19 March 2019

Kenya: Gor Mahia Ace Attributes CAF Strides to Past Failures

Gor Mahia utility player Philemon Otieno has attributed the club's strides in the Caf Confederation Cup to bitter lessons learnt in the competition in previous seasons.

K'Ogalo reached the last eight of the second tier continental club championship following a 1-0 win over Petro Atletico of Angola in the last group game on Sunday at Kasarani.

Three home wins in six matches saw the record Kenyan champions join Egyptian giants Zamalek in the quarterfinals whose draw is set for Wednesday in Cairo.

At a time like this last year, Gor were left ruing their 2-1 home loss to Rayon Sports of Rwanda in a match a draw would have seen them advance to the last eight.

They lost 2-1 away to Algerian side USM Alger in the final match who progressed alongside Rayon Sports.

"Last year, we failed to win one home game that saw us dumped out. This time we had a plan that we must win all our home matches to stand a chance of qualifying to the next round," the 26-year-old told Nation Sport.

"After losing 4-0 to Zamalek we knew we had only one chance for us to make it to the quarterfinals," said the Kenyan international.

"The Petro game, I must admit was one of the toughest matches I've ever played in my life."

The former Ushuru man has made 11 appearances for Gor in the current campaign in the continental interclub competitions - four in the Caf Champions League and seven in the Confederation Cup.

"Focus and team work has played a big role and I am sure with this mentality, we can achieve a lot this season both in the league and the Confederation Cup."

Otieno has now shifted focus to the Harambee Stars camp ahead of the final 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) group "F" qualification match away to Black Stars of Ghana.

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