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Tusker, Gor land tough CAF Confederation Cup draws

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Gor Mahia celebrate their goal against AFC Leopards

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League Champions Tusker FC and FKF Cup champions Gor Mahia have landed tough draws for the play-off round of the CAF Confederation Cup scheduled for November 28 and December 5.

Tusker will have a trip back to North Africa after they were pooled with Tunisian side CS Sfaxien while Gor Mahia have been handed a trip to Congo Brazzaville after they were pooled with AS Otoho d’Oyo.

While Tusker start their campaign for a group phase in the Confederation Cup at home on November 28, Gor Mahia will kick off their campaign away from home and play the return tie in Nairobi.

Gor progressed to this round of the competition after earning a walk over against Sudan’s Al Ahly Merowe, the club g=failing to travel to Nairobi for the return leg after losing the first leg 3-1.

Meanwhile, Tusker had to drop to the Confederation Cup after losing 5-0 on aggregate to Egyptian giants Zamalek SC in the CAF Champions League.

Head coach Robert Matano believes the team has learnt lessons from the harsh beatings at the hands of Zamalek and has vowed they will be a better side in the Confederation Cup.

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Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano

“It is a tough draw but we will definitely give our all to get good results. We have learnt a lot from both matches against Zamalek and we have seen what we need to do and what we need to improve and also how to approach these matches better,” Matano said.

He added; “The game will come at a time when we will have already played some matches in the league and the players will have picked some necessary match fitness and also the cohesion in the team will be better in terms of understanding and playing as a unit,”

“We know we have our work cut out and we promise to do better and play better. We started on a low but now we have to raise our level and do better.”

Who are AS Otoho and CS Sfaxien?

AS Otoho are the defending champions of the Congolese Premier League and dropped to the CAF Confederation Cup after losing 4-2 on aggregate to Angola’s Petro de Luanda, having squeezed in to the second round after a post-match penalties win over UD Songo of Mozambique.

They reached the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup in the 2018-19 season, the same Gor Mahia reached the quarter finals. Otoho beat Uganda’s KCCA 3-2 in the play-off round to earn a ticket to the group stages after dropping from the Champions League.

They play their home matches at the Complexe Omnisports in Oyo.

Tusker’s opponents CS Sfaxien are a tougher opponent and will be a hard nut to crack for the brewers. They have won the Tunisian Premier League eight times and the Tunisian Cup six times.

CS Sfaxien during a past match

They have won the CAF Confederation Cup three times, the last being in 2013 and reached the final in 2010. In 2014 they reached the semi-final of the CAF Champions League.

To reach the play-off round of the Confederation Cup this season, Sfaxien thrashed Nigeria’s Bayelsa United 4-1 on aggregate. They lost the first leg 1-0 in Nigeria before winning 4-0 at home in the return fixture.

They finished fifth in the Tunisian League last season with 40 points, 20 behind winners Esperance.

They play their home matches at the Stade Taïeb Mhiri in Sfax.

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