Gor Mahia will be hoping to avenge their first leg defeat when they face Napsa Stars in the Caf Confederation Cup playoffs on Sunday.
The Kenyan champions suffered a 1-0 defeat in the first leg at Nyayo Stadium a week ago and despite trailing, they arrived in Zambia only few hours for the return leg against the Pensioners.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 16:00 at National Heroes Stadium and according to a top club official who did not want to be named, the team will now depart for Lusaka at 10:00, after their initial trip was aborted owing to ‘logistical problems’.
“I want to assure you that Gor Mahia will travel to Zambia and they will honour their fixture against Napsa Stars,” the official told Goal on Sunday.
The hosts will be comfortable with a draw of any kind since it will put them to the group stage of the competition at the expense of the East Africans.
Gor Mahia have had shoddy preparations for the game owing to financial challenges as opposed to their opponents who hit camp immediately after they returned to Zambia from the first leg.
Gor Mahia have not won any of their last seven away Confederation Cup matches, and have conceded 16 goals and scored just four in the process.
On their part, the Pensioners, who are making their debut in the competition, they have not lost any of their two home games, winning 4-1 against Ngazi Club from Comoros before settling for a goalless draw against UD Songo of Mozambique.
During the first meeting in Kenya, it was Daniel Aboko who powered home the lone goal with four minutes left to the final whistle after his powerful shot from outside the box sizzled past Gor Mahia’s defenders and beat keeper Boniface Oluoch.
In 2019, Gor Mahia reached the group stage of the competition under coach Hassan Oktay and were pooled in Group D alongside Zamalek of Egypt, Hussein Dey of Algeria, and Angolan side Petro Atletico.
Team News- Napsa Stars
The Pensioners have all their players from the first leg available for the game but will be without key players Bornwell Mwape and Emmanuel Mayuka.
Despite missing veteran forward Mayuka, Napsa Stars coach Mohamed Fathi has remained confident they have good organization to finish the job they launched in Nairobi.
“Napsa Stars are now a very strong side and are representing Zambia in the continental games,” Fathi said in his pre-match conference on Saturday.
“We have good management behind us and this is a good way to succeed as a club. We are a well-organised club, we always have advanced parties and we do not have the breakdown in trips despite the opponents who sometimes tried to frustrate us.
“The main reason why we succeed is that we are a well-organised team.”
Goalkeepers: Phillip Banda, Shaban Odhoji, Rabson Muchelenganga.
Defenders: David Odhiambo, Luka Banda, Luka Nguni, Aaron Kabwe, Lawrence Chungu, Bornwell Silengo, Amos Simwanza.
Midfielders: Jacob Ngulube, Daniel Adoko, Dickson Chapa, Simon Nhkata, Enock Sabumukama, Austine Banda, Aaron Banda.
Forwards: Chanda Mushili, Laudit Mavugo, Jimmy Mukeya, Doiy Soko, Tapon Kaseba.
Team News- Gor Mahia
For Gor Mahia, new signing Fred Nkata will be hoping to make his debut; while young striker Benson Omalla is also available after missing the first leg owing to his exams.
Defender Harun Shakava has, however, not been included in the travelling squad despite his recent return to the club from Nkana FC.
Gor Mahia coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto has put up a brave face by insisting the record Kenyan champions are still capable of turning around the first-leg deficit and return home with a qualification berth.
“Anything can still happen in Zambia,” Vaz Pinto said as quoted by Standard Sport. “We have one game to go; they beat us at home but we can also beat them in Zambia.
“If they won here, we also have chances of winning there. I think everything is possible, we know they will sit back because they are leading but if we score there we will go to the group stages.”
Goalkeepers: Boniface Oluoch, Gad Mathews.
Defenders: Geoffrey Ochieng, Joachim Oluoch, Charles Momanyi, Philemon Otieno, Kevin Wesonga, Fred Nkata, Andrew Juma, Frank Odhiambo.
Midfielders: Kenneth Muguna, Ernest Wendo, Alpha Onyango, Sydney Ochieng, Nicholas Omondi
Forwards: Nicholas Kipkirui, Jules Ulimwengu, Benson Omalla, John Macharia, Tito Okello
NAPSA probable XI: Mucheleng’anga, Silengo, Odhiambo, Simwanza, Banda, Chapa, Adoko, Ngulube, Silavwe, Banda, Mavugo.
Gor Mahia probable XI: Oluoch, Nkata, Otieno, Juma, Momanyi, Wendo, Muguna, Onyango, Kipkirui, Ulimwengu, Omalla.
The game will not be live on Televisions in Kenya but there could be the possibility to watch it live on YouTube from various channels.
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