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Kenya’s Gor Mahia out to finish job over Lobi Stars in Nigeria

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan champions Gor Mahia FC promised they will not sit on their 3-1 advantage when they play Lobi Stars FC of Nigeria in the second leg of their CAF Champions League encounter on Saturday in Enugu.

Speaking ahead of their departure from Nairobi on Wednesday, captain Harun Shakava maintained they would not play defensively in a bid to secure passage to the lucrative group stages of Africa’s elite club competition.

“We are going into the second leg knowing what we need to do and with the plan we have we believe we can overcome Lobi,” said Shakava, who has won three domestic titles with the club.

Samuel Onyango was the hero for Kenya’s most decorated club when he notched a first half brace to add to an early opener from Rwanda international Jacques Tuyisenge during last Sunday’s first leg in Nairobi.

The result left Gor on the brink of history as the first Kenyan outfit to make the group stages of a competition that will earn the 17-time domestic league winners over 54 million Kenyan shillings (530,000 U.S. dollars) in prize money.

“We had the chance to score four or five goals in the first leg but we were unlucky not to add to the goals we did score. We have now seen their style of play and we believe that we can get an away goal that will guarantee our safety in the competition,” Shakava told reporters.

A team of 18 players, five technical bench members and three officials made the trip, with assistant head coach Zedekiah Otieno returning to the side after being suspended from the first leg.

The losing team will drop to the two-legged second-tier CAF Confederations Cup play-off at the group stage.

Last season, Gor lost 1-0 on aggregate to eventual Champions League winners Esperance de Tunis, who are currently representing Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.



Kenya averts embarrassing head coach Migne’s resignation

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya averted a potentially embarrassing resignation of the country’s national team head coach, Frenchman Sebastien Migne, after he received his two-month salary arrears on Wednesday.

Migne, who led the east African nation to their first CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals for the first time in 15 years, had earlier in the day threatened to quit claiming his three month dues had not been credited in his account.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) communications director Barry Otieno confirmed his pay for two-months totaling 3.06 million Kenyan shillings (30,000 U.S. dollars) was wired to his account but the Frenchman was still left unsatisfied.

“The coach has a contract with the government. He received his dues for September and October but he is still unhappy since his agreement is to get his payment for a period of three months.

“He wanted to go if the terms of his contract were not met because he feels he is not receiving the support he was promised,” Otieno told journalists later Wednesday.

The coach acknowledged receiving the payment but felt the working conditions in Kenya will force him to quit the role he took up in May as the long-term successor of Belgian Paul Put who resigned to take up the coaching position Guinea in February.

He said since his team sealed qualification for the 2019 AFCON finals, enough is not being done to prepare the team for the biannual continental football showpiece with a final Group F qualifier away Ghana due to come in mid March.

“My friend from Ghana was laughing at me this morning with the excitement in the country,” Migne said.

Kenya who top the pool on seven points will win the group with a win or a draw at the home of the three-time African champions whom they stunned 1-0 in Nairobi on Sept. 8.

The two nations booked their tickets to the finals at a yet to be determined venue when CAF expelled Sierra Leone from the competition following the international ban slapped on that country by world governing body FIFA.

Since taking over, Migne has led the team to two victories and a draw in the qualifiers as Kenya made the AFCON finals for the first time since Tunisia 2004.


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