Zamalek in town to renew age-long rivalry with Gor Mahia
Egyptian giants Zamalek are in town and ready to tackle Gor Mahia in the opening round of the Caf Confederation Cup group matches on Sunday.
However, coach Christian Gross has called on his charges not to be carried away by their domestic exploits ahead of the match.
The Group ‘D’ clash, a first competitive meeting between these two sides since the bad-tempered encounter of 1984, is primed for the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani from 4pm.
The match will definitely offer the Kenyan champions a sterner test compared to the earlier continental battles against Malawi’s Nyasa Bullets, Nigeria’s Lobi Stars and Cameroon’s New All-Star.
The availability of Dennis Oliech will add an extra spice in the plot, with Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay keen on unleashing the former Harambee Stars captain on the visitors.
Oliech, who penned a year-long deal with K’Ogalo last month, was not cleared to feature in the team’s earlier continental fixtures because he was not registered in time.
However, Oliech has made a strong start in his comeback to competitive football after two years without a club, averaging a goal in every two games.
Zamalek boast nine continental titles, including five in the Caf Champions League and 17 league titles.
The White Knights are also in exceptional form in the domestic league which they top halfway through the league season, having also defeated Chad’s Coton Sport and Morocco’s Ittihad Tangier in the earlier stages of this competition.
“I have asked the players to forget the domestic league and focus on our continental mission,” said Gross, after seeing his side beat Misr Makassa 4-1 on Tuesday.
“It’s good to start the group stage with victory. Gor Mahia is going to be difficult but we have to give our all, whether the game is home or away,” he added.
In the other match in this group, Nasr Hussein Day will face Petro Atletico in Algiers.