Gor Mahia drawn against Yanga, Rayon Sport and USM Alger
Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr has been handed the draw he probably would have picked in the money spinning group stages of the Caf Confederation Cup.
The Kenyan champions will make trips to East Africa capitals Kigali and Dar es Salaam and Algiers in their quest to conquer Africa following the draw for the competition on Saturday in Cairo, Egypt.
K’Ogalo, who eliminated South Africa’s SuperSport to qualify for this stage of the continental competition, have been drawn against Yanga from Tanzania, Rwanda’s Rayon Sport and Algeria’s USM Alger.
In the process, Gor Mahia have avoided African giants, in the form of ASEC Mimoas from Cote d’Ivoire, Enyimba (Nigeria), Al Hilal (Sudan) and Raja Casablanca (Morocco), atleast for now.
Another potentially tough assignment against Algeria’s USM Alger is also on the cards for the Kenyan side, with the top two teams in this competition progressing to the quarter-finals of the tournament.
“I know Yanga very well. I don’t know much about Rayon and the Algerian team though,” said Gor coach Dylan Kerr, who had a year long stint at Yanga’s bitter rivals Simba SC in 2015.
The last Gor and Yanga faced off, K’Ogalo emerged 2-1 winners in opening match of the 2015 Cecafa Club Championship in Dar es Salaam.
“I’m happy we will play in neighbouring countries because it is financially better for our club. Overall, I expect it to be very tough because everyone wants to qualify. I believe in my team and the players,” Kerr added, whose sentiments were echoed by team captain Harun Shakava.
“Now that we have got here, there is nothing to fear. We will just play the way we know because in that group we stand a very big chance,” Shakava said.
K’Ogalo will open their campaign with an away match against Rayon Sports, a team currently managed by former AFC Leopards coach Ivan Minnaert.
Gor Mahia, who are already assured of Sh27.5 million in prize money for making it to this stage of the competition, are in line to earn another Sh8 million should they reach the quarters.
The Kenyan club will make a total Sh45 million if they progress to the semi-finals, and Sh125 million if they go all the way and lift the cup.
1. Raja Casablanca (Morocco)
2. ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire)
3. Aduana Stars (Ghana)
4. AS Vita Club (DR Congo)
1. El Masry (Egypt)
2. UD Songo (Mozambique)
3. RS Berkane (Morocco,
4. El Hilal (Sudan)
1. Enyimba FC (Nigeria)
2. Djoliba Bamako (Mali)
3. Williamsville (Cote d’Ivoire)
4. AC CARA (Congo)
1. Rayon Sports (Rwanda)
2. Gor Mahia (Kenya)
3. Young Africans (Tanzania)
4. USM Alger (Algeria)