15 April 2019

Kenya: Gor Mahia Crash Out of CAF Confederation Cup

Gor Mahia FC were painfully bundled out of the 2018/19 CAF Confederations Cup quarter-finals after a 5-1 crushing by Moroccan side RS Berkane on Sunday at the Stade Municipal de Berkane for a 7-1 aggregate loss.

Laba Kodjo, Mohamed Aziz and Bakre Helali were all on target for hosts in that order before Issoufou Dayd added the fourth after the break.

Gor had briefly levelled the scores through Lawrence Juma's strike in the 24th minute but that is as far as it got.

Gor, arriving just two hours after tiring seven-hour road journey from the Casablanca International Airport, had contained the pressure in the first 20 minutes raising false hopes that they could indeed compete.

Oktay elected to field Fredrick Odhiambo in goal while Geoffrey Ochieng, Samuel Onyango, Nicholas Kipkirui, Francis Kahata, Joash Onyango, Shakava, Kenneth Muguna, Erisa Ssekisambu, Juma and Philemon Otieno all started.

The Kenyan champions lost 2-0 at home against the Moroccan club last weekend, and now need to win this return leg clash by three clear goals to progress to the semi-finals of the Caf Confederation Cup.

But then K'Ogalo's trip to Berkane has been dogged by controversy and challenges including late air ticket bookings by the government, a mechanical problem to the Kenya Airways flight the side was initially supposed to travel in, and a section of players posting pictures of themselves sleeping on the floor at the airport.

The delayed bookings forced Rachier to transport players and officials to the North African country in four batches.

Two of those batches left via Doha in Qatar, while the other batches left through France and Dubai.

By midday (Kenyan time on Sunday which is the day of the match), only eight players, coach Hassan Oktay and his assistant Zedekiah Otieno had arrived in Berkane for the game.

The remaining group (consisting 11 players, technical bench members and administrators) were still finding their way to Berkane (from the capital Casablanca) by bus. That journey is 608km and takes an estimated seven hours by road.

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