Gor Mahia draw tough group in Cecafa tourney
Gor Mahia have been handed a tough draw at this year’s edition of the Cecafa Kagame Cup that will take place in Tanzania next month.
The Kenyan Premier League champions have been pooled in Group A against hosts Yanga SC, Djibouti’s Telecom, KMKM of Zanzibar and Al Khartoum of Sudan at the three week competition that brings together clubs from East and Central Africa.
The draw also sets up a reunion between Gor Mahia and a key product of the club Anthony Akumu who now plays for Al Khartoum who have been included in the competition as replacements for compatriots and defending champions El Merreikh, who opted out so as concentrate on Africa Champions League group stages engagements.
“Playing against Gor Mahia will be weird because they are a team that I like the most, but I will try as much to be professional,” Akumu told Nairobi News from Sudan after the draw was done in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday morning.
Gor Mahia, under the stewardship of Frank Nuttall, will be seeking an improved performance in the competition, having fallen out at the group stage last year when the event was held in Rwanda.
Nuttall says his team will go into the tournament hopeful of a good performance.
“There are some exciting matches lined up and we are keen to do well and possibly go all the way (and win the competition),” said Nuttal, who remains unbeaten on the local scene.
Last year’s losing finalists Rwanda’s Patriotic Army (APR), another Sudan outfit Al Shandy, LLB (Burundi) and Elman (Somalia) will comprise Group B.
Group C has Azam (Tanzania), Malakia (South Sudan), Kampala City Council (Uganda) and Adama City (Ethiopia).
Two teams from each of these three groups, alongside the two best losers will proceed to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Meanwhile, Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye said all plans are course for a successful tournament.
“We have secured the funds to cover for the transport and all the other logistics. Everything is place and the region should expect top class entertainment,” said Musonye.
All matches in the competition will be played at the 60,000 seater National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The tournament winners will pocket Sh 3 million, the runners will get 2 million while the third-placed team will receive Sh 1 million in prize money.
July 18: Gor Mahia v Yanga (National Stadium-4pm)
July 20: Gor Mahia v KMKM (National Stadium-4pm)
July 22: Gor Mahia v Al Khartoum (National Stadium-4pm)
July 24: Gor Mahia v Telecom (National Stadium-2pm)