10 January 2019

Africa: Bullish New Stars Coach Warns Gor Mahia of Epic Battle

New Stars de Douala of Cameroon coach Gerald Mbimi has warned Kenyan champions Gor Mahia of a tough encounter ahead of their Caf Confederation Cup play off first leg set for Sunday at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Mbimi says that they only know the indomitable Gor Mahia of 1980s that won Mandela Cup (rebranded to Caf Confederation Cup) in 1987 but they don't recognize the current squad that was knocked out of Caf Champions League by Nigeria's Lobi Stars.

K'Ogalo took part in the group stage of the second tire continental club competition last season after they were eliminated from Champions League by Tunisia's Esperance. This year, once again, they will be seeking to progress into the group stage after meeting their waterloo in Champions League in Enugu on Christmas Eve.

"This draw is neither favourable to New Stars nor Gor Mahia," Mbimi said in a French interview translated for Nation Sport by Cameroon sports journalist Lawrence Nkede.

"Each team is coming in with its strengths and weaknesses. We knew Gor of the past that of today, not much is known of them, we've bits of information of their on and off performance in their league."

"The golden rule here is to respect and take every opponent very seriously without causing any fear of the opponent," added Mbimi.

The Cameroonians will arrive in Nairobi on Friday afternoon.

New Stars, who finished third in their top flight known as Elite One, are reaching this stage of the competition for the first time having been eliminated at the first round previously. They edged out Libyan outfit Al Ahli Tripoli 1-1 on aggregate after a 0-0 draw in Limbe.

The club has succeeded getting at this level thanks to the government incentive awarded to clubs engaged in continental assignments according to New Stars president Faustin Domkeu, who also doubles up as the vice president of the Cameroon Professional league board.

The return leg will be played in Limbe next Sunday.

Tunisian Guirat Haythem will be the centre referee while compatriots Yamen Malloulchi and Khalil Hassani will serve as the first and second assistant referees respectively.

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