Gor face Khartoum test
The tactical acumen of Al Khartoum coach Kwesi Appiah will come to the fore on Friday afternoon when the Sudanese side locks horns with Gor Mahia in a Group A match of the ongoing Cecafa Club Championship at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The two teams are tied on 6 points from two matches with Al Khartoum topping the group on a better goal difference.
The humble and introverted Appiah, who led the Ghanaian national team at the 2014 World Cup, recorded a 5-0 win over Djibouti Telecom in their opening clash before beating Zanzibar’s KMKM 2-1 on Wednesday evening.
“We might be top of the group but there is still work to be done even as we seek to go all the way the finals. I have watched Gor Mahia’s two matches and I think they have a good team. Tomorrow’s (Friday) match will be tough but we shall approach it with a winning mentality and fight for a win,” Appiah said on Thursday at the Sheikh Karume Memorial Stadium.
Appiah also referred to former Gor Mahia midfielder Anthony Akumu as “a pillar” in his squad, and that he expects an elevated performance from the Kenyan international.
On his part, Gor Mahia coach Frank Nuttall, has opted to deflect the attention from his team following increased media coverage in the Tanzanian press.
“There is too much focus on our team. Everyone is painting the picture that we are favorites to win the title which I think is misplaced sensationalism. The real favorites of the tournament are home teams Yanga and Azam. We are only focused on our next match, which happens to be against Al Khartoum. I know it will be tough so I will field my best side and hope for a positive result,” Nuttall told the Daily Nation.
In the team’s last match against KMKM, Nuttall tweaked his starting lineup from the one that stunned Yanga 2-1 in the opening match, and a refreshed lineup is expected in Friday’s match.
Combative midfielder Collins “Gattusso” Okoth, who missed both matches with a hamstring injury, should be back in the team after passing a fitness test.
Utility player Godfrey “Wazza” Walusimbi is however likely to sit out the match with a sore knee from the match against KMKM.
Friday’s other match will be between between Yanga and KMKM. The Tanzanian league champions lie third in Group A with 3 points courtesy of a 3-0 win over Telecom of Djibouti on Wednesday. Teams in Group B and C will have the day off.
Al Khartoum vs Gor Mahia – 2pm
KMKM vs Yanga – 4pm