Wednesday, April 18 – 7:00p.m Local time – Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium, Pretoria, South Africa
Gor Mahia are set to play South African side SuperSport United for the crucial second and final leg of the CAF Confederation Cup play off.
The reigning Kenyan Premier League champions carry the advantage heading into the return fixture, having won by a solitary goal at Machakos Stadium nearly a fortnight ago.
It was a cagey end to end affair, but it was the hosts that emerged victorious when lead striker Jacques Tuyisenge spared K’Ogalo the blushes with what proved to be the winner in the 79th minute.
The Rwanda international made no mistakes when he went against Reyaad Pieterse, converting from the spot after the Green Army were awarded a penalty.
A pious and resolute Gor Mahia side managed to hold out, surfing the crest of the wave heading into the second leg, so much for the victory as it was for not conceding an away goal.
Mayienga have been well rested in the build up to the continental encounter, after the KPL Limited postponed their match with Kakamega Homeboyz, following Dylan Kerr’s protest over what he termed as “unreasonable suffocation” due to the avalanche of League matches that were coming thick and fast.
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Gor Mahia has been Kenya’s best team in recent years by a long shot, and the implacable Mayienga will eventually take their rightful place in the Premier League standings. They are currently second on the log with 22 points from a possible 24, a single point shy of leaders Mathare United, despite having two games in hand.
SuperSport United on the other hand have been the whipping boys of the ABSA Premiership, as they are erringly close to the relegation zone with only a point above the drop zone. This has by all accounts been an annus horribilis of a campaign for Matsatsantsa, who on top of finishing fifth on the log last season, had the longest unbeaten run of 19 games.
SuperSport are currently on a winless run of four matches, but head coach Eric Tinkler will draw positives from the fact that his side forced draws against Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City; in-form sides in the South African top flight.
Progression into the money bracket of the second tier continental competition will however require Matsatsantsa to get in among the goal scoring act.
Tinkler will certainly be relieved that Gor Mahia’s attacking options have been significantly reduced, after Ivorian Ephrem Guikan and the highflying Tuyisenge missed the trip due to lacking travel documents.
Gor Mahia will further be without the services of Godfrey Walusimbi and long-term injury absentees Wellington Ochieng and Karim Nizigiyimana.
SuperSport United vs. Gor Mahia match prediction
Gor Mahia lost more than 24 hours in their preparations, but the leaky SuperSport defense won’t hold for long.
Besides, all the KPL champions need to do is register a goalless draw; something the South African side has been doing a lot recently.
Prediction: Gor Mahia to qualify @ WilliamHill.com
Gor Mahia vs. SuperSport United recent results
Gor Mahia 1-0 SuperSport (April 8, 2018)
Jacques Tuyisenge 79′ (P)
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