have a great bearing on Gor and Alger's chances of proceeding to the tournament's quarterfinals, a feat which comes with a cash bounty of Sh35 million.

Rwandan Meddie Kagere, who scored for Gor against Rayon Sport on May 6, is suspended for the match after collecting two yellow cards in the competition, as has Alger defender Oussama Darfalou who also received his second caution in the competition against Tanzania's Young Africans of Tanzania.

Ivorian Ephrem Guikan had a splendid performance against Hull city last weekend, and he will be incorporated on the starting line up in Kagere's place to assist Jacques Tuyisenge in the hunt for goals.

"We have to change our approach to make Tuyisenge and Guikan comfortable with each other on pitch. l believe in my players. We all want to win and our fans deserve that," said Gor coach Dylan Kerr.

Unlike Gor, Alger are regulars in Caf competitions, and reached the Caf Champions League finals in 2015. They however lost to Congolese side TP Mazembe via a 4-1 aggregate score, thereby becoming only the second Algerian club to reach that far.

At the moment however, the club is enduring a rough patch at home, and are currently placed fifth on the Algerian Ligue 1 table log with 42 points from 29 matches.

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