Gor, Leopards in Mission Impossible

By nesta kizito
Mar 08, 2021
  • AFC Leopards players at a training season at Nyayo National Stadium.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Gor Mahia's Godfrey Walusimbi takes on Esparance Samel Derbau during their first leg clash.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

For Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, everything that could have gone wrong went wrong in the past one week.

For starters, both teams conceded ‘cheap losses’ in crucial continental assignments that they could have easily won or, at worst posted respectable results.

Then, even before the two teams could go back to the so called drawing board (excuse the cliché), local football authorities conspired against them by drafting some their players into the national team’s sight-seeing excursion of the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

To make matters worse, with just hours to the crucial tie and with their South African opponents already in the country, it has emerged that all is not well in Ingwe’s den.

Leopards’ players are said to be disgruntled by delayed payment of their salaries and other dues, claims which the club hierarchy has denounced.

Away from the sideshows and shenanigans, and more importantly, the two clubs have a job to do this weekend; and not just a mundane job, a serious one, a near mission impossible.

On paper, Gor Mahia have the more daunting task. By conceding a 2-3 defeat Tunisian club Esperance a week ago in Nairobi, K’Ogalo just as well shot themselves in the foot.

This is something that their pragmatic coach Bobby Williamson as much as admitted terming the setback a ‘suicidal’.

Tall order

“It’s disappointing that we conceded goals that we could have avoided.

We missed David Owino because we rarely concede so many goals. We scored two goals today and now we need to score two away. It’s a tall order but there is plenty of optimism,” Williamson said after the reversal at the Nyayo National Satdium.

The club was also dealt heavy blow early this week after team captain and goalkeeper Jerim Onyango pulled out of the fixture with a shoulder injury.

The best that the team, which left for Tunis in batches, will do is to limit damage that Esperance will certainly be plotting to inflict on them.

Leopards, on the other, are still holding on to some glimmer of hope. A 2-0 scoreline is still very much within their reach.

Scoring goals should not be a problem for Ingwe considering that in the previous round they put four goals past their opponent without really breaking sweat.

An extra boon is the return of dependable striker Allan Wanga who resumed training early this week after missing the first leg in Pretoria through an injury.

However, the events of the week and the stories of disgruntlement within Ingwe’s den could yet prove to be their Achilles heel.