Al Khartoum – Gor Mahia Preview: It’s battle for top spot in Group ‘A’

K’Ogalo and Sudanese side clash on Friday in a match that will decide who takes top spot and avoid facing Tanzanian side Azam FC in quarter-finals

Group ‘A’ is undoubtedly the toughest in this year’s Cecafa Kagame Cup, with Yanga, Gor Mahia and Al Khartoum favorites to progress.

Already K’ogalo are in it of course with Al Khartoum, after both teams managed to take six points from their first two matches. The Sudanese outfit leads the Group though with a superior goal difference, having six as compared to Gor Mahia, who have three.

The two sides will be locking horns on Friday in a match which will be vital in deciding the team which will finish on top of the Group and avoid meeting Azam, who are the favorites to finish on top of Group ‘C’. Al Khartoum are making their debut in this 41st edition, and they have already managed to put fear into their opponents after thrashing Djibouti Telecom 5-0 and followed up with a 2-1 win over KMKM.

K’ogalo have carried their local form to the competition, and after a poor outing in the last edition, the Kenyan side pulled a 2-1 win over favorites Yanga before registering a 3-1 win over KMKM. They are aiming to continue with a fine run, and a win against Sudanese side will cement their credentials as title contenders in the tournament.

Players to watch




Al Khartoum

Anthony ‘Teddy’ Akumu will be facing his former side almost two seasons after switching allegiance. He has been in a good form for his team, and his thunderbolt secured a 2-1 win against KMKM. Despite his public proclamations that he still loves K’ogalo, on the pitch it will be a different case. Marking Khalid Aucho will definitely be one of his tasks. With three goals in his last two matches, Bilal Salah (pictured above right) will want to pull clear in the race for the golden boot. The towering player, who captains the side, has been the driving force behind the team’s recent run. He will be quite handful for Gor Mahia defenders and any slip-up against him will be of dire consequences.

Gor Mahia

Khalid Aucho has been the unsung hero in K’ogalomidfield. His timely interceptions and incisive passes will definitely give any opposing player headaches. With bursting runs and energetic displays, the Gor Mahia man will be a tough player to face. Michael Olunga has of late hit the headlines by his display. Three goals against strong opponents underline his killer instincts in front of goal, and he is expected to get more against Khartoum, with the help of fellow danger man Meddie Kagere. Gor Mahia will also welcome back midfield kingpin Collin ‘Gattuso’ Okoth, who has recovered from injury as revealed by assistant coach Frank Ouna. “Gattuso’ is back to full training. He will be available for selection but he can’t do 90 minutes. We will decide at what point to take him off or introduce him.”

Probable Line-up

Al Khartoum: Mohamed Abdalla, Osman Bilaa, Samawal Merghani, Ali Alkhidir, Dauwd Zakaria, Anthony Akumu, Domenic Abdul, Badru Eldin, Amin Ibrahim, Awad Abdalla and Ahmed Adam.

Gor Mahia: Boniface Oluoch, Abouba Sibomana, Karim Nizigiyimana, Musa Mohammed, Haroun Shakava, Khalid Aucho, Ali Abondo, Innocent Wafula, Michael Olunga, Meddie Kagere and Godfrey Walusimbi.

Prediction

Despite Al Khartoum’s recent run, Gor Mahia squad looks superior and ruthless. I do not expect the Sudanese side to stop the Kenyan champions

Al Khartoum 0-2 Gor Mahia

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