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Sunday, 23 September 2018

Preview: Gor Mahia hope to build on promising CAF Cup start

AFP , Tuesday 15 May 2018
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Soccer Football - African Confederation Cup - Al Masry vs Green Buffaloes - Al Masry stadium, Port Said, Egypt- February 10, 2018 Green Buffaloes' Friday Samu in action REUTERS
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Gor Mahia of Kenya hope home advantage, clinical finishing and crowd power can help them build on an encouraging start to the CAF Confederation Cup group phase when they host USM Alger of Algeria Wednesday.

The Nairobi outfit forced a 1-1 matchday 1 draw at Rayon Sports of Rwanda, hours before USM illustrated their strength by whipping Young Africans of Tanzania 4-0 in Algiers.

Malta-born Gor coach Dylan Kerr says: "We can take advantage of playing at home if a big crowd turns up, and I want my team to score more goals from the many chances they create."

All eight matchday 2 fixtures in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League will be played this Wednesday and AFP Sport puts the spotlight on each group.

Group A

V Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo host leaders ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast in a match between clubs longing for more African glory.

The Kinshasa team were crowned African champions in 1973 and the Abidjan side won the 1998 CAF Champions League and the CAF Super Cup the following year.

After surprisingly being held 0-0 at home by V Club, Raja Casablanca of Morocco aim to maintain a 100 percent CAF away record this season by winning at pointless Aduana Stars of Ghana.

Group B

Al Masry of Egypt and Renaissance Berkane of Morocco boast two of the sharpest strikers in Africa as they try to build on matchday 1 home victories.

Ahmed Gomaa of Masry is in the Egypt World Cup preliminary squad after five CAF goals while Ayoub el Kaabi of Berkane scored nine in the 2018 African Nations Championship won by Morocco.

Masry make the relatively short trip to Al Hilal of Sudan, but Berkane must fly from the northwest to the southeast of Africa for a showdown with UD Songo of Mozambique.

Group C

Pointless CARA of Congo Brazzaville host pacesetters Enyimba of Nigeria in the second match-up of the round between former African champions.

CARA conquered Africa 44 years ago while Enyimba are one of only three clubs to win successive finals in the premier CAF club competition, succeeding in 2003 and 2004.

Having started with a 1-0 win over CARA, African rookies Williamsville of the Ivory Coast visit a Djoliba of Mali side desperate for maximum points after a two-goal loss at Enyimba.

Group D

Gor Mahia must shackle five-goal joint Confederation Cup-leading scorer Oussama Darfalou of USM if they hope to pocket all three points in Nairobi.

The Algerian sharpshooter has scored in four of five CAF matches and plays for a team Kerr acknowledges are "strong, tactically shrewd and can play at a fast tempo".

Having being brutally exposed defensively in Algeria, Young Africans need to beat Rayon in Dar es Salaam to get back into contention for a top-two finish and a quarter-finals place.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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