Goal analyses how K’Ogalo have performed on the continental stage as they make a fifth straight appearance
Gor Mahia have been in the competition in the last four season but have always found it hard to advance further and their last attempt, in 2019, was ended by Algeria’s USM Alger. The Algerian outfit picked up two wins against K’Ogalo and the two loses came at a time Gor Mahia were strained financially as they operated without a sponsor.
The Kenyan champions conceded six goals and scored just once against USM Alger given hey were defeated 4-1 away before they fell with a 2-0 margin at Moi Sports International Complex in September 2019.
K’Ogalo made a comeback to the continental stage on February 2017 and were handed Leones Vegetarianos of Equatorial Guinea in the first preliminary round. The Kenyan ambassadors drew 1-1 in their away fixture after they had eased to a 2-0 win at home.
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The Green Army were then paired against Tunisian giants Esperance on March 2018, and were defeated by a slim margin; 1-0 away from home after a 0-0 draw at Kasarani.
That meant the Green Army dropped to the continent’s second-tier and were handed Premier Soccer League side SuperSport United in the play-offs. They moved to the group stage as their qualification was based on the away goal rule after 2-2 aggregate draw. The Kenyan giants had won at home with a 1-0 scoreline before they suffered a 2-1 away loss at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
K’Ogalo then found themselves in Group D with Yanga SC, USM Alger and Rayon Sports. They drew 1-1 with Rayon Sports, lost 2-1 to USM Alger but did manage to get a 3-2 win over Yanga SC as their away record let them down.
However, it was the 2-1 loss at home to Rayon Sports, then under their current beleaguered head coach Roberto Oliveira, which complicated their chances of progressing to the quarter-finals as the Rwandan side managed to pick up a point away to USM Alger, meaning the two sides progressed from Group D.
Gor Mahia’s Champions League journey in 2018 started with a match and a win against Malawian giants Nyasa Big Bullets.
In the first leg, the Kenyan champions needed stoppage time to pick up a 1-0 home win at Kasarani. The second leg ended with a 1-0 win for Big Bullets, and ultimately forced the match to extra time.
The Green Army withstood the pressure and pulled off a 4-3 win, with goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch turning hero after saving two penalties; one in the 86th minute, when he denied Chiukepo Msowoya and also when he stopped Marakesh Kubeya’s third spot-kick.
Gor Mahia’s Champions League charge hit a dead end in December 2018, when they were eliminated by Nigerians Lobi Stars in the second qualifying round after a 2-0 away loss.
Austin Ogunye and Alimi Sikiru scored to break the hearts of the Green Army after the Kenyans had won 3-1 at home.
Again, the Green Army, then under a new manager Hassan Oktay, dropped to Confederation Cup and were given New Star de Doula of Cameroon in the play-offs.
After a 2-1 home victory, they took a goalless draw in Doula, which meant they booked a place in the group stage. In Group D, the Kenyan outfit lost 2-1 away to Petro Atletico, 1-0 to NA Hussein Dey of Algeria and 4-0 to SC Zamalek of Egypt.
They managed to progress through to the quarter-finals after a 4-2 win over Zamalek, a 2-0 win over Hussein Dey and a 1-0 win over Petro Atletico in Nairobi, but here their poor away record cost them, as they were defeated 5-1 by Renaissance Sportive de Berkane of Morocco.
Oktay, who later resigned after winning the league title, failed to help them win at home too as they were defeated 2-0.
In the 2019/20 season, where Gor sailed past Burundian champions Aigle Noir with a 5-1 home win after failing to score away from home, as the match ended 0-0 in Bujumbura.
After a season that has been heavily affected by the coronavirus outbreak and under the leadership of Sammy Omollo, another opportunity for Gor Mahia to stake their claim as a big force in the competition has presented itself.
Former AFC Leopards midfielder Francis Xavier has stated they have a chance given their experience in the competition.
“Remember they have been there and have learnt key lessons which they hope to implement and advance even further,” Xavier told Goal in a previous interview.
“With Omollo, they have a good coach who understands the terrain of such high profile competitions and will offer what is required.”
Gor Mahia will first visit APR before they play at home in the preliminary stage.