Monday, 20 February 2012

Kenyan Club Football - Faltering at many levels

Over the weekend, besides the Kenyan Premier League fixtures, two of Kenya's clubs were representing the country in the continental club championships - Tusker FC at home to Rwanda's Armee Patriotique Rwandese (APR) FC ( first leg of Round 1 of CAF Champions League) while Gor Mahia was away in Maputo Mozambique to Ferroviaro de Maputo. ( first leg of Round 1 CAF Confederations Cup)
Homeboys Tusker could only afford a 0-0 draw which makes their work hard going to Kigali a few days time. Not taking advantage of the home crowd and wasting chances to at least secure a goal will most likely cost the club any continental exposure. They must pray that they can get their skills up and find winning ways in the return match. A scoring draw will safely see them through thanks to an away-goal advantage.

K'Ogalo as Gor Mahia's fondly known to its fans on the other hand saw 3-0 past their own net to Ferroviaro which will require some real inspiration to cancel out and eventually beat to qualify. For the longest time I have said that the team lacks technical skills and this was exposed once again on this game. It must also be remembered that their win last year of FKL's Cup after seeing passage as one of the best losers. That was never resolved & FKL's oversight might cost the country a place on the continent's other major club championship.
Listening to the club chairman's seek to make comparison to last year's Sofapaka's miraculous mauling of Egyptian opposition was stretching it a bit too far. As one may remember, the political and social situation in Egypt was very unstable and still is thus the lack of inspiration for the players and clubs. The Egyptian national team missed the Africa Cup of Nations despite having been reigning champions early this year.
All's not lost though cos as they say 90min is a lifetime in any football game and again, Gor Mahia has one of the largest following in the country and are likely to sermon those strengths to add their 12th man in the return match.
The bonuses promised by their sponsors should also seek to inspire the players - as is expected in an election year, many a politician will seek to support such club exploits if only for some political mileage, take advantage!
We wish both clubs all the best in their respective return matches!

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