What you need to know:
- Coaches rally their troops for Nyayo Stadium showdown
- Also at stake in the 3pm kick-off to be played behind closed doors is Sh2m prize money
Kenyan’s representatives in next season’s Caf Confederation Cup will be known on Sunday when two of the country’s most successful clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards clash in the Betway Cup final at Nyayo National Stadium.
Also at stake in the match which will be played behind closed doors starting at 3pm is a prize money of Sh2 million for the winner. The loser of the final match will go home with Sh1 million.
The final match will be preceded by third and fourth place play-off match between Football Kenya Federation Premier League newbies Bidco United and FKF Division One team Equity FC from noon at the same venue.
The winner of the third and fourth place play-off match will take home Sh750,000.
Equity shocked many by knocking out defending champions Bandari FC in the quarter-final stage.
The stakes are already high ahead of the 90th edition of the “Mashemeji derby”, with Gor Mahia’s Portuguese tactician Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto and his Leopards counterpart, Belgian Patrick Aussems, eyeing their first win in the clash between the two most successful football clubs in Kenya.
Vaz Pinto rallied his troops to do their best in the most important meeting between the two teams this season.
“It is a tough game which is now the most important this season for the two clubs. We won’t take chances because the match holds the key to our participation in Caf Confederation Cup. It is a game we are taking with all the seriousness it deserves, and we have to fight to win,” said Vaz Pinto.
Gor Mahia captain Harun Shakava and striker Samuel Onyango told Nation Sport that they will fight tooth and nail so as to win and qualify to play continental football.
“Gor Mahia is a team that has been winning trophies and this final presents us with a chance to continue the good culture. It is a tough game just like the first leg in the league and we are hoping for a positive outcome,” said Onyango.
Leopards midfielder Collins Sichenje and assistant coach Tom Juma were beaming with confidence as the team seeks to beat Gor Mahia for the first time since March 16, 2016.
Leopards are seeking a return to Caf competitions after a three-year wait.
The battle between the two sides is expected to be won in both the midfield and attack.
Leopards have been lethal in attack, with striker Elvis Rupia lying second in the FKF Premier League scorers chart with 14 goals, while Austin Odhiambo, Burundian Bienvenue Shaka and Collins Sichenje have stood out in midfield.
Gor Mahia’s strikers have been less lethal in front of goal, with Burundian attacker Jules Ulimwengu leading with six goals. Gor’s free-kick specialist Kenneth Muguna and speedy winger Clifton Miheso are expected to trouble Leopards defenders.
Gor will miss the services of dependable midfielder Alpha Onyango who is nursing a back injury and defender Philemon Otieno who is suspended.
Shakava was down with a flu on Saturday but he could play should his condition improve.
On other hand, Leopards will be without Congolese Fabrice Mugheni, winger Jaffer Owiti and Teddy Esilaba.